Malkha combines thousands of years of Indian cotton making and natural dye expertise with modern engineering skills. Think of it as intentional technology.
The Malkha process replaces large-scale spinning units with small-scale yarn-making units with machines that do not require the cotton to be compressed into bales, thereby preserving it’s intrinsic softness and bounciness. These small scale units provide the missing link in a fully rural cotton textile industry using local raw material and local skills. They restore spinning as a viable rural occupation. They enables farmers, spinners and weavers to benefit from each other. They create an incentive for cotton making skills to be passed from generation to generation.
The Malkha insistence on using natural dyes, rejuvenates an interest in the complex art and science of natural dyeing. At the core of it, cotton is a finicky material, and so are natural dyes. As one Malkha member puts it, the combination of cotton and natural dyes is “... mind-blowingly capricious. Depending on the season, temperature, wind direction, the alignment of the stars, and the mood of polar bears, you get differently coloured and shaded fabrics. So achieving any kind of uniformity or consistency is not possible. No wonder hardly anyone sticks exclusively to natural dyes”. But we stubbornly do. And in doing so, we embrace not just the vibrancy and brilliance of natural dyes, we embrace the fickleness of nature and the challenge of restoring a dyeing [sic] art - the making of natural dyes and the elaborate preparation of cotton that is required for bright, permanent, washable colours.