Broad shawl made with natural dyed, hand spun, hand woven Eri silk of Assam, combined with back strap loom weaves and Malkha
Zappaa is Kuzhale word for joyous, content and sometimes synonymous with “big thank you”.
This shawl is Zappaa because she has bursts of technical and creative surprises that give me immense joy to share with you.
Zappaa is a double sided broad shawl. Both sides represent distinct textile prowess.
On one side, indigenous weaves woven on back strap loom of Nagaland form the center highlight bordered by handspun, handwoven, natural dyed Eri Silk along with natural dyed Malkha cotton.
The border braid tassels inherently present in this weave create dimensional play and pan our attention from colours to the intricate motifs of the weave. The hills, triangles, lines arranged in a pattern small and big assumes a technical highlight with closer immersion.
Other side forms an asymmetrical ode to these natural textiles bound together in an intuitive geometry. Upon closer look, you will chance upon traces of back strap weaves streaming into soft Eri silk, that in turn will effortlessly flow into the solidity of Malkha. All colours of nature stitched meticulously using our tailor’s growing abilities of steadfast stitching where he is able to bind together different densities, textures and shapes with wisdom.
When I see a patchwork made with this finesse and mastery of skill, I wonder what certain handloom textile fraternity is complaining about when they say, “stitched is not hardy. Why did you have to stitch it. Why stitch weaves? You could have gotten it woven together.”
I say to that skepticism, “With our evolving skill, why should we not explore to stitch what was considered not good to stitch? Who sets the rules of fragility. Why ignore stitching/ tailoring as a master skill? Why abandon master craftsmen of stitching?”
In this way, I have taken the limitation of this repetitive criticism and turned it around to make it my joyous motivation and create an example of stitching that bends the unnecessary rules. Zappaa!! Those who are able to see stitching as a skill along side weaving, hand spinning and all other handcraft skills, are an essential fuel to Mora’s passion.
Zappaa to tailors! Zappaa to weavers! Zappaa to spinners! Zappaa to rearers! Zappaa to makers! Zappaa to facilitators! Zappaa to buyers!
Skeptics be Zappaa!
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 with Malkha.
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.
Not fragile. Even if Eri Silk wears out after much use, you may like to keep the weaves of Nagaland to re-purpose them. My Eri Silk dress has lasted a decade already with rough regular use.
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.
Cotton fabric by Malkha India.
Cotton yarn sourced from Salem, Tamil Nadu.
Patchwork management by Madhu Mittal.
Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Tassels by Param, Bathinda, Punjab.