This narrow shawl is a combination of two natural textiles. Thebvo as the main body and Eri Silk forming the borders.
Thebvo is Kuzhami-naga textile that is hand-spun using ancient fibre-making technique of extracting yarn from Stinging nettle (Thebvo) plant. This is an indigenous product made at Thebvo Project, established 2014 in Zuketsa region, Nagaland.
For making fibre from stinging nettle plants, a series of 17 steps are carried out completely by hand. Knowing the story of Thebvo is understanding why this textile has been intrinsic to Kuzhami identity, even while going through centuries of migrations and new settlements.
Combined with Thebvo is Eri silk, hand spun using drop spindle, no Charkha. And then hand woven on traditional 4-pillar throw shuttle loom. The journey from cocoons to hand- spun yarn involves a spinner performing series of steps for the appropriate treatment of cocoons that can enable hand spinning of yarn. These steps have remained unchanged through generations of hand- spinning culture of Assam. For this Eri Silk too, we have retained the indigenous steps without much alteration.
There are two Eri panels conjoined with Thebvo. The Charcoal panel is dyed using Myrobalan, harad or Hilika fruit. And the second panel is dyed using tea.
Dorhikisemi | stands for Artisan in Kuzhale dialect
In the context of Kuzhami lifestyle of self-reliance, one does not become an artisan, one is born an artisan.
"We were not taught (how to make Thebvo). While looking at our friends shawls, we would catch the idea of how to make it. We learnt by observing it. And it has passed on like that. We never teach each other. I also learnt in this way. We brought shawls from our friends which were beautiful, looked at it intently, warped it and then wove it following their patterns. We learnt it like you all learn when you look at textbook.”
- Lt. Mezu Kezutshü from Zapami, who made Thebvo from 8-9 years of age till her late 80’s
For voice of Thebvo makers and community please see blog. The proceeds from this textile are intended towards Thebvo project "artisans at ease".
Wearable textile made with ancient spinning, weaving and dyeing techniques, that are slowly being abandoned in modern context. Hope of rejuvenation that a textile that has lasted the test of thousand of years, can still enthral the makers and wearer’s senses.
One of a kind wearable heirloom that collages indigenous techniques of two natural textiles of North East India. The subtle blend of tea dyed Eri silk with natural colour of Thebvo progresses naturally towards Charcoal coloured stripes.
Pleasant-not warm not cold. More fit for cool to cold days.
Sturdy, long-lasting- “lifelong” in their words, making it a generational heirloom. Texture will grow with time.
Okay to hand-wash. No dry clean needed. “Made to not be fragile”. Care-free. Seasonal “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun.
Ready to wear
100% natural, organic, hand-made, from nature-back to nature. Something to grow old with and then pass it on to loved ones. The ruggedness will grow gentle with time.
Made in rural household. Weaves made by artisan at home in available time- supporting farming lifestyle. Direct connect with artisan. Reverse pyramid model- Fair benefit to all makers and facilitators. No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making. No deadline/ pressure based work environment made with need-greed, human-nature balance.Made with intentional non-injury. Slow production- slow movement product. Made less, made ethically. Has gone through no chemical processing. Has gone through no machinery or mechanised processing units.
This Thebvo is made by Indigenous Kuzhami community with assistance of Thebvo project est 2014, Nagaland. Eri silk is made under the supervision of Narmohan Das, with creative guidelines from Mora. Stitching by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab
Disclaimer: Imperfections in the weaves reflect handmade Irregularity in the dyes reflect natural process Innocent spots in the textiles reflect being homemade A work of nature cannot be sterile and error-free A choice to still buy what we make is a step Towards supporting original culture Of people Of nature Of craft