Muga with Tai Khampti weaves
& Kanchipuram silk with Zari
I named this Kalidaar as a combination of two words- Jurun and Kalyanam, representing the two auspicious silks of Assam and Kanchipuram respectively.
Kalyanam is auspicious. A blessing. A Prayer. A union. A wedding.
Jurun is a a traditional Assamese pre-wedding ceremony. On this day, the groom’s mothers brings many gifts for the bride at the bride’s place. After the bride’s mother welcomes the groom’s mother with Tamul (beetle nut) and Paan (beetle leaf), the groom’s hands over an exciting mix of things in the trousseau. Clothes, jewellery, make-up things, vermillion, a mirror and such. What really caught my eye in this ensemble of gifts was the two pots of rice grains, curd, a fish and some Haldi and Urad dal.
To bring alive the festivity of a traditional wedding from two different geographies, I decided to combine Kanchipuram silk and the intricate Zari border with pure muga of Assam. I got Muga yarn from Gogamukh in upper Assam, a place known for good rearing of this wild silk called Muga. And then took it to the Tai Khampti weavers of Arunachal Pradesh to turn this yarn into a weave with beautiful delicate motifs.
These two traditional textiles together form the dupatta of this ensemble.
For the Kalidaar (ghagra or skirt), I have used raw silk in a festive colour contrast that accentuate richness of the dupatta.
I chose Kanchipuram Silk stripes for blouse fabric. It pops our the crimson and magenta tones and blends the whole ensemble together.
The blouse used in the photoshoot is not part of the ensemble.
Muga aspect of the kalidaar
Wearable textile made using indigenous methodology of wild-silk rearing and spinning Muga silk of Assam. Combined with hand weaving from a tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
Protein-based, organic, from nature-back to nature. Heirloom to grow old with and then pass it on to loved ones.
Kanchipuram and raw silk aspect of the Kalidaar
Involves traditional handloom weaving of Kanchipuram using traditional motifs with mulberry silk and zari
Kanchipuram and raw silk are all sourced from Khadi silk makers whose business model wouldn’t allow use of small cut pieces and hence would discard huge quantities. The fabrics are all pure silk-mark approved, however nature of dye source is unknown. These remains are called “waste, reject or injured saris”
The combined aspects of the kalidaar
One of a kind wearable textile that brings together a wild silk from Assam with a mulberry silk from Kanchipuram. Their textures complimented each other to blend artistically using a pleasant set of celebratory colours.
Pleasant-not warm not cold. Also good for early winters.
Not fragile. (Fabrics detachable without much effort if future demands choice of up-cycling or alteration).
Dry Clean only; Needs “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. One may want to be more gentle with the woven zari threads of Kanchipuram aspect of the Kalidaar.
Made in rural household- grassroots production. No bargaining with artisans. Use of natural fibres. Up cycling.
Formal, Elegant, Good for weddings or for brides who like to make a subtle statement, traditional, festive without being loud.
Weaving of Muga done under supervision of Nang Dharmavati from Arunachal Pradesh,
following the creative guidelines from mora.
Hand spun Muga yarn from Gogamukh, Assam.
Raw Silk by Khadi Gramodyog.
Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Beadwork: Mamta, Jalalabad, Punjab.