Meerabai, a native woman of Belgium, lived in India for more than 30 years. Her path is quite unusual, she lived a life of asceticism for many years, and then she tried to help the women of her village to improve their daily lives, but especially to rebuild their education as a human being who must manage their life by themselves and with independence of thinking and decision-making.
Thus was born the cooperative called “Twaag”, a cooperative of Indian women creating products made by hand from the banana fiber. I immediately fell under the charm of a small pocket crocheted entirely by banana fiber, which I will surely use for storing my makeup when I’m traveling. I love their natural and bohemian styled accessories, and the quality of their product is very good as well.
This is the functioning of the craft process from rope to crochet work:
The bark, locally called “Shorbha”, is a superposition of layers which dry during the growing process of the tree. These dry layers separate automatically from the trunk of the banana tree and fall on the soil.
The Shorbha is brought from the fields and a specific group of women artisans called “the Rope makers” select the best material, divide all the layers, splice it and roll the thinnest part in twin component by using a very skilled hand technique which produces the banana fiber rope.
The rope produced is divided into 5 grades depending on the thickness.
Each rope thickness is dedicated to different purposes. The thinnest are used to make crochet bags, table mats, runners, bottle holders etc; and the thickest are used to make floor mats, bins, baskets and more.
Find all of their products in their catalogue 2016-2017.
We often find this type of products in the industry, but these are fully done hand and what is important in this project is the goal they tend to realize. Supporting this association is to encourage that Indian women are financially independent, learn their business management skills, and able to support their families. It is also a way to encourage Meera who puts a lot of effort on a daily basis for the realization of this great project. Hats off to her!
Export can be done in small or large quantities in India, and in large quantities abroad. The Cooperative uses an exporter for shipments outside of India.
Find more photos here.
Tikav Handicraft Women Artisans Anegundi Group
Anegundi Village, Gangavati Taluk, Koppal District
Karnataka 583227 India