Whenever I get home from India or Ethiopia I struggle to stay in the other place for as long as I can. I want to savour every minute of my time away but alas I get sucked back into my other world with all its demands and all my good intentions get put on the back burner. One of the wonderful things about working with Sabahar is that even when I’m not there, I stay in touch with Kathy weekly and that makes me think I’m still there 🙂
So here we go with the 3rd of 4 posts about the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers of Sabahar.
Sabahar now has 2 weaving studios where 30 weavers work 5 days a week along with another 65 weavers who weave from their homes close by.
Sabahar 1 is a bright busy studio that hums with the sounds of shuttles and beaters and produces 100’s of metres of handwoven cloth each week.
The harnesses are purchased from the heddle maker who makes the harnesses for all the weavers in the area. When you think about how fine all the warp threads are…nothing heavier than 20/2 cotton…it really is awe inspiring to watch.
The other style of loom looks much more like our looms. A traditional frame with back beam and tensioning device. There are 4 of them fitted with makeshift flying shuttles. These looms are saved for all the wider fabrics like blankets and table cloths.
Some of the weavers work from home. Just like us, they give up space within their homes 🙂 Their looms are constructed with spare timber and are extremely simple.
The fabrics that are woven on these looms are extraordinary!
The pride of the weavers is so evident. I can’t find the words necessary to express my admiration and respect for all they achieve.
In this studio, warps criss-cross through each other with a jumble of cords hanging from the ceiling. All very orderly 🙂
In another small home the looms are part of the furniture.
Sabahar 2 was created in an effort to provide some of these weavers with another option. Kathy has rented a house in a newer area that is close to the existing weavers. Here they can come to work in a bright, clean and spacious working environment with running water. This space eliminates some of the stress for the weavers working and living in such small quarters.
They have new looms and lots of bright light. A few of the looms are 4 shafts and they have more treadles 🙂
Both the weavers and winders are so happy.
I hope to finish my final post in a few weeks. It will be a summary of my time at Sabahar this past March and goals for the future.
Thanks for reading.