First the music . I have been fascinated with the crafts of Madhya Pradesh since I got married . My extended family was living in Indore when I got married and the trips to the city would never be complete without paying a visit to the local state emporium and picking up the lovely Chanderi and Maheshwari suits and sarees.
Rehwa is a non-governmental, non-profit organization established in 1978 by Richard and Sally Holkar. Our NGO is based in the town of Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh India. We are situated at Ahilya Fort overlooking the sacred Narmada River.
What does Rehwa do?
Rehwa Society is one of the major hand weaving manufacturers in Maheshwar. Maheshwar is famous for its hand weaving tradition and serves a the centre of handloom weaving since the 5th century. The resurgence of this special tradition is owed to Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, who ruled the state of Indore during the late 18th century. Due to the patronage of the Royal House of Holkar, Maheshwari saris were popular across India. Our textiles remain popular across the country and throughout the previous decade, gained further global appeal. Our NGO manufactures various delicate textiles including saris, dupattas, fabric, shawls, and scarves. Our textiles are produced with yarns such as silk, cotton, linen, wool, and tussar.Nowadays, our textiles offer a wide range of yarns, patterns, colors, and all of them are handwoven with love and care by our local weavers.
How is Rehwa eco-friendly, sustainable, green, and fair?
Rehwa textiles are exclusively made from organic yarns. Silk, cotton, linen, wool, and tussar are all from supliers that care about our environment. Furthermore, the dying process at Rehwa is ecofriendly. It is important to us to leave the smallest possible eco-footprint, which is why we online purchase yarns from India. Those yarns are manufactured by our weavers, who are all local people from Maheshwar. By employing local people, we make sure that they are granted a chance of employment and place a regular income in their hands. We support women weavers especially. With the earnings from their weaving, they have the opportunity to improve their livelihood.
Why do we do what we do?
Rehwa started in response to the reviving hand weaving industry. We set out with three major aims. Namely, to sustain the hand weaving tradition, empower local women by providing employment and a regular income, and provide housing, healthcare, and education to the families of our employees. The colony in Maheshwar was one of our projects which was successfully achieved. Many weavers found a home there and each house is equipped with a hand-loom, so they can work from home if necessary or preferred. One of our greatest achievements is Ahilya School for the weavers children. It ranks among the best school in Maheshwar and about 230 children are educated there everyday
I also spoke to Namrata , one the designers at Rehwa and this is what she had to say .
Since the time I have started talking to people at Rehwa for this post , I knew I had to be back to Madhya Pradesh sooner than later . Although all the information above has been exchanged over emails ! But I can’t wait to report live from Maheshwar …
Image Courtesy : All pictures have been shared by Rehwa Society.