Tucked away in the quiet locales of Pedagadi village in Pendurthi mandal, Sankalpa Kalagramam welcomes one to a world of organic weaves made of herbal dyes along with crockery sets and toys designed incorporating coconut shell and palm tree.
With a team of 20 members taking care of weaving, natural dyeing and designing processes, the unit not only caters to the residents of Pedagadi village but also reaches out to different neighbourhoods. “Monthly shandies are organised to introduce clients from neighbouring places to a range of organic products. Each fabric will go through a lengthy process where the yarns are soaked in herbal solution before transforming into a finished product,” says A. Jameelya, product designer at the Kalagramam.
Here, manjista roots, turmeric rhizomes, pomegranate peels, eucalyptus bark and fenugreek seeds turn into natural colouring agents. To make the edible dyes last longer, the yarns are again dipped in terminalia chebula and alum solutions for a few hours and thoroughly sun-dried before weaving. “The aim of the art village is to train school dropouts and provide them a platform to develop survival skills. Each step requires a certain degree of dexterity and through our training we like to share ideas on how each method can be simplified,” says A Chalapati Rao, director of Sankalpa Kalagramam.
Ladles made of coconut shells, toys created using natural dyes, shirts, saris, dhotis, kurta material, towels, and hankies made of organic yarns are some of the products designed at the art village. Soon, the unit members plan to launch an online portal where buyers can place an order through the digital platform.
Weavers at the unit say the biggest challenge is to keep the art of weaving alive. “There is a growing demand for organic fabrics these days. However, there is a dearth of professional weavers to meet the increasing demand as youngsters are not showing keen interest in the line due to various reasons. This trend should change and the younger generation should be encouraged to learn the craft of weaving,” says Satyanaryana, a weaver who works at the unit.