Close your eyes and imagine India. Busy streets, the scent of spices rising up on every street corner, clothing in all colors, markets with the most beautiful, handmade products and gentle, smiling faces everywhere. But unfortunately, you’ll also meet the face of poverty. In the East-Indian state of Bihar, you’ll find more than 54 million people who live under the poverty line. Luckily, more and more western companies invest in Bihar’s industry, offering and stimulating a fair price and healthy working conditions. We, Urban Nature Culture, are one of them, trying to bring the right balance. Bihar is the birthplace of our hand-spun and hand-woven Bihar cushion, the result of an ancient old tradition that’s very much alive today.
It all starts with nature. The caterpillar of the silk moth, better known as Bombyx mori, is the primary producer of silk. These intriguing wonders of nature produce a cocoon that’s made of raw silk. These cocoons are harvested and sorted into color, size, shape and texture. After that, they’re boiled in water and while they’re still intact, they’re taken out and a dissecting needle starts picking up the strands. Once a strand is found, it’ll be wound around a pencil – a process called reeling. It takes nearly 3000 cocoons to make just one pound of reeled silk. A big sacrifice of nature. However, it’s not the pure, reeled silk that Urban Nature Culture uses for its Bahir cusion.
Urban Nature Culture’s Bihar silk cushion is made of the so-called Noil Silk, the short fibre that’s left from combing wool or spinning silk. Not a single piece of silk used in India’s industry is gone to waste.
It’s used as a decorative additive for many spinning projects, like roving’s and yarns. In this case, it’s used to hand-weave the solid, dark & light Bahir cushion. Traditionally hand spun and hand woven into fabrics from the handloom weaving cluster in Bahir, it has a rustic look and coarser texture. And that’s exactly how a piece of nature, all the way from India, ends up at your home. Our Bahir cushion will be available in our webshop as part of our new 2016 collection, from end of September on.
The Bihar cushion is available at our web shop!