Traditional Gamthi cloth shop with handmade cotton and linen fabrics
Original cotton and silk
When Abdul Rahim opened a tiny shop in 1955 selling traditional handmade textile, little did he know that his business was going to be one of the most respected and iconic stores of Ahmedabad. Popularly called the ‘Gamthiwala’, this shop is so renowned that it is a regular field visit site for students at Ahmedabad’s prestigious design school. Noor Mohammed is not just known for the quality of product but for guarding the city’s intangible heritage. As Abdul Rahim’s son, Noor Mohammed took over the family business, he stayed true to original craftsmanship at a time when the textile market was flooded with machine made and printed fabric.
Secret of success
Noor Mohammed shares the secret of their success: “It’s not just about business. We feel we have a larger responsibility towards keeping the traditional art alive and with it the craftsmen community, which unfortunately is growing smaller. The craft of fabric making is time and labour intensive, but we expanded into traditional vegetable dyeing and block printing fabrics. Our hand looms are known for creating the finest Mashru, a fabric made of two materials, silk lined with cotton.”
What’s in a name?
The name comes from the Gujarati word gam meaning village, Gamthi means ‘of or from village’ and gathiwala is someone who is associated with the trade of selling village and handmade products.