Tracing the cotton route

AARDE Foundation has started an initiative to revive traditional cotton varieties which will benefit ecology as well as farmers

Today, several fisherwomen in Pulicat are entrepreneurs thanks to the efforts of AARDE Foundation. After successfully involving them in the making of palmleaf handicrafts, the Trust has now started an initiative called Revival of Cotton Route. Founder and trustee Xavier Benedict, along with the volunteers, is actively involved in the promotion and conservation of the lagoon since 2007. They have been working with self-help groups in Pulicat to help them earn a decent income. The new initiative will link ecology, farmers and weavers.

Xavier says that Cotton Route will bring sustainable development in and around Pulicat. The hinterlands of Pulicat stretch through three rivers, which played a major role in bringing cotton and its byproducts to the Pulicat SeaPort during 16th to 18th Century.

“Coromandel cotton was considered superior amongst the three kinds of cotton of the Indian subcontinent that were attracting traders during the last 2000 years. For example, the Portuguese and Dutch Archives show that more than 4,500 ships visited Pulicat to take the cotton to Europe, Malaysia, Burma (present-day Myanmar), Indonesia, Mexico, and Japan. Even today, the word

palayakat (Pazhaverakadu/Pulicat)

is used to signify cotton by-products in those countries,” he explains. One of the most popular export products was the which was usually in indica or blue.....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

weaving techniques.

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