Sheep, the lifelong companions of pastoral communities, have been an integral part of the indigenous wool economy of India for centuries. After all, wool from sheep has been warming our winters for over 10,000 years now. It is the most versatile of all natural fibres. India, with its diverse climatic regions, soils, and hence ecosystems, has helped herders nurture sheep that flawlessly adapt to local conditions, making India home to 7 crore sheep. Wool artisans are integral to pastoral practices, cultures and economies. For generations, herders, hand spinners, weavers, felters and dyers have, together, nurtured the fibre and crafted objects of immense utility and elegance.
Till date, these generations-old craft practices co-exist with the local ecology, environment and pastoral communities. These interlinked production systems have come under threat due to extensive industrialization. The Desi Oon (Indigenous Wool) Initiative has emerged out of the need to conserve and promote this sustainable wool textile value chain in India. This online exhibition and sale seek to shine the spotlight on a selection of curated hand-crafted wool products which straddle across a range of pastoral ecologies, artisanship and community inter being.