Panchachuli Women Weavers is a cooperative founded in 1995 by Mukti Dutta and the village women of the Kumaon district of northern India. In her efforts to improve the overall working and living conditions of the weavers, Mukti raised the funds needed to build weaving centers and buy equipment.
Here in the Himalayan foothills, these weavers create some of the world’s most beautiful pashmina and lambswool scarves and stoles. The goal of the cooperative is to facilitate the economic and social independence of the women of this region.
Artisans in the Panchachuli factory use a charkha, one of the oldest known types of spinning wheels. Working all year round, they prepare pashmina wool by cleaning, carding, spinning and dyeing it. Only natural dyes made from berries, flowers, nuts and bark are used, giving their products the soft and subtle shades of nature.
As the weavers grew skilled in working with pashmina, Mukti was able to develop an international market for them, including some of the best known fashion houses of Europe. Panchachuli’s exquisite scarves and shawls have become coveted fashion accessories, prized for their fine workmanship, the exceptional quality of their wool and the beauty of their designs.
The women of the cooperative have become active in their communities and now play an important role in local and regional politics. Women who once spent their days in menial tasks like collecting firewood and herding livestock, can now earn a living through skilled labor and thus elevate their position in their families and community.
To learn more about Panchachuli Women Weavers click here.
To view MyMela’s complete selection of Panchachuli scarves and accessories click here.
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