Earlier this week, I found myself in a small village about 20 kilometres from Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. What took me there was the rumour of a small group of people trying out the concept of ayurvedically treated, organic cloth : Ayurvastra. I found its source and the rumour turned out to be true.
A group of Ayurveds have teamed up with a co.op spinning mill to explore options for creating yarn made from purely organic natural produce and then dyed with various ayurvedic formulations before weaving this yarn into cloth meant for different uses.
I do not know whether these weaves are effective. But one thing I do know – these weavers do spin a great tale. Satish Kumar, one of the members of the Ayurvastra team held us spell-bound with his explanation of why Ayurvastra was an idea whose time has come.
Starting with the political economy of world oil and mixing in the intrigues of “Iraq” & “Iran”, Satish added the public-budget imperatives of the French Healthcare system and the unique composition of Kerala’s air to weave a compelling rationale as to why we must take Ayurvastra seriously.
If you ever find yourself in Trivandrum, I suggest you visit Satish & his team at Ayurvastra. I guarantee you a half-day well spent. Incidentally, while there, ask for the “well-being collection” which is cloth perfumed with traditional herbs. They smell very invigorating : a must-buy.
Ayurvastra got its share of early prominence in an article in the Time magazine.
(For those of us that could do with a simple introduction to Ayurveda, here is a useful video – although it is meant primarily for a US audience)