ho | Good wonder

MR21105
Riha woven with Tai Khampti artisans of Arunachal Pradesh | Tile patchwork in Pallu | Window patchwork in drape
Spoken for

I spoke to my family that about making a complete shift from sewing machine to hand stitched a few years back. Upon much back and forth of ideas, we immediately confronted the idea with conscience decision making.

Do we have to be completely “hand stitched”?
Do we support home sewing machine craft?

During one of our conversations with Gurmel Singh, Mora’s only tailor, he mentioned how it is becoming increasingly difficult for master tailors to survive. With cheaper option of clothing readily available, he sees tailoring as a dying craft. As there are less and less people looking for tailors, there is also growing lack of motivation in the youth to learn tailoring. He comes from a generation of tailors in the family and he thinks it is great loss to the sentiment of craft if stitching is abandoned.

I feel home sewing machine stitching is the best bridge between completely hand crafted by hand stitching and a completely commercially produced industrial stitching products. When I observe Gurmel stitching, I always find it tilting more towards hand craft than machine craft. Tailor is the extension of a sewing machine. Each stitch reflects his attention, reflexes and training. Since, Mora has chosen more dearly a two dimensional canvas, we need to immerse even more deeply in our stitching skills to bring celebration to a simple form.

How steadfast is the stitch?
Will it hold the gravity and tension?
How straight is the line of stitch? How many waves?
How many overlaps and slips in the stitch?
Is the colour of thread in sync with the stitch? In a patchwork, how many times the colour of thread is changed?
How pointed are the corners?
How aligned are the stripes?
What would be the most secure way to bind two textiles together?
How well do the textiles of different density and weight bind together? Are there bulging stitches? Or are they all well settled? How well are they interacting with gravity?

Often I talk to Gurmel why the hand woven textiles don't remain straight, why are the selvages wavy, why sometimes the beginning and the end may not match in width. He doesn't like handwoven because it is never super straight. To his geometry its a nightmare! But he has started to enjoy these challenges over time and says that, "these fabrics must have been made with a lot of effort in faraway places. People must have worked hard to make them. You work very hard to bring them here, so I should put my best effort too.”

I call this sari a good wonder, a question, translated as Ho in Cantonese. Not a doubt. Not just curiosity. But a good wonder arising from a good feedback to the mind.

In this Sari, we brought together the check pattern weave called Riha woven by Tai Khampti weavers along side a window-technique striped patchwork stretching through the pleats and drape. This culminates into a tiled asymmetrical patchwork in the pallu. Diverse textures and density blend together bringing out the skill Gurmel carries in his seasoned fingers. He used his old scissor, old machine, old iron. And wishes that he can continue to find their spare and repair parts.

Buyer Empowerments

Intrinsic
Value
Cotton fabric shreds bound together into patchwork. Traditional handloom weaving by Tai khampti tribe which was part of the cotton sensitising drive and untrained weaver training in Arunachal Pradesh.
Creative
Aspect
One of a kind wearable textile that collages diverse cotton textures together. Intricately stitched patchwork forms the highlight of the sari as a Pallu.
Heft-Feel
Moderate
Weather/ Mood
Perfect for summers.
Longevity
Not fragile. Steadfast stitching.
Care
Dry Clean only; Needs “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. Do not wring for longevity of patchwork stitches.
State
Sari is ready to wear. All saris come with blouse fabric(s). No fall/ beading required. The blouse used in photoshoot is for representation only and may not be the same blouse available with the sari. The blouse fabric given with the sari will be more in alignment with the aesthetics intended.
Soul
Few fabrics mill spun mercerised cotton yarn with Azo-free dyeing. Other sourced fabrics, soul of yarn unknown.
Drape
Elegant, Modern, expresses love for geometry
Concerns
Addressed
Slow production of solid check woven in Arunachal Pradesh.
Livelihood generation and training for new untrained weavers by means of weaving simple plain fabrics that do not take specialised skill.
Up-cycling of textile remains of injured, reject textiles to reduce textile/ fabric scrap waste.
Fabric shred up-cycling and re-purposing.
Cotton yarn for Riha from Salem, Tamil Nadu.
Weaving of check fabrics done with supervision from Nang Amlavati, Arunachal Pradesh.
Patchwork management by Madhu Mittal, Punjab.
Tile and window patchwork by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Stitching by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Beadwork by Param, Bathinda, 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

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