The hand-loom industry is one of the oldest and most ancient traditions in India. According to the Fourth Hand-loom Census 2019-20, there are more than 3.5 million workers in India today. This is a significant reduction from the 6.5 million workers employed in 1995-96.
Kara weaves is an initiative to support the hand-loom industry in order to preserve the traditional craft of handloom weaving. This all-women collective is exploring new market opportunities by re-imagining the multiple uses of traditional towel ‘thorthu’ a unique product of Kerala.
Kara is a social enterprise started by Kerala-based women entrepreneurs, who happened to witness the lives of handloom weavers who lived in abject poverty after power loom took over the handloom. Being Fair Trade Certified they work only with Certified Government Weaving and Tailoring Co-operative Societies in Kerala, which operate under government subsidies and social security schemes. They ensure that none of the fabrications are involved in child labor. Kara now helps weavers weave dreams on their looms and tell the story of their sustenance.
Their hand-woven cotton products are 100% organic and durable. The energy impact is almost zero. Made with the environment in mind, handloom fabric is the most comfortable to use and has the ability to absorb moisture, especially suited to tropical climates. As opposed to synthetic fabric, the quality of this fabric is a very important property. It effects many other characteristics such as skin comfort, static build-up, shrinkage, stain removal, water repellency, and wrinkle recovery.