Xin Khap

Silks and motifs of Ahom lineage
Spoken for
This is a shawl of two sides, each side representing two distinct silks of the textile heritage of Assam, Paat and Eri.

In the Paat aspect of the shawl, I have brought to highlight Xin or king Khap motif, that is a symbol associated with 600 year long autonomous royalty of Ahom kingdom in the North East Indian region. Paat silk is a mulberry-fed filament based silk that carries a distinct lustre. The traditional process of silk extraction aims towards retaining this lustre to its maximum. I too have retained the original liking and tradition of the makers in Paat side of the shawl.

To give an interesting balance to the lustre of Paat, to the other side, Eri Silk has been added. Eri Silk is one of the rare wild silks that has been blessed with the property of fibrous cocoon with a wooly texture. The hand- spinning process of this silk is also absolutely different from all filament-based silks. It is rather more akin to wool and cotton spinning. Hand-spun Eri silk is then woven on traditional throw shuttle loom, lending it a unique texture unlike any other silk. When natural dyed using a composition of Lac and Indigo to derive that purple, I felt like it compliments the energy of the Xin khap motif on the other side.

Often in the company of the weavers from Assam, we have repeated the importance of synchronising of five kala (art, craft or skill) to make a weave appear.

Kala of hands
Kala of feet
Kala of eyes
Kala of Manas (heart)
Kala of mind

When, in a human, these five find that complete focused zone of synching mind to heart to hand to feet to eyes, then comes forward the wonder of human evolution- Weaving. Though unchanged in its basic fundamentals since thousands of years, it is in this meticulous synchronising that a weaver is set apart from the masters of weaving.

I have seen with my eyes, what their face looks like when all their sense meet in perfect harmony. In that zone they are able to weave, hum, calculate complex mathematics of motifs, and keep their ears open to household needs. That zone is unexplainable in words.

This sums up some of the weavers of Assam.

Buyer Empowerments

Eri silk aspect of shawl
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.
Weaves made under supervision of Narmohan Das following the creative guidelines from mora
Paat Silk aspect of shawl
Involves traditional handloom weaving.
Yarn is produced from cocoons reared in Sericulture units. Zari is sourced from Zari thread makers.
Weaves made under supervision of Rupa Dutta following the creative guidelines from mora
The combined aspects of the shawl
One of a kind wearable textile that collages two prominent silks of Assam into one piece.
Weather/ Mood
Pleasant-not warm not cold.
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 on Paat aspect of the shawl.
Ready to wear
Made in rural household. Weaves made by artisan at home in available time- supporting farming lifestyle. No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making. No deadline/ pressure based work environment.
Formal, Elegant, intentional statement, traditional, Dressy without being loud.
Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Beadwork: Mamta, Jalalabad, 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