A Story about Peace Silk: The cocccon Handloom Scarf

The cocccon handloom scarf embodies the result of two Indian crafts techniques. Hours of work and a good portion of love make for a beautiful product that wants to be kept and loved a whole life long. But the cocccon scarves are more than that: They bring together wonderful techniques with a wonderful material: Peace Silk. 

The Beginning

Jharkhand in India is a state subject to immense poverty. The local people are completely unaware of the incredible value of its silk worm cultivations. In fact, they are selling their cultivations to agents who resell them to other agents and this procedure continues. In the process everybody makes money except for the local communities who worked blood, sweat and tears to cultivate the land.

Once upon a time, cocccon founder Prakash gave light to a place overshadowed by a dark cloud. He decided to utilise the cultivation of cocoons in his home state. Consequently he could make silk himself with the main goal of involving the local community: a beautiful project hatched from its cocoon. 

indian women working on silk cocoon

Peace Silk Production

Commonly silk production involves pesticides, fungicides or genetic spray, which kill what would emerge as beautiful butterfly full of the joys of life. Cocccon has committed to allow all three stages of the silkworm and conduct an entirely biological and non-cruel process. Trees where caterpillars grow or live are covered with a large net, to safeguard them from their natural enemies. They transform into cocoons and finally, the hatched butterfly is released back into its natural habitat, left in peace. This is why cocccon proudly refers to its used material as Peace Silk.

silk cocoon in india

raw silk silk ropes

cocccon does not make us of any toxic salts of metals such as chromium, barium, lead, iron or sodium magnesium. In commonly practiced silk production these are used to make silk yarns stronger. Instead cocccon develops the yarns manually or with the use of a solar spinning machine. Sometimes hydrogen peroxide is used, but this is eco-friendly and approved by REACH & GOTS.

Production Techniques

The admirable patience and diligence of the handloom weavers morph the peace silk into a plain scarf that awaits a combination of colours, shapes and patterns.

indian man working on handloom scarf

This is where another incredible craft comes to play. After designs and patterns are drawn on paper and eventually pasted on engraved wood blocks, the plain scarves are block printed. The hand-carved blocks are used for stamping on the textile with different kinds of vegetable or chemical dyes and pigments. The cocccon handloom scarf is getting colourful.

indian wood carving stencils

indian stencils for block printing

The fascinating ease yet precision during this process becomes visible watching cocccon designer Georg Andreas Suhr and the local artisans in action:

By using handmade production techniques and materials such as peace silk, cocccon decided to give something beautiful back. Not just to the communities they are working with but also to us. We, who can hold peace in their hands, by holding the cocccon handloom scarf.

© All photos via cocccon

Lara Petersen

Lara Petersen

After her studies abroad and exploring the world for many years, Lara returned to Berlin in 2015 and ever since combines her passions cultures, communication and writing by working as part of the ABURY family. Lara is the editor-in-chief and admin of the One of a Mind blogzine by ABURY.

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