Photo sourced: Kullu Karishma.
INDUSTRIAL AREA, SHAMSHI, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA.
KULLU KARISHMA: PRODUCER OF TRENDY HIMALAYAN DESIGNER WOOLENS FOR BUSINESSES OR CUSTOM ORDER .
The goodness of nature, hand spun, hand knitted by Himalayan weavers.
Set-up in 1991, Kullu Karishma is a family managed outfit employing local Himachali women to produce an assorted range of trendy woolen garments made predominantly from natural fibers, wool and vegetable dyes. Shoppers have the option of procuring ready made garments, getting uniquely done apparels on request, or ordering in bulk for business. Kullu Karishma works with the dual purpose of providing employment to local women and harnessing their talent for molding natural fibers and wool into comfortable and warm garments for both local and offshore markets.
The outfit begun creating its own range of woolen garments in 1991 with the aim of adding value to the Angora wool being produced at its own rabbit farm. In 1993, aided by a feedback from Dastkar, a non governmental organization working for the welfare of groups dabbling in local crafts, the outfit streamlined its product range, picking up a specialty for designer yarn in the year 1996. Then over the years, entered into a natural development phase, that saw it gradually evolve into producing woolen garments from natural wool, fiber and vegetable dyes.
Presently, the weaving unit operates from a three story production facility located in Kullu Valley’s industrial sector with the treatment of wool, fibers and manufacture of dyes taking place within its operating plant. As well as works in collaboration with designers from across the world, catering to specific requirements. Markets its own ready made stock through exhibitions and various retail outlets. Plus provides a small segment with ‘one time made’ custom garments. The custom designs once made are not re-marketed or sold anywhere else.
Wool and fibers used by Kullu Karishma. Angora, Merino, Yak, Tussar and Eri silk.
Pure Angora wool: Shorn from Angora rabbits raised at Kullu Karishma’s own rabbit farm. Pure Merino wool: Wool of the Merino Sheep, imported from Australia. Pure Pashmina wool: A fine quality cashmere procured from the Pashmina goat found in the Himalayan highlands. Yak wool: From the sturdy Himalayan Yak found in the extreme cold regions of the Himalayas. Pure Tussar Silk: A wild variety of silk secreted by worms feeding on oak leaves. Pure Eri Silk: Light golden fiber secreted by worms feeding on castor leaves. Machine made cotton fiber.
How Kullu Karishma produces its range of woolens. Hand spun, hand knitted, crochet by local weavers.
Himachali wool craft is a centuries old family tradition passed down from generation to generation in the Kullu Valley, where woolen clothes have always been considered more of a necessity than a luxury. To lend its own garments a distinct Himachali touch, Kullu Karishma relies on the local talent for the purpose of spinning, weaving and knitting, entrusting the job majorly to the women folk with the additional purpose of providing a staple source of income.
Kullu Karishma presently employs a small crew of thirteen in-resident personnel and close to eighty women (working from home) for the following activities: Hand spinning with drop spindle and spinning wheel. Hand knitting. Hand weaving. Crochet.
Where to shop/order Kullu Karishma Garments. Shop at the factory outlet or write in to order by courier for both ready made and custom designed garments.
Kullu Karishma currently does not own a retail outlet/shop under its brand name and has no plans for one in the near future. Interested customers looking to buy Kullu Karishma’s garments can shop at Kullu Karishma’s factory outlet or write in to order by courier.
Custom made garments are left to the sole design requirements of individuals with a choice in wool, fiber and design. Custom designs once handed over, are not replicated, exhibited or marketed by Kullu Karishma.
To get to the factory outlet located within the Industrial sector (Shamshi), visitors arriving from outside the valley will need to take the old National Highway 21 that leads to the town of Kullu. The outlet is located close to the Bhuttico factory and showrooms visible from the road, and falls just before the small town of Mohal.
Also find at selective stores and outlets. People Tree, dāram, Either Or, Dastkar’s Winter Weaves.
People Tree. A meeting and breeding ground of art, commerce and madness with shops in Delhi and Goa at the following addresses: Said-Ul-Ajaib,Khasra No-258, Shed No-5, Lane No.3, Westend Marg, Saket, New Delhi, India (Directions: Near Saket Metro Station) # Connaught Place 08, Regal Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi, India # 6 Assagao Cursino Villa, House 6, Assagao, Goa, India.
dāram. Hyderabad’s exclusive handloom garment store with shop located at: 1-10-3/1, Boorugu Vihar Lane, Hyderabad, India (Directions: Next to Andhra Bank, Near Prakash Nagar, Opp: Old Airport Lane, Behind Bottles & Chimneys Begumpet).
Either Or. A Pune based center for contemporary clothing, furnishings, toys, socially sensitive literature, and more with shop located at: 24 Sohrrab Hall, 21 Sassoon Road, Pune, India (Directions: Opp. Jehangir Hospital).
Dastkar’s Winter Weaves. A society for crafts and craftspeople, promoting the survival of traditional art with an exhibition held each winter at: Nature Bazzar, Andheria Mor, Chattarpur, New Delhi, India.
Owners of Kullu Karishma. Kamal Kishore Chandel, Kanta Singh Chandel and Kanishk Chandel.
Kamal Kishore Chandel: A former scientist specializing in animal genetics, Dr. Kamal Kishore Chandel is the founder of Kullu Karishma. He also owns an Angora rabbit farm and networks with environmental groups. To connect write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kanta Singh Chandel: Wife to Dr. Kamal Kishore, Kanta Singh Chandel supervises the knitting and weaving process undertaken by the workforce employed by Kullu Karishma. Kanta is also the signatory authority of Mahabali Excursions – an adventure organizer founded and managed by her son, Kartik Chandel.
Kanishk Chandel: A second generation Chandel involved with woolcraft, Kanishk looks after Kullu Karishma’s marketing activities. He is also owner of his own independent weaving unit and divides time and energy to accommodate the demands of both enterprises. Look up Kanishk on:Facebook.