Windows and Kaleidoscopes

Cotton patchwork and Malkha Dupatta
How we make kaleidoscope with fabrics

First the colours of the patchwork are chosen. Then they were fixed as equal sized square boxes. To make equal size boxes, first intersecting lines are drawn and the fabric is cut keeping stitching margins. These margins are then painstakingly ironed piece by piece from all four sides. Then they are stitched together joining the four sides. Now to make kaleidoscope, the two adjoining squares are split into two and cut from the centre. These are then turned into triangles. The two triangles when joined together form a new square. These squares when placed diagonally, form the diamond pattern. These patterns when places one after another, become the kaleidoscope.

This requires mastered skill of patience, perseverance and precision. Hours, days and weeks go into putting small patches together.

This is a double sided dupatta.

One side of pomegranate dyes hold the kaleidoscope. There are also few “windows” on this side. Those windows tell what the kaleidoscope hides. They are the gateway to the other side.

The other side is Alzarine dyed red of Malkha.

Together they become one.

Why I want to make these Kaliedoscope patchworks

The focussed intention that our tailor Gurmel’s face takes on whenever he sets himself to stitch another of these is a moment of silent exhilaration we share. He admits most often, he never thought he could make this. He also admits he is most keen to learn. And his heart is hard working. He wants to improve. He wants to do new things.

When he makes the kaleidoscopes, they first take birth in our heart. I visualise. He captures that visualisation. I intuitively choose colours, he technically binds them together. Playing with sacred geometry, we are never able to predict what the final mood of the patchwork will be like. So, we started enjoying this limitation. We now have a pact, we raise up the patchwork and see it only once its all put together. Before that we watch it stitch by stitch coming together, shifting shapes.

Some triangles fall in place and some tell us “keep doing, you are perfecting the act of doing imperfectly till it all begins to fall in place.

Buyer Empowerments

Involves precision stitching skills and understanding of geometry for desired placements.
Intricate patchwork set in contrast with the solids on the reverse side. The choice of colours is as deliberate as intuitional.
Weather/ Mood
Pleasant- okay for summers to nippy evenings
Not fragile
Dry Clean only; Needs “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun
Ready to wear
Natural dyed Malkha cotton as base fabric. Patchwork includes many handlooms cotton- not natural dyed.
Supports non- industrial tailoring skills. Faith in up-skilling unskilled artisans.
Statement piece, celebratory, vibrant, traditional translated to modern
Fabric: Malkha India for their most beautiful textiles;
various handlooms of Central and south India;
Some fabrics woven in Arunachal under Amlavati’s supervision using cotton from Salem.
Patchwork and Stitching by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Tassels 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