GOTS Organic Cotton and Ahmisa Peace Silk
STSC is proud to represent Ayurvastra Handloom Organic Cotton Fabric plus Ahimsa Silk (Peace Silk) that is hand dyed using pure plant-based dyes plus infused with Ayurvedic medicinal plants, carrying the 5,000 year-old Indian natural medical practice known as Ayurveda, which is a sister science to yoga and meditation.
This handloom society was set up 29 years ago to give women weavers a fair wage. These artisans take great care in collecting up to 1200 herbal plants from nearby herbal forest, the Augestya Forests Range, to put into the yarn.
The cotton is certified GOTS Organic cotton and STSC is happy to share proof of this certification that has been verified and signed by an Australian Justice of the Peace as true and authentic as we have removed the name of parties involved to maintain our IP confidentiality.
Ayurvastra is a branch of Ayurveda, loosely translated, “ayur” is Sanskrit for health, “veda” means wisdom, and “vastra” is cloth or clothing. Ayurvastra clothing is made from organic cotton fabric that has been permeated with special herbs and oils that promote health and cure special diseases depending upon the blends of embedded herbs and oils.
Ayurvastra cloth is used by Ayurveda health clinics in the treatment of a broad range of diseases such as diabetes, skin infections, eczema, psoriasis, hypertension and high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, and even some forms of cancer.
Ayurvastra clothing is believed to help restore balance within the body’s systems. Ayurvastra cloth is completely free of synthetic chemicals and toxic irritants and is organic, sustainable and biodegradable.
Every step in the preparation of Ayurvastra cloth and clothing is carefully and precisely controlled. Ayurvastra begins with 100% organic cotton that has been hand loomed – no machine processing, no chemical additives to prepare the cotton fibers for spinning and weaving, with no chemical finishes. The organic cotton yarn or fabric is then dyed in a carefully controlled mixture of herbal dyes depending upon the disease or ailment being treated.
For diabetes: mimosa pudica (touch-me-not), cumon / cumin seeds, champa flower and shoe flower (hudahal) are combined in the herbal dye.
Arthritis: The main herbs used in the herbal dye for arthritis are curry leaves and apocynceae.
Skin diseases: Turmeric, neem and sandalwood.
Dyes for Ayurvastra cloth typically contain between 40 and 60 specifically blended and carefully prepared medicinal herbs, plants, flowers, roots and barks. The temperatures of the dyes, the duration and number of the dye soaks, the blend of herbs, and even the equipment used are all carefully controlled.
In speaking about the environmentally friendly processes for making Ayurvastra cloth and clothing, K. Rajan, chief technician at the Handloom Weavers Development Society in India, states "The entire process is organic. The cloth is bleached with cow's urine, which has high medicinal value. The dyeing gum too, is herbal. It does not pollute like synthetic dye. And the waste is used as bio manure and to generate bio gas."
The mention of using cow's urine to bleach Ayurvastra cloth might have caught the attention of some Westerners. Many Ayurvedic doctors consider cow's urine to be highly beneficial in balancing an individual's "doshas" or basic constituents of an individual's physiology and psychology, strengthening the immune systems and as an elixir in giving life.
For those of you who would rush out to visit Farmer John's (if you can find him - he has been largely replaced by Corporate Farm) and follow Ol' Bessy with a bucket, purist maintain that it must be an Indian Brahma Cow as these are reputed to be the original cow and all other breeds are derivatives and off-breeds.
Chaitanya Arora of Penchant Traders, an Indian company promoting and exporting Ayurvastra cloth and clothing, explains that “usage of the cloth is based on the principle of touch. By coming in contact with Ayurvastra, the body loses toxins and its metabolism is enhanced.” The most effective time to wear Ayurvastra clothing is when the body is most at rest such as during sleep or meditating because this is when the body is naturally healing and reestablishing balance.
The State of Kerala Coir Department reported on a six-month clinical trial initiated by the Ministry of Health at the Government Ayurveda College in Thiruvananthapuram India on patients suffering from rheumatism, allergy, hypertension, diabetes, psoriasis and other skin ailments.
For the study, all clothes, bed lines and mattresses for the resident subjects were dyed in Ayurvastra herbs and the walls, floors and ceilings in the patient/subjects’ rooms were lined with Ayurvastra coir mats so that the patient were surrounded by Ayurvastra medicated materials.
