Tai Khampti weaves | Handspun natural dyed Eri silk
Spoken for

This is a double sided shawl.

Side 1 is handspun myrobalan dyed Eri silk woven on throw shuttle loom of Assam.

About Eri Silk and Natural dyeing

Eri Silk is a wild silk with a wooly fibrous filament hand spun into yarn, handwoven on traditional throw shuttle looms of Assam. It is elegant in drape, subtle in appearance and the texture of fabric does not carry obvious lustre that we typically associate with silk. Eri Silk being a protein fibre absorbs most natural dyes.

Natural Dyeing involves a series of high precision steps to bring out the adequate conditions for textiles to absorb and retain dye. With non-injury as our core totem, we have given colour to this fabric using those natural sources that are procured locally, leaving least violent footprints on life and nature. The dye raw material is natural i.e. plant and resin based, instantly compostable, non-industrial and non- toxic.

Side 2 carries weaves crafted by Tai Khampti weavers.

About Tai Khampti weaving

Tai khampti artisans have woven an intricate striped weave pattern using the local motif called kes. While the input on the colours and dimensions came from me, the weaving supervision was carried out by a courageous woman named Nang Amlavati.

My association with Tai Khampti tribe began in 2012 when I expressed my wish to work with weaves of their community. She said she would involve her family- her own mother, mother-in-law and sisters-in-law to experiment making some weaves together. She mentioned that since they had not woven Shawls like this before, this would involve some trial and errors. What started out among the family members in the year 2012, soon extended itself to about 30 homes of Namsai district.

In 2013, we brought about 500 kgs of cotton yarn to Arunachal Pradesh and took it as a drive to sensitise weavers towards using cotton over synthetic yarns for their indigenous weaves. Amla has championed the work we carried out with Tai Khampti weavers for more years than I could ever imagine. She began engaging untrained weavers, single mothers, and older women to engage in weaving plain, checks and striped fabrics. Rather than buying plain handloom fabrics from mainland, we began creating livelihood opportunities by weaving less intricate weaves as a medium of training new weavers and convenient income for trained ones.

I have a clear memory of a walk in the lanes of Namsai. The mud roads and bamboo homes on both sides. I walked steadily with Amla while she was making me peep into each house. At a small strech of about 200 metres, each house on both sides of the road had a loom, and each loom had this cotton being woven. Many weavers were weaving at that very moment and sound still reverberates in my ears. That “thik thak thik thak thik thak”. That was a walk of what potentialities come alive with courage. One of those textiles is this Shawl I have named after Amlavati.

There were times when my enthusiasm would experience a lull, though Amla kept the warp and weft going, weave after weave. It is for this that I will always hold a special bond with this family as well as Tai Khampti courage to take up what most would say no to.

Here is to Amlavati and her courage, a Shawl made with her family! All plains, textured, stripes, checks and intricate motifs in this Shawl are achieved with the set of weavers trained with this initiative.

Buyer Empowerments

Eri silk aspect of Shawl
Wearable textile made with ancient spinning, weaving and dyeing techniques. Home- reared, Hand spun, hand woven following indigenous methodology.
100 % natural, Protein- based, organic, hand-made, from nature-back to nature. Something to grow old with and then pass it on to loved ones.
Well-being properties
Thermal insulation, Moisture absorption, UV protective, completely bio-degradable.
Tai Khampti weaves aspect of Shawl
Indigenous textiles from Arunachal Pradesh that involves traditional handloom weaving.
Mill spun mercerised cotton yarn with Azo-free dyeing
The combined aspects of the Shawl
One of a kind heirloom textile that brings together Tai Khampti tribe weaving motifs with Eri Silk. The intricate weaves set in contrast to soft delicate Eri silk lend an elegant drape. I wanted the blues of the weaves to pop out effortlessly so I imagined a charcoal and mellow layers of blue to create a gentle flow of colours. I like the way the subtle contrast turned out eventually.
Weather/ Mood
Pleasant-not warm not cold. Should give warmth on a slightly nippy evening. Should also protect from blazing Sun.
Eri Silk can last a lifetime if well looked after. The lose threads of the weave are a witness to it being a handwoven textile. Looking after those loose threads will add to longevity.
Dry Clean only; Needs “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. Do not wring. Occasional starch with uplift the drape. Be careful to not pull the yarn of weaves if ever they get entangled.
Ready to wear
Statement piece, heirloom, traditional translated to modern
Made in rural household. Weaves made by artisan at home in available time- supporting farming lifestyle.
In support of slow movement
In support of indigenous knowledge of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making.
No deadline/ pressure based work environment.
Livelihood generation for single women, old grandmothers, untrained weavers
Supports non- industrial tailoring skills.
Faith in up-skilling unskilled artisans.
Tai Khampti weaves made with support from Nang Amlavati, Arunachal Pradesh.
Eri silk handspun, hand woven, natural dyed with supervision from Narmohan Das, Assam.
Cotton yarn for Tai Khampti weaves from Salem, Tamil Nadu.
Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Beadwork by Param, Bathinda, Punjab.
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

A celebration of humanness.
Mora Collective 2024
designed by: MIDTOAN