November 2019


  • Desert Traditions Tank at Modhera
  • Desert Traditions Sufiyan with Indigo vat
  • Desert Traditions Patola Weavers


Caravans and camel trains, sailing ships and silk roads – the romance of Indian textiles stretches far back in time. Nowhere is this more so than in Gujarat where, from the time of the Indus Valley, artisans have woven, printed, stitched and dyed fabrics for their own and others’ use.
Join Carole Douglas whose 25 years of hands-on knowledge of Indian textiles guarantees a unique experience. During your twenty one day odyssey Carole and her team will introduce you to traditional and contemporary textiles beginning in Ahmedabad, the erstwhile ‘Manchester of the East’ and home of the world class Calico Museum, and ending at the esteemed CSMVS Museum in Mumbai. Between these key events you will travel through diverse cultural and natural landscapes, mingle with the locals and participate in comprehensive workshops in stitch, dye, print and weave. As a special offer you have the opportunity to work for a further full day alongside the artisan of your choice. Along the way you meet leading artisans, designers, collectors, curators, elders and entrepreneurs and be enriched by their insights into Gujurat’s material culture. At the end of the journey you will carry home skills that are easily translated into your own practice along with memories of a textile heritage second to none.

Your Tour Leader
Carole Douglas is an educator, exhibiting artist and writer with a passion for travel that began in her early 20s in Central America and Mexico. She holds academic qualifications in the arts, education and social ecology and is the founder of DESERT TRADITIONS, a company that works on international projects and organises travel into areas of cultural significance.


AHMEDABAD – the heart of commerce
Saturday November 16th – Tuesday November 19th     Accommodation: Hotel Cama

Founded in the 15th century by the Sultan Ahmed Shah, Ahmedabad is renowned for its Saracenic architecture, a distinctive style combining Islamic symmetry and Hindu embellishment. Later, Ahmedabad was known as the Manchester of the East due to the proliferation of calico mills that supplied cotton to Great Britain. The renowned Calico Museum is owned and operated by descendants of the original mills. Ahmedabad is also referred to as Gandhi’s city from whence the Mahatma undertook his famous ‘salt march’ protesting British taxes and claiming independence from British rule. His doctrine of self-sufficiency is still upheld by the weavers of Kadhi, the fabric of freedom.
Calico Museum
National Institute of Design
Embroidery design studio
Art Book Centre
Gandhi Ashram

DASADA – Stitches of the Little Rann
Wednesday November 20th & Thursday November 21st     Accommodation: Rann Riders

Travel to Dasada, on the edges of the Little Rann of Kutch, via Patan for double ikat weaving. Dasada is a traditional working village and from the potter to the panchayet (village leader) its inhabitants are involved various trades or commerce. Many colourful communities live around the area including Mir, Karapat Rabari and Bharwads. Be immersed in local embroidery and village visits and, for a breath of fresh air, enjoy a wildlife safari and dining in spectacular surroundings.
Patan and Modhera (sun temple)
Embroidery workshop
Wildlife safari

BHUJ – Textiles to Dye for
Friday November 22nd – Tuesday November 26th     Accommodation: Hotel Prince

While in Bhuj the focus is on the dyeing, printing and stitching traditions of the area. Museums dedicated to the craftswomen of Kutch expand your knowledge and you will later visit their communities. Eminent textile collector AAWazir expands the textile story through his exemplary collection and Australian designer Lisa Hall demonstrates her clever combinations of old and new textiles.
Clamp dye and Bandhani (intricate tie dye) workshops
Ajrakh (block printing) workshop
Embroidery demonstrations and workshop

BANNI – The Motherlode of Stitch
Wednesday November 27th – Saturday November 30th     Accommodation: Kutch Wilderness Kamp

At last count 16 embroidery styles are documented in Kutch. Established embroidery cooperatives lead the way into villages and provide professionally run workshops. During a program with QASAB you will learn the basics of Banni stitches as practiced by Meghwal communities. A full day with Kala Raksha will introduce and cover Rabari embroidery styles. The Living and Learning Design Centre orients you to pastoral embroidery and you will learn directly from Ahir artisans. Stitching sessions are completed with field visits to the communities from which these traditions arise. At the end of your journey you take home your own samples and examples of every Kutch style!

