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.
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.
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.
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.
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!