Kala Cotton initiative (Khamir)

Khamir is a platform that unites different actors that pursue the same goal to preserve and to promote the local knowledge of (handi)crafts – skills, desings, techniques, etc. Local means in this case the Bhuj region in the North-West Indian state of Gujarat. “Khamir” can be translated as “intrinsic pride”.

One of Kahmir’s projects is the Kala Cotton initiative. Kala Cotton is a original species of this region that is cultivated since hundreds of years. As it’s a pure Old World cotton it can’t be accidently hybridised with modern geneticly altered species. Kala Cotton is perfectly adapted to the sometimes harsh conditions in this region – constant desert wind, temperatues reaching 50°C and aridity – and it doesn’t need artificial watering.

Nevertheless its cultivation decreased a lot in the course of industrialisation and mechanisation. Because of its relativly short fibres it’s more difficult to process Kala Cotton (yarning, twisting, weaving). Furthermore the small weaving businesses where weaving is done manually, barely have any chance to settle down in the market. Thanks to the Kala Cotton initiative it’s profitable again for the farmers to cultivate this traditional species and the weaver families have a additional source of income. Khamir seeks to get Kala Cotton certified according to organic standards.

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