चौकोर Chaukor

Handspun handwoven Indigo dyed Eri Silk | Kalamkari | Malkha box patchwork
Spoken for

I have been integrating more intentional geometry in creating patchworks that could speak different design language. I play around with the size of the squares and see what proportions of stripes will blend with the aesthetics. What colours next to each other make the squares pop, what makes them surrender. To me squares are like tiles.

Stage 1:
I picked Indigo handspun Eri Silk as the base textile. I work primarily with Narmohan Dada on Eri Silk. He is my teacher and he is my pursuit in Eri silk education. I reflect ideas to him and he bounces them off to me with technique and how to pursue the idea. Under his mentorship, my love affair with Eri silk is taking a mature commitment. His nuances of understanding of textiles, I do not see anywhere else in books, schools or any words.

When I see him work with his mother, sisters and the women of neighbouring villages, when he passionately observes the yarn and weaves, I bow to his spirit as a teacher. I asked him I do not want fabric dyed eri silk. We must dye the yarn first and then weave to bring deeper consistency.

He makes those exceptions for me because I do not bind him with time and effort.

We have never shared the concept of bargaining costs. We understand that a work of craft must not be bargained. We both feel inspired by the same aspiration of innovation while keeping the weaver interest on top of priority. This is how we build a healthy exchange of an ethic we co-believe.

Stage 2:
I picked natural dyed Malkha of Malkha India to make the bold geometry with squares. The hardiness of malkha gave me the confidence that this textile will hold squares up and straight without any limp at the corners.

I have never met people of Malkha India directly though whenever I touch their fabric, I can feel their in-depth contact with the yarn. I admire their work culture whatever I have heard of it and stand in solidarity with initiatives that offer so much so learn from.

Stage 3:
I thought long and hard about what symmetry or what aesthetic could bring fluidity to the rigid structure of this Sari so far. So many permutations and combinations but my heart kept going towards this gentle Kalamkari. Gentle dimensions. Gentle story. It brought in the softness to the whole ensemble the moment I put it next to the Pallu.

Stage 4:
To blend the whole, I felt, why not use anar yellow Malkha for the borders and edging. This soft yellow gave the final signature that settled my heart. No more is needed now.

This is how this Sari came about. One stage at a time. No spark of creative burst. No sudden clear vision. But slow evolving, playing, juggling with the idea of putting together four different plots in the same story, like four different corners of a single square.

When it all came together, I felt some architecture in it. In the end it squared up well. Chaukor it is!

Buyer Empowerments

Wearable textile that collages indigenous technique of handcrafting Eri Silk of Assam with Kalamkari of Sri Kalahasthi and cotton of Malkha India.
One of a kind Sari envisioned to be playful with geometry and the possibilities it reveals.
Weather/ Mood
Pleasant-not warm not cold
Sturdy where textures will grow with time. Natural dyes will go through their natural course of alterations
Dry clean recommended. “Made to not be fragile”. Care-free. Seasonal “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. Do not wring.
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.
Natural, organic, hand-made. Something to grow old with and then pass it on to loved ones.
The combined aspects of the shawl
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 textile knowledge of Assam.
No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making.
No deadline/ pressure based work environment.
In support of natural dyeing through locally available resources
Supports non- industrial tailoring skills.
In support of grassroots initiatives like Malkha India
Supporting Kalamkari artisans of Sri Kalahasti
Drape: Statement textile, heirloom, traditional translated to modern.
Well-being Properties
Eri Silk offers Thermal insulation, Moisture absorption, UV protective, completely bio-degradable.
Kalamkari by Subbarao, Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh.
Natural Dyed Eri silk made with Narmohan Das.
Solid cotton fabric by Malkha India.
Stitching 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