Spinning with Bicycle Wheels

By Julie Jarvis
Posted in REALthings Meditation Blog, on January 16, 2014

When Jan and I visited weaving communities to source our fabrics, we were struck by the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the people and the beauty of their work. It was amazing to see how many weavers were using bicycle parts as spinning wheels in India and Cambodia. A great use for old bicycles, the wheels are extremely practical and affordable. 


Varanasi Weavers (husband and wife)in Newada Village winding orange silk on to spools in preparation for weaving.


Jacquard silk on a loom


In villages like Newada, hand weaving has been passed along hand to hand and heart to heart for hundreds of years. Now, however, it is at risk because it is hard to get young people interested in continuing the tradition. Factory made clothing and textiles from China and other parts of the world are inexpensive and increasingly available and popular.


The Varanasi Weavers are part of a 1000 year old weaving guild. Ten villages have come together to work as an NGO to build sustainable communities and preserve the art of hand weaving in their villages.


Our signature Newada Azure Silk is made in Newada Village, Varanasi, India. See our Newada Azure Four Corners Cushion.

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All REALthings cushions are designed by the founder, Julie Jarvis, in collaboration with local designers Jan Mackie and Dolma Tsering in Toronto, Canada

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