Handmade in Bangladesh


In 2017 I visited Bangladesh for the 1st time. Although I am used to travel to developing countries, I did not know what to expect from Bangladesh. When arrived in Dhaka I was a bit surprised when I was driving to my hotel; it was so crowed and noisy! How many cars can actually fit on a 2 lane road? Apparently at least 5! And it doesn’t always fit, judging from all the dented cars. The second thing that striked me was the noise. Everybody was honking their horns, like they are bats; finding their way through traffic through echo location. Luckily I could escape this big city to go on a road trip with mr Mohammed to visit the makers of our beautiful handwoven cloths made of recycled cotton yarn.


Mr Mohammad and I travelled to the villages that make the handspun yarn made from recycled cotton. This recycled cotton comes from cotton mills; wastage of this spinning process is collected and is produced into cotton wool. This wool is used by the village women to spin the yarn of. Spinning is done on a very simple spinning wheel and they can spin the cotton on their own time schedule. It was actually a treat to visit these villages where people are very hospitable, colourful, friendly and happy to demonstrate their skills.


At a village in the north of Bangladesh mr Mohammed came in contact with a couple of weaving families that were in despair. They had moved from their home town due the floods but weaving jobs in the area they moved to where scarce. Some family members where travelling back and forth to their hometown to find work but it wasn’t enough to earn a living. Mr. Mohammad with his background in the textile industry, decided to lease a small piece of land, installed a very basic workshop, restored the handlooms and brought work to these families. The women can work here, or from their home on their own schedule, balancing family duties and work. They weave beautiful throws, table cloths and cushion covers.


Unlike the power loom (machine loom) the handloom cannot produce hundreds of cloths at a time. But the handloom is important for the rural people of Bangladesh. Many people depend on labour intensive jobs for additional income. This is especially important for the rural women who need to earn extra money so their kids can go to school. This is a cause we really want to support! Bringing jobs to rural areas in third world countries is a first step in increasing the social and economic standards of people. And it is a win win situation; handwoven textiles are so much more beautiful and authentic. Check out our throws and cloths.


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