|At Peoli, carded wool is spun into soft, supple yarn using simple tools. Our products are made with hand spun yarn, thus each piece is unique. Peoli celebrates the essence of ‘the handmade’.||
Spinning is the process of making an even length of yarn using simple tools like a spindle, charkha or spinning wheels. Traditionally, across many cultures, it was done with hand-held spindles and hand operated indigenous spinning wheels using natural fibres like wool, cotton, silk and nettle. Nowadays, most of the spinning is done with synthetic fibres using complicated machines.
In Uttarakhand, the traditional knowledge of hand spinning has been declined over the years. Along with it, is lost, the sensitive relation between the spinners and their craft and natural resources. Traditionally, the yarn used for weaving and knitting traditional wear was always meticulously hand spun and later crafted and assembled into well-finished cloths for wearing and furnishing. This fact contradicts the general assumption that hand spun yarn is uneven and appears unfinished. It is probably the loss of indigenous knowledge and skills or the inability of the present generation to work with nature and its resources that has caused this imbalance. Hence, the need of documenting, preserving, disseminating and reviving the skill of hand spinning is essential.
The contemporary handloom and knitted products use machine spun, chemically dyed, synthetic yarns. Weaving on an indigenous handloom and hand knitting is time taking and thus the products are costly. Using hand spun yarn complements such meticulous processes and thus adds immense value to the products. Such a system is beneficial for the weaver, knitter and the spinner.
Hand spinning is an indigenous craft. The activity, however fragmented, is very much present in the local know-how of the craftsmen of Uttarakhand. Thus, initiating such a system of regular use and produce of hand-spun yarn and promoting indigenous crafts strengthens rural economies. Their revival reduces the dependence on urban markets and thus eventually responds to the macro issue of migration. This is Peoli’s tiny step towards preserving the cultural identity of the hill craftsmen.