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|Peoli is a design studio based in Almora located at the southern edge of the Kumaon Hills of the Himalayan Range in Uttarakhand, North India. It is an initiative by two textile design graduates from the National Institute of Design, Abhinav Dhoundiyal and Vasanthi Veluri, who work with the women artisans of Almora to develop a range of handmade woollen and cotton products.|
Handcrafted from their origin, Peoli’s products are a celebration of the essence of ‘the Handmade’,
of the agile fingertips measuring each length of yarn,
of the lyrical narratives of the counted woven picks and knitted stitches
and of the sensory experience of the granular earthy materials.
Carded wool, cotton, silk, nettle and hemp are spun into soft supple yarn using a hand-held spindle or a Bageshwari Charkha, a foot operated spinning wheel of indigenous make, and further hand-woven, knitted and stitched into contemporary garments. Each of the Peoli products is dyed using natural colours, dyes or colorants derived from natural sources. Natural substances are soothing materials for the makers, users and their respective contexts. Natural dyes produce living colour – a unique hue each time, a colour that matures and ages, pays a tribute to the Sun, Water, Soil and Wind and celebrates the story of the source from which it has been cultivated.
The work philosophy at Peoli strongly proposes a locally fuelled model of sustainable development. Ethically sourced materials like Eri silk, organic Kala cotton, Nagaland hill cotton and Merino wool are combined with indigenous materials like Harsil wool, Himalayan hemp and nettle to enhance their comfort and aesthetic appeal. A similar synthesis is applied in crafting the products where local craft skills like handloom weaving and knitting are ingeniously merged with hand embroidery, beadwork and shibori.
The synergy of various activities at Peoli is a conscious effort towards conservation of natural resources and leaving a light carbon footprint in the process. Harvested rain water heated with solar energy is used for natural dyeing. Hand done processes like hand stitching, hand spinning, etc. are used wherever possible to utilize the unlimited human energy and reduce our dependence upon machines and non-renewable sources of energy. Earth- friendly chemicals and materials are used for the processing of textile materials.
Primarily working on a decentralised model, Peoli engages about sixty women artisans who are looking for opportunities to support their families economically by a means that lets them work from their homes. Attending to every detail of the production from raw materials to spinning, natural dyeing, weaving and knitting, the community of Peoli artisans make their work live as part of the Uttarakhand landscape. The women artisans of the hills employ their dexterous hands to create clothes and accessories from the fabric of our organisation. A similar synthesis is applied in crafting the products where local craft skills like handloom weaving and knitting are ingeniously merged with hand embroidery, beadwork, shibori, etc. We, at Peoli nurture the hands, and the hearts of people to provide a fair means of livelihood. Respecting and improving skills we are sharing a journey that proposes to be sustainable.