Khamir in Bhuj

Khamir is a cultural institution in Bhuj which acts as a platform for the cultural ecology, hetirage, and crafts of the Kachchh region in Gujarat.  It was started after the 2001 earthquare in order to help maintain the creative industry in Kachchh.  The name stands for Kachchh Heritage, Art, Music, Information, and Resources.  In Kachchii, the local language, khamir means ‘intrinsic pride’.  Khamir serves as a platform for promotion of traditional handicrafts, allied cultural practices, processes involved in craft creation, and preservation of culture, community, and local environments.

Khamir in Bhuj

The institution was established in 2005 as a joint initiative of Nehru Foundation for Development and Kachchh Nav Niram Abhiyan.  Khamir has been formally registered under the Societies and Trusts Acts in 2005.

Mission of Khamir in Bhuj

Khamir’s main mission is to sustain rural creative industries in Kachchh and guide them to make profitable models of viable economic practice. Their goal is to create a democratic and empowering space- a common roof under which a range of stakeholders can exchange ideas and collaborate.  Their vision is of a vibrant, sustainable Indian craft sector in which crafts and artisans alike are highly valued by people worldwide.

Exhibitions at Khamir

Every year Khamir artisans and staff put together an exhibition highlighting on of their crafts.  This year, Khamir is showcasing pottery.  The exhibition, Ghadai, will be showing January 17th to March 31st 2015 on Khamir’s campus in Bhuj.  For more information watch see the trailer below and follow their website and facebook.




Crafts at Khamir in Bhuj

The various crafts practiced at Kamir are described below

Ajrakh Block Print

Khamir in Bhuj

Ajrakh block print has patterns depicting complex geometry to form starry constellations in black, White, indigo and madder across lengths of cloth. The patterns are quite similar to the architectural forms of Islamic convoluted jali windows and trefoil arches.

Batik Print

Khamir in Bhuj

Initially Batik prints were made by using hot piloo seed oil in which the blocks were dipped and then pressed onto fabric. Gradually, wax was used in the technical process which actually changed the appearance of the textile, thus making it more affordable and practical.

Bela Printing

Khamir in Bhuj

Bela prints tend to capture you attention with its print being graphic and bold. Generally, a vibrant palette of printed colour is made on a plain white background. Bela printing involves more usage of Red and black colours as for their colour fastness.

Camel Wool Weaving

Khamir in Bhuj

Camels produce wool of a high quality that is highly durable, water-resistant and very warm. It can be used to make carpets, ropes and textiles. Camel wool is crude and has short fibres due to which it becomes difficult to spin the wool and produce soft textiles. However, Khamir has come up with a number of pre-treatment options like de-hairing. This process helps in removing crude fibres leaving only very soft ones, which can be used to make bags, stoles and other products.

Kala Cotton

Khamir in Bhuj

Kala cotton is primitive to Kachchh. This cotton from Kachchh is organic as the farmers do not use any synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This cotton forms a stretchable, coarse and a strong fibre that is used to make denim.

Kharad Craft

Khamir in Bhuj

Kharad Craft involves use of natural resources like vegetable colours and wool. The wool used is generally a goat or camel hair wool. The Kharad that is made is used for spreading on the floor. They also make Khurjani which is used to keep on the back of a camel to carry heavy items and Rasa which is used to cover grains.

Mashroo Weaving

The Mashroo textile was woven mainly for Muslim communities as they believed that silk should not touch a person’s skin. Thus Mashroo textile came into existence by weavers who mixed silk and cotton threads to create a textile that was rich silk on one side and simple cotton on the other. Mashroo means “this is allowed.”

Recycled Plastic Weaving

Khamir in Bhuj

Khamir segregates, sorts and cleans used plastic depending on its quality and colour. Cleaned plastic are then cut into long strips and these plastic strips of different colours are woven into durable textiles. Plastic forms the weft while Nylon is used for the warp, which creates a thick dense material useful for making cushions, backpacks or mats.

Leather Crafting

Khamir in Bhuj

Kachchhi leather was so durable and well treated that it could hold water. It was used to make horse saddles , shoes, water jugs and water bottles. Lether crafting done at  Khamir is excellent and you must buy the traditional leather footwear from here.

Embroidery

Kachchh is popular  for its fine folk embroideries. It is known to make  17 distinct types of embroideries which can be seen in the fabrics in the market. Some of the most recognized embroideries are Soo , Ahir, Rabari, Sodha Rajput and Jat.

Namda

It is made primitively from sheep wool. Nmada is made by cleaning and dying the wool after which it is compressed into sheets.The artisans then make intricate and colourful designs which are often embroidered. This craft is used to create saddle blankets for camels and horses and camels.

Other Crafts

You will also find evolvement of other crafts at Khamir like Pottery, Rogan painting, Wooden Carving, Silver smithy, Wood Lacquering etc. Most of these crafts has lost its demand in the market. However Khamir is helping in sustaining these crafts by creating network chains between the artisans and buyers. They are also promoting these crafts at various exhibitions held by them. Khamir now has many foundations and companies which are committed to buying the craft from them. The artisans are also happy with the revival of their skills and recognition of their work.

Contact Khamir

Website: www.khamir.org
Phone Number: +91 99-79-450131
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/khamircrc

Visiting Khamir in Bhuj

Their campus is open from Monday-Saturday  from morning 10am to 6pm.
The campus is at its best from October to March with exhibitions and events being held between December and March.

Reaching Khamir in Bhuj

Khamir is situated in Kukma village which takes about 30 minutes from Bhuj.
You can catch a sharing auto which run throughout the day from Jubilee Circle in Bhuj to Kukma. Once you reach Kukma, then you can hire a private rickshaw to drive the last 2 kilometres to Khamir.

Khamir is the pride of Kuchchh. You must visit this place if you are in Bhuj. The number of crafts that you get to see in this institute will leave you astonished. So be there and get there!

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