Taana | Warp
Narrow shawl made with back strap loom weaves. Combined with Eri silk of Assam.
The shawl’s central highlight is back strap loom weaves on one side of the shawl. And the other side holds the subtle story through natural dyed, hand spun, hand woven Eri silk. Together they are bound with cotton woven by Tai Khampti tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
My decision to align my focus of learning with back strap loom was a slow organic progression. Back strap loom is intrinsic to most hill and mountains ethnic communities. The simple, portable, non-bulky, non-mechanised, made from nature loom is ideal for their geographic circumstances. As I began to live with these communities, the dynamic nature of weaving on this loom began to unfold. My most euphoric moment was when I realised that the magic of back strap loom lies in the warp. If you want colours, motifs, textures they will all become visible only through the meticulous planning in the warp. Weft is more or less a hidden aspect.
The shawl’s motifs reflect that dynamic play of alternating warp. And is my way of sharing the joy of this loom and the wonders it is capable of creating.
Seeing the amount of synthetic yarn used on back strap looms and unavailability of good quality cotton yarn, I took a long dive into faith by procuring cotton yarn in huge quality from Salem, Tamil Nadu. This decision to bring cotton not only benefitted Mora, but also allowed some organisations to use that yarn to make their traditional weaves. Besides that, a magical moment happened when some weavers decided to barter cotton instead of taking wages. Cotton weaving gave birth to a desire to wear cotton instead of wearing synthetic wrap around that had been giving them health issues. This was not a “great impact” but definitely a gentle nudge!
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 and cotton weaves aspect of shawl
Using indigenous textile motif and skill. Involves traditional back strap loom weaving of Nagaland and throw shuttle loom of Tai Khampti.
Cellulose base. Mill spun mercerised cotton yarn with Azo-free dyeing
The combined aspects of the shawl
One of a kind wearable textile that pays homage to the importance of good warp in back strap loom weaving. By alternating the warp ends, intentional geometry is achieved with meticulous calculations and seasoned skill.
Pleasant-not warm not cold. Should give warmth on a slightly nippy evening. Should also protect from blazing Sun.
Not fragile. Even if Eri Silk wears out after much use, you may like to keep the weaves of Nagaland to re-purpose them.
Dry Clean only; Needs “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. Do not wring. Occasional starch finish will lift up the form.
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.
Made in rural household.
Weaves made by artisan at home in available time- supporting farming lifestyle.
In support of indigenous knowledge of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making.
No deadline/ pressure based work environment.
No gender structures assumed while designing the product.
Solid cotton woven with supervision of Nang Amlavati, Arunachal Pradesh.
Eri Silk weaves made under supervision of Narmohan Das following the creative guidelines from mora.
Naga weaves woven on cotton with North East Network, Nagaland.
Cotton yarn sourced from Salem, Tamil Nadu.
Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Tassels by Param, Bathinda, Punjab.