Natural Fibre Crafts Center
It's All About NATURAL CRAFTS
All fibres are extracted from plants, segregated, cleaned, dried, knitted, blended and woven to sustainable products. They are then used predominantly in everyday lives to the fashion world, furnishing, interiors and clothing industry. Thanks to the myriad sustainable features of Natural fibres like jute, screw pine, water hyacinth, cotton and bamboo, all products from KIDS are a perfect replacement to plastic. Easy to care for and easy to wash, and visually appealing, the products come in various patterns and shapes and sizes. That ensures comfort and style and health to anyone who uses it.
Through the adoption of consistent policies, specific administrative arrangements, training of staff, mobilisation of resources, organisation of research, experimentation and evaluation, KIDS has so far succeeded in improving the living conditions of its people. Integrated village development is a result of the development of various clusters as ideal community based units. Initially, around 3000 women were selected in from the neighbourhood to join the cluster. Grouped into Self Help Groups (SHGs), they work hand in hand, in an endeavour to a sustainable healthy lifestyle. The SHGs form the basic unit of the organisational frame of the cluster. 20 neighbourhood families of a homogeneous character and sharing a common bondage , form one SHG. Facilitation of its activities becomes the key responsibility of an NGO like KIDS. The Research and Development (R&D) wing of KIDS, having identified the useful and beneficial features of the Natural fibres, set up the SHG model of women empowerment to encourage female entrepreneurial activities.
Kerala’s remarkable inland water bodies experience the presence of large floating mats of weeds called Water Hyacinth (Eichornia Crassipes). It’s excessive growth causes problems for water navigation, irrigation, local fishing and contaminates water useful for domestic purposes. The water emanates a foul smell, the mats act as shields blocking sunlight for the marine life and leads to a significant reduction in the level of oxygen content. This has adverse effects on aquatic eco systems, biodiversity, fisheries and agriculture, disrupting the livelihoods of fishermen in the project area. The petiole of water hyacinth has proved to be an excellent soft and spongy Natural fibre that can be woven to useful floor mats, door mats, cushions, hats, bags, purses, files, laundry bags, waste paper bins, and related products. It can be easily blended with other materials like coir, banana fibre, screw pine, reeds, bamboo, sea grass, jute etc. it also shows strong affinity for basic dyes. The leaves and roots of the weeds too turn into useful products in the form of vermi compost. The entire weed, otherwise a waste, is used effectively and wisely. The Natural Fiber crafts Centre of KIDS also endeavor to protect and promote the indigenous crafts and craftsmen of the region. The artisans receive frequent skill upgradation training programs and are updated on the latest trends in fashion and design.
Screwpine (Thazha in Malayalam) is a small spreading evergreen tree up to 6m high with stout prop roots, which firmly anchor the tree in loose sand. The large light green leaves are spirally arranged on the stems. They are usually 90-150 cm long and 5-7m wide, with small white upturned spines along the leaf edges. The heavy heads hang from very stout branches and can remain on the tree for over 12 months. All Screwpine plants belong to the genus Pandanus which is a large and complex genus found worldwide on tropical and subtropical coasts and also extending to inland areas of the moist tropics. This tropical plant is known for its soil conservation properties. Its fine natural fibre, one of the best of its kind in the world, has been in use for centuries for making bed mats. The emergence of cheaper plastic mats paved the way for its being forced out of homes.