Weaves on back strap loom
with Eri Silk of Assam & Cotton of Arunachal Pradesh
Ailyak is a beautiful Bulgarian term for the subtle art of doing everything calmly and without rushing, whilst enjoying the experience and life in general.
This shawl is Ailyak because it is made gently travelling through various geographies to come together.
Back strap or loin loom panel is meticulously crafted tessellation of lozenge motif made in rural Nagaland. Back strap weaving technique offers an interesting back and front side play of colours. I have used this to the advantage of the design by alternating the dark shades with brighter hues and light shades highlighted through mellow hues of colour. The interaction brings about the yin and yang energy of the two sides which reflects my key design philosophy at the moment.
Eri silk is handspun, handwoven and natural dyed using tea and turmeric using indigenous skill by weavers of Kamrup, Assam. The eri silkworms are reared at home by families and not commercial sericulture units. Handspinning of yarn is done without of Charkha, which means the intricacy levels of yarn spinning are even more demanding. Eri silk is woven on traditional throw shuttle loom and now modern adaptations of fly shuttle or Jacquard looms. The textiles are woven with natural dyed hanks rather than dyeing the fabrics after weaving. Hank dyeing is a more labour intensive dyeing process than fabric dyeing.
The purple cotton is woven by Tai Khampti community in Arunachal Pradesh using cotton yarn from Salem, Tamil Nadu.
The final binding of shawl happened in Punjab with Gurmel’s steadfast stitching technique.
The fibres, yarn and woven fabrics travelled were created at their own pace without any hurry to finish. That slowness brings enjoyment like a good old afternoon siesta on a hot day when cool breeze hits the face suddenly and out of no where! One who knows what is siesta will know what is Ailyak and the spirit with which this shawl is made!
Sending Ailyak to your everyday, every moment with this shawl!
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.
Naga weaves and Purple cotton aspect of shawl
Naga weaves are made using indigenous textile motif and skill. Involves traditional back strap loom weaving. Plain solid purple is woven on throw shuttle loom.
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, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. I find Eri silk and back strap loom textures an interesting blend. Brings out some intentional geometry created through meticulous stitching, weaving motifs and by 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.
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. The dyes will experience changes over years of use. That is how nature is. It changes.
Casual, best wrapped around the shoulders over a dress or kurta. Has a comfort fall. Can also lend an elegant and formal look is teamed with the right colours and textures!
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.
Supports back strap loom weaving culture
Slow production. Slow movement. “At your own pace”
Eri Silk weaves made under supervision of Narmohan Das following the creative guidelines from mora.
Weaves made with North East Network, Nagaland.
Cotton solids made under supervision of Nang Amlavati, Arunachal Pradesh. Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Tulsi beads by Param, Bathinda, Punjab.