The Yes!poho Team meets some weavers!
Before we meet a potential Yes!poho Partner—we set some goals. The most important of which is to identity our partners’ pain point. If Yes!poho makes the lives of the weaver or artisan better, then we welcome them with open arms as an official Yes!poho Partner. Remember, if you’re not making a positive difference, then you’re doing something wrong.
Ah Pochampally, otherwise known as “Bhoodan Pochampally”, is best known for being the place where the “Bhoodon Movement”. started It’s also the town full of incredible people like Chintakindi Mallesham—who innovated the weaving process by automating the extremely taxing Asu process—with just a few resources. Lastly, Pochampally is also where the bold and colorful Pochampally Sarees derive their name. This town is packed with history—let’s dive right in!
Meet Nikhil and his father Mr. Siddheswar. They are part of a strong weaver community-based in Pochampally and create unique and daring pure silk pieces. Pochampally sarees are known for their intricate Double Ikkat patterns.
What is Ikkat?
Simply put, it’s a dying technique that partially dyes the yarns of a fabric to create a desired pattern (it’s similar to making tie-dye). The process is simple, but quite labor intensive, and starts with a simple bundle of white yarn.
- Mark your desired pattern on the yarn.
- Tie your binding. Leave spaces in between for where you’d like to apply dye.
- Apply dye to the spots without any binding.
- Remove the binding.
- (optional) repeat steps 1 through 4 for more patterns.
- Stretch the fabric
Here’s a video to clarify: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OAnnvPEOl8
Keep in mind, that a normal Ikkat pattern is already difficult, but in a Double Ikkat pattern you’d need to dye both the vertical AND horizontal yarns (called Warp and Weft respectively) as opposed to just the vertical yarns in a typical Ikkat.
Back to Our Story
That is the amount of effort it takes to create just one of these pieces. Nikhil helps his father when he can, but the effort and cost required is astronomical. Not to mention, that weavers feel threatened by retail stores. Weavers’ margins are low and retail stores have a monopoly on these villages so they have the ability to issue inflexible demands. We offered them hope in the shape of Yes!poho they immediately signed up.
Now, Pochampally is an extremely poor town. The recent political tensions and its dry weather (that hinders agriculture) make economic opportunities rare. For locals, Pochampally sarees are not only a way to express their heritage, but also one of the few ways to survive and, hopefully, thrive. Yet, even that’s being taken away by monopolistic retail practices.
We created Yes!poho with weavers and artisans in mind. How can we create value for our partners? We’ve already taken major initiatives in the form of friendly technology, Yes!poho Institute, and Yes!poho Palli. But, we won’t stop—not anytime soon.
Thank You Mr. Siddheswar. Thank You Nikhil. Thank You Pochampally. Thank YOU.