Shawl made with back strap loom
weaves of Nagaland.
Combined with natural dyed,
hand spun, hand woven Eri silk of Assam.
This shawl has two sides.
One side has two panels woven on back strap loom and then hand stitched using indigenous needle stitching skill of Nagaland. These panels are woven keeping an intuitive mirror image where the desired motifs fall in natural symmetry. Even now, these weavers do not use any precision tools to achieve calculations. They still use the ancient methods of measuring with palm and elbow length. The repetitive braid and tassel motif lends playfulness to this traditional shawl.
The other side is handspun, hand woven eri silk where we used turmeric dyed and non-dyed natural ivory to create a shaded denim-like effect. The turmeric used to dye the yarn is from Meghalaya, more specifically Khasi hills, is believed to be one of the least fugitive turmeric dye sources. The two different colours of warp and weft are woven on traditional throw shuttle loom of Assam. These looms are simplified older looms where the basic main frame is formed using four posts or pillars dug steady into mud ground.
The bright joyous contrast of Purple, Blue, yellow and red makes nature come alive.
So, I chose to call this shawl as a combination of two words: Patkai Kamrup. Patkai is the hill range passing through Nagaland, and ancient Kamrup is the district of Assam where we our eri silk is created.
Eri silk aspect of shawl:
Wearable textile made with ancient spinning, weaving and dyeing techniques. Home- reared, Hand spun, hand woven following indigenous methodology of Assam
Protein base. 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.
Thermal insulation, Moisture absorption, UV protective, completely bio-degradable.
Naga weaves aspect of shawl:
Using indigenous textile motif and skill. Involves traditional back strap loom weaving of Nagaland
Cellulose base. Mill spun mercerised cotton yarn with Azo-free dyeing
The combined aspects of the shawl
One of a kind wearable textile that compliments textile heritage of neighbouring states Assam and Nagaland. I find Eri silk and back strap loom textures an interesting blend.
Brings out some intentional geometry created through meticulous stitching blending fabrics of different weight and density.
Pleasant-not warm not cold. Should give warmth on a slightly nippy evening. Should also protect from blazing Sun.
Dry Clean only; Needs “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. The dyes are completely natural. It will experience changes over years of use. That is how nature is. It changes. Do not wring. Occasional starch finish will lift up the form.
Made in rural household.
Weaves made by artisan at home in available time- supporting farming lifestyle.
In support of indigenous knowledge of Nagaland and Assam.
Supporting community initiative of Malkha India.
No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making.
No deadline/ pressure based work environment.
No gender structures assumed while designing the product. Fit for all.
Best wrapped around the shoulders over a dress or kurta. Has good gravity drape. Modern, “favourite staple”, can double up as elegant formal or casual fun.
Eri Silk weaves made under supervision of Narmohan Das following the creative guidelines from mora.
Weaves made with North East Network, Nagaland.
following the creative guidelines from mora.
Cotton yarn sourced from Salem, Tamil Nadu.
Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Tassels by Param, Bathinda, Punjab.