Avani is a voluntary organisation working in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, located in the middle ranges of the Central Himalayan region. It is focused on creating livelihoods for the people of this area. They are famous for the range of gorgeous stoles and shawls which last for years and years.
This collective has revived traditional skills of natural dyeing, hand spinning and hand weaving to create livelihood for socially and economically disadvantaged families, in particular women whose husbands have migrated to urban areas and those with physical disabilities.
We loved that they use environment-friendly innovations to generate bioenergy like a pine needle gasifier that not only gives clean and renewable electricity, it also helps to encourage biodiversity by clearing pine needles from the forest floor and thereby reducing a major fire hazard. Beside the pine needle gasifier, only solar energy is used in the various production stages of the handicrafts such as calendaring or finishing.
Avani uses local materials to create natural dyes and luxury fibers such as handspun Tibetan wool and wild silks. Textile products include shawls, stoles, mufflers, jackets and saris. The natural dyes are sourced from commonly available plants, including weeds, turmeric, myrobolan, pomegranate and walnut.
A red lac scarf in luxurious silk and wool is hand-spun and naturally dyed in the Himalayas by women weavers. We also loved the golden green scarf also in silk and wool as well as the one in blue, yellow, and red. Some feature a unique four-way design for endless styling abilities.