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Working with KAL: Intern Jimmy shares his experience of the Wool Harvest 2018

What does a working experience at We Are KAL look like? We would like to introduce our intern Jimmy to you, the first one who accompanied us during our wool harvest and processing. He was a great part of our team and we are very, very grateful for his commitment. In this post Jimmy will share his background, the experience with the KAL team in Ladakh in July and August 2018 and his ideas for the future. Enjoy! Jimmy and Angtak collecting the sheep wool in Kharnak. "But who am I? I am from the French countryside, not far from Lyon. I grew up surrounded by fields and since a very young age nature attracts me. I first studied anthropology...

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The magic of discovery.

Whenever I connect my hard disk to my computer and spend some time looking through old material, I always come across the videos I made during the first year of KAL's existence. Everything was new, breathtaking and important to document. These times are magical when one discovers a place for the first time, especially such a precious place like Changthang. This is a video documenting this place and what I've seen, with the story told with a voice over - even my first efforts at Hindi are there :) I hope this video will bring you closer to the people of Kharnak and how we first made the connection with our team. Enjoy! "This is the story of our first...

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Our new color palette from Assam

Shades of red, blue, yellow - it's been quite a discovery this summer in Assam! From around 5 shades of last year and this summer we went up to 28 this August which is a big step for us. We would like to show you those colors and we are always happy to hear your feedback.  The main dyes we have used are (in order from light to dark)  Tea, Teak, Onion, Jackfruit, Turmeric, Madder, Indian Madder (Manjistha), Lac, Indigo.  Different kinds of mordants / dye modifiers we used are alum, myrobalan and iron.  Nice surprises we had were definitely the coral and salmon shades from madder and manjistha, the variety of onion shades, the beautiful Assamese indigo and chai...

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The story of our 2017 wool...

As I’m sitting here in Assam, feeling the tropical heat of this place and smelling mustard oil, chatting about eri yarn and natural dyes with Chandan and Latika, I realize that I have not had the opportunity to tell the story of our summer trip in Ladakh.   I returned to Ladakh on the 28th of June, full of energy for another wool sourcing trip and time in the mountains, working on the endless possibilities of the Kharnak wool and meeting all the dear people again. The first two weeks were mostly spent around Kharnakling, where our products are spun and woven. Kharnakling, only 9 kms from Leh, is a small village of settled nomads, most of them from the...

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Ladakh Studies: exploring the natural beauty and cultural traditions in the Indian Himalayas

Last week we had the great opportunity to attend the conference by the International Association for Ladakh Studies in Bedlewo, Poland. The International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) has the purpose to connect researchers and everyone who is interested in the subject of Ladakh Studies. This way people from all around the world can exchange their observations and experiences and give ideas of how to support the communities in Ladakh. For us it was such an enriching experience, because we could learn so many new things about the beautiful land of the Himalayas, a place full of historical and cultural treasures. The program of the conference included a wide variety of topics based on the region of Ladakh. Discussions around...

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