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Khesh Sarees : A more sustainable fashion

Posted on August 19 2022

Clothes, no matter trendy or traditional, will always be a part of our lives. When we are dealing with something so permanent and indispensable, Dailybuyys believe we should do it with a little more responsibility. Dailybuyys and our never ending love for sarees has brought us face to face with a variety of fabrics and their work processes. But we have never come across a more sustainable weaving than Khesh Sarees.
It was during our trip to Shantiniketan when our interest into Khesh arose. Being born and brought up in Bengal, we have heard of Khesh sarees all my life. Gradually we got to know how Khesh sarees are made out of thrown away or old sarees. Being in Shantiniketan during our trip, visiting the Khesh factory was at the top of our bucket list.

Bengal has its own weaves and styles which is prominently different from others. You must have heard of Jamdani, Baluchari or Taant weaving but did you ever come across Khesh weaving. Rooting deep into Tagore’s Shantiniketan and the handcrafts, Khesh is an exclusive way to recycle old cotton saris. The inimitable weaving style of Khesh makes it randomly full of hues and vibrancy. It is the anticipation of the uncertain that makes Khesh sarees so intriguing.

The khesh weaving isn’t that simple as it seems to be. Basically, the warp is with new yarn and the weft is with strips of cloth gotten by tearing old saris length wise. The tearing process is as labor intensive as weaving and is usually done by females of the weaver’s household. The sari is first torn into five or six parts lengthwise. After repeating the process by pulling and tearing, the old sari typically yields seventy to eighty strips. Once the saris are torn into thin strips, the weaver then hangs these strips beside him for easy accessibility and weaves with whichever strip comes up randomly.  The weaver can only keep the warp color same but the color gradation of weft is completely a matter of chance. Only once the fabric has been completely woven one can see the end result as to how the old saris have blended into a new one. Isn’t that the real beauty of the khesh.

The other textile art forms like Block printing, Kalamkari, Kantha or Gudri (a patchwork quilting technique) can also be blended with khesh to give uniqueness to the sari.

Upcycling is not just re-using or re-purposing old fabrics that are at the end of their lifecycle. To upcycle is to create something new, of better value and quality. In developing economies like India, the impact of upcycling – besides being a valuable step in the waste management chain is on the creation of additional employment opportunities.

Dailybuyys teamed with Khesh weavers from Shantiniketan to head more towards a sustainable and responsible fashion world. Khesh Sarees teaches us how there is always room for something new even if it is born from something old.

Shop authentic cotton and Mul Khesh from Dailybuyys and head towards a sustainable and circular fashion.

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