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Desi Oon Festival Returns For Its 5th Edition

With the theme ‘waking up to the wealth in wool’, the festival will feature an array of installations, workshops, and demonstrations showcasing the artistry of wool

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The Desi Oon Festival - Fibre of our Past and Future, dedicated to India's woollen heritage, returns for its 5th edition, promising an immersive experience into the world of Desi Oon. Scheduled to take place from 7 December to 11 December 2023, at the Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, the festival is set to celebrate the crafts and communities associated with Desi Oon fibre and the diverse breeds nurtured by mobile livestock herding communities across India.

The Desi Oon Festival is an initiative of the Desi Oon Hub, facilitated by the Centre for Pastoralism (CfP). It is a collaborative effort involving organisations from landscapes across the country. These organisations work closely with shepherds, knitters, felters, spinners, and weavers to integrate indigenous wool into our lives, homes, and wardrobes.

The Desi Oon Festival will feature a captivating array of installations, workshops, and demonstrations showcasing the artistry of wool. Additionally, a curated selection of woollen products produced by a network of 20 partner organisations within the Desi Oon Hub will be available for purchase.

An informative section called Pastoral Voice will offer an insight into the adaptive strategies, traditional knowledge systems, and the challenges faced by pastoralists in today’s rapidly changing times. An Industry Innovation and R&D section will showcase applications of indigenous wool, including its use as thermal insulation material in buildings, sound insulation, packaging, and grow bags. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore proof-of-concepts and prototypes that are currently in various stages of development. An artistic installation and interactive space will help the visitors to directly experience the remarkable properties of India's sheep wool.

The central theme of this year’s festival is ‘Waking up to the Wealth in Wool’, which underscores the importance of recognising the inherent value present in wool. A dedicated section of the festival will shine a spotlight on Desi Oon Hub members who are at the forefront of innovating, reviving, or building systems inspired by and in collaboration with the wool culture communities across India.

Vasant Saberwal, Director, Centre for Pastoralism said, “India has the third-largest sheep population in the world, but ranks as the second largest importer of the wool. Over 80 per cent of indigenous wool is discarded because the industry prefers long staple, fine wool over the shorter staple, coarse wool produced in India. The Desi Oon Hub, anchored by the Centre for Pastoralism focuses on revitalising indigenous wool-related crafts and promoting innovative uses of wool. The 5th edition of the Desi Oon Festival will have a number of sections, including our popular and extensive retail section with products from Hub partners from all over the country. There will also be an artistic installation and interactive space for visitors to directly experience the properties of India’s sheep wool. A new section this year showcases ongoing innovations in the industrial use of discarded wool.”



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