Nestled in the lap of the majestic Himalayas, Kullu is a veritable jewel in the crown of Himachal Pradesh. The climate is cold most of the time during the year. Cold climate means a huge collection of woollens in every wardrobe. Also, the perfect climate and numerous grazing pastures makes it one of the perfect place for rearing sheep and rabbits. Thus, the valley is a home to many shephards. Every woman in Kullu knits as a hobby, which they have been doing since they were very little. Socks, sweaters, scarves, knee warmers - you name it and they will knit it creating beautiful patterns in various colors.
The major problem of the knitting industry is that 80% of the wool produced in India goes for carpet making because of the low quality. The rest goes into making shawls. Thus the wool for knitwear is ususally imported from foreign countries. Which makes it expensive. As a solution to this problem the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) and Australian Wool Board recognised a concept - â€œfarm to forkâ€?;that is usually used in the agriculture industry. Farm to fork is a concept in which everything from food production, processing, distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place. Similarly, this model could be used in the wool industry so that better quality wool can be produced and the imports are reduced.
STEP 1 Sheep and rabbit rearing - they are provided with proper food and fodder Grazing pastures are changed continuously
STEP 2 The animals are given proper love and care. They are washed, dried and groomed nicely.
STEP 3 Combing and Snipping are done during the month of June. The snipping is usually done before they become mothers as it becomes easier for them to feed the babies.
STEP 4 Snipping is done in large units for less wastage and easier spinning. Spinning and twisting of yarn is monitored for quality. The spinned wool is dyed in beautiful colors.
STEP 5 The dyed wool is used to hand knit various products. A designer creates designs and patterns which are followed by the knitters.
STEP 6 The final producls are packed in designer packings. These are further packed in cartons for transportation.
STEP 7 The cartons are sent to the shop owned by the organization. The products can be sold through other shopkeepers as well.
A book by Aashima Negi, Abhir Avasthi, Kartik Arya, Kashika Chawla, Khubi Brahmbhatt, Pallavi Lahiry, Shivangi Verma and Vikash Kumar FC 2015-19 NIFT Kangra