Tula India – Organic Desi Cotton, Handspun, Handwoven, Natural Dyed and Manual Tailored Clothing

Group 55


There have been many questions we have come across from a lot of you. Here are some of the questions that have been posed to us frequently. You can call/whatsapp for more queries.

Tula is an organisation that operates out of Chennai. There is no one production unit or location for Tula. We operate out of Chennai but our activities takes place in decentralised manner in various locations. Please read our detailed note on value chain to know more about the activities and different locations.

Tula is not Khadi infact more than Khadi. Khadi is anything hand spun and hand woven with natural fibre. No doubt Tula is both these but Tula is also about Rainfed, Organic, Desi cotton and any colour you see in Tula will be natural dyed. Thus rendering more than Khadi – in the fullest sense. Also one has to be registered with Khadi board to call themselves a Khadi sanstha which we are not. But Tula does work with many khadi institutions and artisans and is proud of that.

Both are same and infact Khadi was derived from Khaddar. Both means hand made- hand spun and hand woven. These originated in the textile sense and later on Khadi was also used to refer to many crafts and other stuff which were handmade.

Handloom is just hand woven. Only the weaving is done by hand where as the spinning is by mill. The yarn is produced by machine in mills and then woven.

Khaddar/Khadi is the best example of circular economy which is well distributed and decentralised. It also uses human energy and doesn’t consume high resources. Since the whole value chain is done by hand, the amount of labour, skill and hardwork involved is high and needs to be fairly compensated. There will be atleast 8-10 livelihoods behind each garment and considering the dignified compensation to each of them the over all cost seems higher. Though it is not comparable to any mill produced garment, we should also know about the ‘true costs’ behind those ‘cheap’ clothing which ravages mother earth, spoils and pollutes the environment, exploits the people involved and leaves behind a big foot print.
Did you know: That even during Gandhiji’s days Khadi was costlier than the imported mill produced garments!

Khadi need not be cotton alone, how much ever we may wish so. Infact Khadi started with natural fibers like cotton, silk, jute etc. These days there is even a term called ‘polyvastra’ which is made from polyester. The Khadi cotton sales in KVIC nation wide for instance is less than 2%.  In bandars one may even find nike shoes or cricket bats sold in the name of khadi and not to forget there are many mill made/screen-machine printed stuff sold as handmades.

Khadi unfortunately doesn’t look for Indian or indegenous or organic cotton. The cotton sourced is from the market and would be the Genetically Modified (GM) BT cotton, sadly. Infact Khadi that was the symbol of national pride, freedom struggle of our country and the real “atmanirbharta’ is not so with the seed sovereignty pledged to MNC seed companies thus deriding the nation and our farmers of livelihoods, self reliance and diversity. Incidentally, even the Indian National Flags are made from BT cotton, sadly.
At Tula we use traditional Indian cotton only and no other fibre is being used. If at all, in future Tula may get into more natural fibers like that of banana, aloevera, hemp etc.

Tula is as green as you can get, made from the organic cotton, hand made all the way, colours with natural dyes and stitched by human tailors. Even the buttons used are from coconut shelL. So at the END OF LIFE of the product, the whole garment will biodegrade and thus is the most sustainable garment one can ever wear.

The cotton for Tula is grown in 3 states- Maharashtra, Kartnataka and TamilNadu. It is the local indegenous desi variety in each state- Akola/Parbhani varieties, JayAdhar, Karunganni respectively.

Tula comes to various cities regularly, to the spaces that share the same values and also has an assured following/footfall/mailing list. If you can organise our display & sale (with some assured footfall) kindly do write to us.
If you want to be informed when we come to your town, do signup below.

Thankfully, Tula doesn’t need donations of the monetary kind. But you are welcome to volunteer for us, when we come to your town or if you can consistently work on some regular tasks (like content writing, accounts, excel sheet feeding/maintaining, documentation, video, etc) please do write to us. Tula runs due to contribution of many such volunteers.

You can join our group of volunteers or plan events in your town or do any regular tasks online from where you are, or physically come over and help in the store, or various such tasks and activities. If you are good at it, you can volunteer to design for us or buy our fabric and design your own range. You may also try and create a market for our products. Even better will be to replicate, by working with farmers and taking through the whole value chain.