New Delhi will see a four-day exhibition ‘Desi Oon’ celebrating the indigenous wool of Kutch at Bikaner House starting from January 10. The exhibition is presented by Khamir, a platform for preserving and facilitating the craft, heritage and cultural ecology of Kutch.

The showcase will feature interaction sessions with Kutch’s respected artisans and herders on the intricacies of craft and herding. Visitors will also learn about the journey of sheep pastoralism and local craft of spinning, weaving and dying. The exhibition will be an experience created through film, images, and exquisitely crafted textiles narrating the story of the indigenous wool of Kutch. Besides this, workshops will be conducted on Desi Retiya (charkha), Kutch embroidery and a demonstration of Tangaliya weaving, Tabariya bag-craft and Takli/Dhera (Spindle) spinning.

Commenting on the exhibition, Paresh Mangaliya, Deputy Director Khamir said, “We are grateful to the Centre for Pastoralism (CfP), Asian Heritage Foundation and H T Parekh Foundation for making this exhibition possible. All exhibited products undergo value addition and wool treatment facilitated by Khamir. Khamir is hopeful that the story of wool and sensitively designed woollen products will help sway consumer preferences in favour of indigenous woollen items in their households and closet.”

Inaugurated by a group of eminent civil society members, artisans and herders from regions across India, the exhibition will see designers Archana Shah of Bandhej and Amit and Richard of Amrich Designs presenting their collections.

Desi Oon is the first attempt of Khamir to put spotlight on the utility of indigenous wool to urban consumer markets in collaboration with weavers, spinners, dyers, felters and designers. “The integrity of craft value chains is dependent on local availability of raw materials. Sheep herding systems are of special importance for wool craft. Such systems are also special because of their low carbon footprints. They are invaluable in arid regions such as Kutch. They are also a source of food, raw materials for crafters, and fertilizers for farmers and continue to conserve complex ecosystems,” concluded Mangaliya.



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