BHUJ – Completion
Sunday December 1st – Tuesday December 3rd     Accommodation: Hotel Prince

Extended workshop or activities of choice, time out to shop for treasures and pay those last minute visits to the bustling Bhuj bazaar. Your Kutch experience is rounded off with a farewell celebration and an evening of music.
Bhuj Heritage Tour
Local weaving village visit

MUMBAI – Fusion
Wednesday December 4th – Friday December 6th     Accommodation: Godwin Hotel (or similar), Colaba

The financial hub of India, Mumbai is design heaven. You will visit the Prince of Wales Museum and the nearby cluster of galleries, studios, markets and monuments.


Land only, per person twin share AU$5,950.00
Single Supplement AU$1,650.00 (TBC)

• Domestic air travel as specified (incl taxes) within India
• Land transport (private coach lines) and autos where necessary
• Twin-share accommodation
• Meals as per the final itinerary (daily breakfasts plus 50% of other meals)
• Drinking water
• All transfers, entrance fees, workshop fees (minimal material costs may apply)
• All applicable tipping for hotel porterage, guides and drivers
• Services of tour guide and escort
• Services of textile expert, Carole Douglas
• Services of professional facilitators where required
• Program handbook, pre-tour information package, related materials
• Initial workshop cost; optional extras by negotiation. Some material costs.

• Return international air travel
• Meals not listed in final itinerary
• Tipping for personal services including meals and room service
• Beverages with meals, alcoholic drinks, morning and afternoon teas
• Visa requirements of the tour member
• Travel Insurance
• Items of personal nature (telephone, laundry, room and personal services etc)
• Some workshop materials

We recommend that Australian passengers book their international flights through our retailer Out and About Travel who offer the best fares available at the time of booking. Please contact Tony for quotes. Airfares are subject to change up until final payment has been received. Once the ticket is issued, airline cancellation and amendment conditions will apply. If you have additional travel in mind and require an earlier departure there may be a supplement payable.

I’m Interested…How Do I Find Out More?
Contact Carole Douglas at Desert Traditions who will talk you through the tour, send you a questionnaire which will allow her to shape the tour to suit your requirements and to supply further information.
3-35 Flounder Road, Ettalong Beach NSW 2257
Mob: 0438 772 795

I’m Ready…How Do I Book?
Fill in the online Booking Form, read and agree with our Terms & Conditions, select your payment option for your deposit of $595.00 twin share, or $750 single per person to Alumni Travel and Submit. Upon receipt of your Booking Form and deposit, you will receive a confirmation of your place in writing.

The deposit is accepted as a first instalment of the tour cost and will be fully refunded if the arrangements cannot be confirmed or the tour is cancelled by Alumni Travel. To meet our supplier policies, final payment is due at least 60 days prior to tour departure. You will receive an invoice 2 weeks before balance is due.

Any cancellation from the tour must be done in writing. The cancellation date will be taken from the day your written cancellation is received by Alumni Travel. Due to the tour cancellation charges imposed by our various suppliers, the following cancellation charges apply, per person:

Over 60 days $50.00 – Administration Fee
59 – 30 days 50% of tour cost
Within 30 days 100% of tour cost

If a difference occurs between these cancellation conditions and those imposed by our suppliers, then the conditions of the supplier shall apply.
There is no refund before or after travel has commenced or for any unused portion of the tour, either in regard to the standard group arrangements or separate independent arrangements.

Any payments by credit card will be subject to a 2% non-refundable Merchant Administration Fee.

It is standard policy with our company that all our international travellers have some type of international travel insurance, so that you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise. A comprehensive Insurance brochure is available from Alumni Travel. The insurance brochure contains the terms and conditions under which insurance cover will be offered to you.

If you would like Alumni Travel to assist you with any additional arrangements pre or post tour, please contact our office for assistance at time of booking. All arrangements need to be finalised at least 30 days prior to your departure.

An administration fee of $30.00 per amendment will be charged for any changes made to any reservation within 30 days prior to your departure. Any additional charges imposed by our suppliers will also be payable.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they possess the necessary travel documentation for the tour, such as a valid passport and any required visas. Your passport should be valid at least 6 months beyond the end of your journey and have two clear pages for each country to be visited in your journey.

In the event that passenger numbers do not reach the minimum number of tour participants (8, excluding the tour leader) required for the tour, it may be necessary to either surcharge or cancel the tour. If such an event does occur, you will be notified at least 60 days prior to the tour departure.

Tour prices have been calculated on the basis of exchange rates and tariffs as time of print and are subject to change up until final payment has been received. Once final payment is received, no surcharges will apply. Should you decide to cancel your arrangements on the basis of a change in the tour price, normal cancellation charges will apply.

Ready to take the journey of a lifetime?