Yuánfèn 缘分

Weaves by Tai Khampti indigenous weavers | Handspun handwoven natural dyed Eri Silk
Spoken for

Tai khampti artisans wove 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 Nang Amlavati. If I gathered right, her own mother wove this weave, or perhaps aunty, her mother-in-law.

Amla’s mother-in-law was a great weaver too and gave me many inputs over these years on understanding weaving as a concept. Because she could put together words in Hindi and was an amazingly charming woman-teacher, I felt a deeper connect with her and could talk to her around many topics.

I connect the deepest with grandmothers, anyways. Aunty passed away last year leaving many of us remembering her as a weaving mentor who always had a welcoming big smile. I can still hear how she would call my name when I would arrive at the threshold of their home in Namsai. Namsai in Khampti means Water & Sand- Nam is Water, Sai is Sand.

At Namsai, I felt Yuánfèn with Aunty and the rest of Amla’s family. Through her I met many weavers in the neighbourhood. Over these years, I saw her children grow. When Aunty passed away, Amla and I reflected together about her life.

Such textiles are not just weaves intertwined. Such textiles are many years woven in the pattern of life bringing together the land, the soil, the festivals, the people, their culture, their prayers, our collective ups and downs. We check on each other’s well being from time to time. These weaves are reward of co experiencing a certain passage of time together. A slice of time documented in the Infinite.

Aunty always made tea with tez patta- bay leaves. I liked how she made tea. She also sat together while we ate meals and would tell me how to best enjoy their recipes.

Famous cantonese saying translates as,

Ten years of merit brings two people to cross a river in the same ferry, and a hundred of merit brings two people to rest their heads on the same pillow.

This is Yuánfèn.

The weaves of the drape and pallu are made by Tai Khampti weavers on the land where Tai Khampti people reside, supervised and consent by local artisans and their families, providing livelihood to women in the district. This Sari was made as part of an initiative that has lasted more than 5 years, where about 30 women earned livelihood under the leadership of Nang Amlavati. These weaves are not bought but commissioned work woven with cotton brought from Salem, Tamil Nadu in order to encourage use of cotton over synthetic yarns.

I combined the base and pleats of handspun handwoven Eri silk to complement the intricately woven weaves in the drape and Pallu.

Blouse fabric

Buyer Empowerments

Eri silk aspect of Sari
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 Sari
Indigenous textiles of Arunachal Pradesh that involves traditional handloom weaving.
Mill spun mercerised cotton yarn with Azo-free dyeing.
Combined aspects of the Sari
One of a kind heirloom textile that brings together Tai Khampti tribe weaving motifs with Eri Silk. It was intentional decision to make the colour and patterns of the weaves be highlighted by setting them next to very gentle usage of ivory white Eri silk, shaded indigo and ivory white border, along with green hued natural dyed Eri silk.
Weather/ Mood
Pleasant-not warm not cold. Should give warmth on a slightly nippy evening. Should also protect from blazing Sun.
Not fragile
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.
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.
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 and 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