Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the re-wrap co-operative in Mysore
Some small games were organized to entertain everyone.
Some small games were organized to entertain everyone.
Ever wondered what we do with our offcuts of cotton? In keeping with our minimum wastage policy, we work with Khadi papers over in India to turn anything that we are unable to use into paper! Here’s how they do it:
Rags are pulped in a Hollander beater. Neutral pH internal size (glue) is added at this stage. KHADI rag papers are the only handmade papers in India made with neutral pH size and so they are the only ones that are genuinely acid free.
Coloured papers are dyed in the beater using direct dyes from Ciba and Clariant which are ISO 9001 accredited and meet European standards on effluence and toxicology. Increasingly we are sourcing coloured rags enabling us to reduce or entirely avoid the use of dye.
Handmade papers are made sheet by sheet, not in a continuous roll. Cotton fibres in suspension in water are poured onto the paper mould. The mould is a wooden frame with a wire mesh draining surface. A second frame, the deckle, rests on top.
The sheet is formed on the mould in a vat of water. The process involves a very small amount of fibre and a lot of water. The fibre is retained on the surface of the mould while the water drains through the mesh. The characteristic deckle edges of the sheet of paper come from the slippage of pulp between the deckle and mould.
The mould is lifted from the vat and the sheet is laid or couched onto a woollen felt. Another felt is placed on top and the process is repeated. When a pile of sheets interleaved with felts has been made they are pressed in a hydraulic press to remove excess water.
Rough surfaced papers retain the impression of the woollen felt. Smooth papers are cold pressed between zinc sheets.
Papers are loft dried. After drying, sheets are tub sized (surface sized) with gelatine which produces a hard, water resistant surface. This is the traditional way of sizing paper for watercolour, allowing watercolour to be worked over the surface without penetrating the paper. The papers can be used with all painting and drawing media. For painting in oils they should be primed with gesso or acrylic primer.
This year we made these beautifully crafted notebooks as Christmas gifts.
Each notebook came in its very own reusable pouch made with cotton and lined with recycled paper.
The notebooks were bound using traditional techniques and paper was made from recycled cotton.
All in all an excellent way of showing the ways in which traditional craftsmanship can be combined with sustainable products - exactly what re-wrap is all about.
2013 was a great year for re-wrap thanks to the support of all our friends and customers.
We are looking forward to more of the same in 2014 and thought the begining of the year would be a good time to share some comments from our ladies in Mysore about how they feel about working for re-wrap:
This is all possible thanks to your continued support - thank you.
We are excited to announce that our sister company in Hong Kong recently launched KNOTPAPER 100% Cotton Organic Re-Usable Fabric Gift Wraps.
Preserve - An ancient culture of gift wrapping.
Present - A re-usable gift wrap along with your gift.
Prevent - Wasteful paper packaging, while caring for nature.
KNOTPAPER is created by our disadvantaged women’s co-operative in Southern India. Every KNOTPAPER wrap sold helps them to earn a living and bild a future.
All KNOTPAPER products are printed using eco-friendly inks and produced in compliance with Fair Trade practices.
Visit www.knotpaper.com for more information
This year for Diwali we took staff to visit Hampi, a village in northern Karnataka, about 5 hours drive from our co-op in Mysore.
The village is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, once the capital of the Vijayanagara empire which prospered between the 13th and 17th centuries. Situated within the ruins is the stunning Virupaksha Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The site is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Congratulations to Akkamahadevi who has the highest production rate in September!
And here she is at work inside the co-operative:
One of our favourite things to do is visit our clients and see the bags we have produced for them in place. Last weekend we paid a visit to the beautiful Salts Mill in Saltaire. It was a stereotypical ‘grim up North’ day, but the Salts Mill is a warm and wonderful place to visit - perfect for a rainy day!
The Salts Mill is a beautiful old mill that was built in 1853 by Titus Salt. Today the Grade II listed building houses art galleries, restaurants and independent retailers. It also showcases one of the largest permanent collections of works by David Hockney, who was born locally and is a huge supporter of the Salts Mill.
We make two types of bags for Salts Mill - a sheeting bag with an image of the mill printed on, and a canvas bag featuring a lovely David Hockney print. We also make the apron for their Dogs Diner restaurant!
We love the framed bag they have on display in the bookshop on the second floor. If you look closely you can read the lovely things they wrote about re-wrap. Our favourite part is the last sentence…
"As well as being part of a great social enterprise, we reckon they’re the best bags out there. Hope you enjoy yours!"
The latest addition to our co-op is the lunch shed atop of the terrace which provides the perfect break. Our members enjoy a nutritious lunch whilst feasting on the lush green surrounds.