The KOR family
Most of REVIVAL Style’s woven scarves and shawls are hand made by the KOR family who live in the village of Bhujodi. Three brothers, Damji Bhai, Purshotham Bhai and Pechaan Bhai, work with their mother and wives to keep the family craft of weaving alive. Weaving has been in their family for seven generations. During their grandfather and father’s time, weaving was done to create fabrics for the Rabari tribal people in exchange for butter, flour and milk. Weaving was done for local necessity and it was a matter of creating the same designs over and over using the same yarn and colors. Now is an exciting time for the KOR brothers because there is an entire design-focus, variety in the types of colors and fabric they can work with and the interest of the market. Their work has gone beyond the reach of just the local village, appealing to people in faraway places. The brothers enjoy the whole process from design and production to completion and delivery of woven pieces that represent this new generation’s pride in their family’s craft. The three brothers have built off of what their father taught them. They began creating finer, light weight scarves in wool, silk and cotton, introducing experimentation, variety and innovation into the family weaving practice. According to Damji Bhai: “We get joy from coming up with new designs and the idea of our work being seen as fashionable and recognized in the market. This is our kala (art). We love weaving.”
KOR is a special motif that represents the family’s weaving heritage. It is incorporated in most of the family’s weaving designs. The brothers have chosen to name themselves KOR because of the symbolic meaning it has to their roots. Despite the evolution in weaving techniques and fabrics, the brothers are immensely proud of the weavers before them and grateful to be able to uphold the family tradition. As stated by Purshotham Bhai: “Yes, the technique has changed a little and we are creating new things but we are still weaving. We are still using the same motifs our father and grandfather used. We will never stop weaving. This is who we are.”
Although the actual job of weaving fabric is mostly done by men (but increasingly women are learning and weaving), women play a significant role in preparing the yarn for the hand loom and completing the finishing touches that give each woven piece the polished and high quality look that satisfies customers. Purshotham Bhai shares: “There were 250 hand looms in our village of Bhujodi back in the day and now there are only 60 hand looms because the involvement of women is critical to make weaving successful but women in several households are not staying involved. So we are grateful that our wives have worked with us, side-by-side to keep weaving alive. Without the support of our women, we could not do this.” In order for a family to successfully subside on weaving, the entire family’s contributions and input are required. It is a major team effort.
The KOR family has become like family to Neetu. She has been inspired by their creativity, kindness, sense of humour and humble nature. Working together with the family on various design collaborations for REVIVAL Style has given Neetu a deeper appreciation for weaving as a craft. She is moved by their passion for and pride in their craft and how they work together as one tight-knit family unit to keep it going. While they currently operate a small and humble weaving practice out of their home, the KOR family’s dream is “To have a small workshop where [they] can hire 4-5 local weavers in the village to work with [them] to expand production volume and reach more customers.” Through ongoing weaving projects for REVIVAL Style, Neetu hopes to be able to help the KOR family fulfill their dream.
Positive Social Impact
To-date, through REVIVAL Style’s operations with the KOR family, we have been able to provide a steady 6-months worth of income (from weaving projects) to help comfortably meet the financials needs of the entire extended family of 15 individuals.