Hand spun natural dyed Eri silk woven on back strap loom and throw shuttle loom | Shawl
The edges of the shawl are turmeric, indigo and cow dung dyed Eri Silk woven on throw shuttles loom of Assam.
The panelled part of the shawl is woven with hand spun turmeric, cow dung, lac, myrobalan and indigo dyed Eri silk yarn carried from Kamrup district Assam to remote regions of Nagaland. During pandemic, this project of weaving hand spun Eri Silk on back strap loom was conceived as a livelihood opportunity, while also creating a training module to weave a texture of yarn new to the local weavers. Weaving on back strap loom lends a unique slub texture to Eri silk. To achieve that texture, hand spun Eri had to be laced with rice starch and then warped on to back strap looms. We played with loose and tight weave style to explore possibilities. The diversity of textures it brought out was a technical breakthrough for us.
We involved old grandmothers and young teenagers for this three year project and made an interesting payment structure that involved multiple people to work on a single shawl and have the freedom to earn at various loosely structured steps. That set some motivation in the group. It was a slow project but a meaningful one because of the involvement of some key individuals who are motivated to work with their community and bring growth to their people.
I connect with this model instinctively. And I hope I can keep nurturing this and find a way to make creative livelihood options for weavers in remote regions.
Pragya is one of a kind textile designed to highlight a unique coming together of various techniques and creativity of handcraft. This design will not be recreated.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.