Melhe Prophera

Thebvo, Hemp, Eri silk,
Sheep wool, Himalayan nettle shawl
Melhe Prophera,
Ali Prophera

(Khuzale dialect for)
Basket is filling up,
Heart is filling up.

I have named this shawl Melhe prophera because it holds, like a basket, my training over the last decade into the indigenous world of natural textiles. It stands witness that with every weave the people in the mountains and the hills tutored me into, my heart was gradually filling up. It is the basket of innumerable episodes that compelled me to open my mind to learning, to take one step further into looking at a weave closer. Through this shawl, I am revealing what a filled up heart looks like. You will see some sections in their absolute imperfect symmetry, lines streaming in where boxes were intended, rectangles appearing being shape shifters. Did I know in the beginning what this basket would look like? No! Did I want to see what it would look like before it was in front of me? No! It kept filling up moment by moment, like my heart kept filling up. Something of it feels complete now. Something of my heart feels full now.

Sharing both through this shawl.

The shawl is two sided. One side brings together diverse range of natural fibres. The other side is contrasted with ivory hued Eri Silk.

Thebvo, Stinging nettle textile from Nagaland extracted without retting

Himalayan Hemp from Baglung, Nepal

Indigo, Turmeric, Myrobalan dyed Hand spun hand woven Eri silk

Sheep wool, hand spun, hand woven in Changlang, Ladakh

Himalayan nettle extracted through retting process from Nepal

Thebvo woven with cotton into diamond-based motifs

Buyer Empowerments

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 various natural textiles of the Himalayas and the foothills, including North East India. Patching together different density, textures, weight of these different textiles has been a challenging feat that brought me in closer collaboration with my mother, Madhu, our stitching technical head and Gurmel Singh, our only tailor.
Weather/ Mood
Pleasant-not warm not cold. More fit for cool to cold days.
Not fragile
Okay to dip-wash with mild detergent, without wringing. Dry clean recommended. “Made to not be fragile”. 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
Elegant, Subtle, Natural-appearance, Grounding
Well-being Properties
Thermal insulation, Moisture absorption, UV protective, completely bio-degradable, Climate conscious
Thebvo aspect is a product of Thebvo project, Nagaland. A livelihood revival project by mora since 2014.

Eri silk is made under the supervision of Narmohan Das, with creative guidelines from Mora

Patchwork management with Madhu Mittal

Stitching by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab