Thursday, January 12, 2012

India in January

I have a job that I am fortunate to travel to the orient twice a year. This year we decided to add production of our garments to some factories in southern India. It was decided that we should go visit our counterparts that we talk via email everyday and see the factories they would like us to use for future production. So on January 2nd, four of us from the office set out on a very long journey...Portland, Seattle, Paris, Bangalore...a good 25 hours of travel. We arrived late at night and drove 45 minutes to the Hotel Ista
I was totally planning to blog when I first got to Hong Kong but got so busy with work and got a nasty cold that I barely got my emails answered. I am writing this now that I am back. The driving in India was crazy and we laughed how they fill every space on the road with cars, motorcycles, tuktuks and trucks. I had lots of car time to look at the stencils on the trucks and how they decorated their vehicles. Women rode side saddle on motorcycles, holding babies, or bags or groceries. They looked so comfortable as their drivers whipped through traffic and narrow spaces. We saw one group with four small adults on a motorcycle!
The first part of our trip was to Bangalore India. This is Hotel Ista where we stayed near our first visit at the office. The pool and restaurant area was so calming.

We were in Bangalore for a day and then flew to Tirpur in the am and drove to a factory, took a tour, had lunch and then drove back to airport to fly to Chennai. The first factory is a knit factory that does knitting, silk screening and embellishing. I can tell you that there is a good bet that you have a tee shirt in your closet or drawer that was made in this facility. It was wonderful to see thier capcity and skills. Here are some pictures of the workers sewing sequin on tops. The workers are brought from the north as this is a specialized skill they told me.

The women wear the most beautiful wrapped sari's. The colors were bright and clean so amongst the background of the red earth and dirt streets , these beautiful women would stand out. Their hair would be pulled back in long perfect braids, some with flowers streaming down. This signage colors inspired me. It is a good example of the bright colors.

Not to bore you with details, we visited three factories in three days and ate very well, each showing us local cuisine that they favor. We went to the Shish-kabob Factory on the last lunch and the food just kept coming. I was so full! We had about 2 hours to shop before our last dinner, so our hostesses Suman and Saritha took us to a small mall where we bought some cotton scarves, then to a sari shop named Silkworm, that had the most beautiful silk and cotton fabrics for sari's and tunic tops. I bought a beautiful pink silk embroidered piece that I can make a top out of...they offer a service to make it up but I was leaving the next day and would not have time. I am excited to design a summer top with this.

The other piece I could not pass up and believe me I wanted to buy more..was this organic cotton hand woven Sari. It is bright orange and pink, it is appox 6 yards long and 46" wide. not exactly sure what I will do with it but I am sure I will find something.

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