The name "croche" comes from the French word "crochet", meaning small hook. In India it is right to say that with the arrival of the first batch of Nuns and Missionaries from Portugal, the craft found roots and made its way in almost every house in Goa. Crochet has a traditional market in Goa since ages. At the time of marriage, a few pieces of embroidered linen and crochet are given to the bride as a part of dowry. It is customary in Goa for the bride to bring these items at the time of marriage.
This craft isn’t ‘traditional’ or ‘regional’ to the region of Gaya. It was started there fairly recently by an organization called Samoolam, to help the women earn their pride and livelihood. The organization imparts training to these people with rare or no background of craft skills and aims to realize their potential towards a positive social change.
To make the products one just requires a simple hook and threads. There is no limit to the materials that can be used to crochet.Crocheted fabric is begun by placing a slip-knot loop on the hook (though other methods, such as a magic ring or simple folding over of the yarn may be used), pulling another loop through the first loop, and repeating this process to create a chain of a suitable length.
Samoolam initiated craft training for crochet because it did not require any investment in terms of equipment and raw materials. As the organization was started as a small team effort, there wasn’t any financial backing to help with the expenses and initial investments. However, with a clear vision & aim, it found innovative ways to implement it. Several people volunteered to help it achieve the ideas. The target were the women who did not have any source of livelihood.
There were many hurdles in the way when the program was started. The initial idea was to work with women to convert waste materials into craft.But it was found that interest level amongst the women was very low. Due to the conservative social structure, women were discouraged by their male counterparts in the family that this kind of initiative may not last very long. Many women even left the training program mid way due to family objections. However, they started joining back because they saw their peers earning a better livelihood from this activity. Women had respectful jobs within the comfort of their own homes. They were not merely earning their livelihoods in this process any more, they were also getting empowered. This is how Samoolam is helping women earn their livelihood and respect.
Images by ~ Samoolam
||Women working with Leela Design Studio
||♦ As each piece in this category is handmade and unique, expect some variation from shown design. ♦ These might slightly differ from as seen on digital screen.