According to Dr. Vishwanathan, the former Dean of the Drug Research Department at Ayurveda College, "We treated around 40 people. And the response was remarkably good, especially in cases of arthritis and skin ailments."
The improvements for patients suffering from rheumatism and arthritis are especially interesting because rheumatism and arthritis are not skin disorders and indicate that the treatments might have health benefits that extend beyond topical skin problems.
Based upon the successful results of this clinical trial, the Kerala State Government has initiated a more in depth and expanded study into the possible effectiveness of Ayurvastra in other diseases including some cancers.
The spread of Ayurvastra and Ayurveda into other cultures and regions of the world express the growing interest in more traditional and natural healthcare systems that are based upon restoring balance and health through natural methods rather than through Western medicines.
National government ministries and state governments within India see Ayurvastra as a way to revitalize and increase the market for their handloom industries and to create a niche for their eco-friendly handloom fabrics.
So, is Ayurvastra for real?
Can it really cure diabetes, skin infections, eczema, psoriasis, hypertension and high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, and even some forms of cancer?
The Hindu, an Indian newspaper billed as being the USA Today of India, reported that the state government of Kerala in southern India is conducting clinical tests on the efficacy of Ayurvastra treatments. Kerala has a worldwide reputation as being a center for Ayurveda and Ayurvedic treatment.
So, if it works, how does it work?
Conventional Western medicine and traditional Eastern medicine recognize the skin as being the body’s largest organ. The skin can act as a barrier but also as a conduit for outside substances to enter the body.
According to Maharishi Ayurveda, “Skin infections reflect an imbalance in this layer.” If Ayurvastra cloth and clothing can improve the skin’s ability to act as a barrier to external and environmental toxins, the wearer’s health might be improved. (Additional independent research is needed to test this assumption.)
Ayurvastra Handloom Weaving Society
Alison is proud to present beautiful Ayurvedic organic cotton textiles made by a handloom society close to where her family-in-law live in the beautiful coastal village of Adimalathura in Kerala, South India.
Established in 1989 by a group of 24 young weavers, the society grew so that in 1994 the Society established 30 livelihood and self-help groups (SHGs). The SHGs are semi-autonomous savings and credit organizations that also function as a support network to address weaving and social issues such as occupation health hazards, child labour and women’s empowerment.
Today, there are 731 SHGs in 58 villages operating under the auspice of the Handloom Society. This society of handloom weavers is a non-governmental organisation that works to improve the welfare of deprived, marginalised and downtrodden handloom weaving communities in Kerala.
It is often the case in India that handloom weavers live in abject poverty earning approximately 70 rupees a day, that is only around $2 a day.
“The invention of the power loom, the recurrence of sweatshop manufacturing and a competitive global textile market was stripping handloom weavers of their market.”
These young weavers organized to discuss ways to overcome the plight of the handloom weaving sector and to put an end to the oppressive labour arrangements and corruption that was occurring in the sector.
They have successfully piloted several training programs in alternative hand produced textile techniques including new designs, block printing, batik, tie and dye, kalamkari, and ayurvedic dyeing, which has been one of their most successful product diversification initiatives.”
For the last 13 years, this society of handloom weavers has undertaken to strengthen the income earned by handloom weavers through training, marketing and value-added techniques such as dyeing and embroidery.
Through these efforts, the program participants earn about up to Rs. 140 a day (around $4 a day), which is more than double the wage earned by many other weavers.
The society also works to overcome gender issues through women empowerment programs that allow women to overcome exploitative master weavers and break the cycles of debt.
Vision: To create a flourishing handloom weaving industry preserving Indian culture and providing a decent standard of living to weaver families.
Mission: To provide employment to weaver families in Kerala through providing looms and associated services, so that they can enjoy a better standard of living and preserve their heritage and culture.
With the financial support of the Government of Japan, the Society established an ayurvedic dye house in Balaramapuram, which was inaugurated by MR. RIYOZU KIKUCHI, Consul General of Japan on 7th September 2004.
The ayurvedic dye house is equipped with modern machinery and facilities to produce pure ayurvedic herbal handloom fabric. The minimum production capacity of the dye house is nearly 1000kg per day.
Additionally, in 2005 the Government of India generously granted Rs. 850,000 (US$12,000) to assist the Society to establish a common facility centre for ayurvedic dyeing on handloom clothes and to standardise ayurvedic dyeing.