Zari on Paat from Assam | Cow dung, Onion skin and turmeric dyed Eri Silk | Shawl
This is a shawl of two sides, each side representing three distinct silks of the textile heritage of Assam, Paat and Eri.
In the Paat aspect of the shawl, I have brought to highlight traditional motifs of Assam, that is a symbol associated with 600 year long autonomous royalty of Ahom kingdom in the North East Indian region. Paat silk is a mulberry-fed filament based silk that carries a distinct lustre. The traditional process of silk extraction aims towards retaining this lustre to its maximum. I too have retained the original liking and tradition of the makers in Paat side of the shawl.
To give an interesting balance to the lustre of Paat, I have added subtle wooly texture of cow dung dyed Eri Silk with panels of onion skin and turmeric dyed Eri Silk.
Eri Silk is one of the rare wild silks that has been blessed with the property of fibrous cocoon with a wooly texture. The hand- spinning process of this silk is also absolutely different from all filament-based silks. It is more akin to wool and cotton spinning. Hand-spun Eri silk is then woven on traditional throw shuttle loom, lending it a unique texture unlike any other silk.
This shawl is a versatile addition to the wardrobe. I wore it with Muga Ghicha Kalidaar and Kurti to make the greens to contrast. It would be equally beautiful to wear this as a side shawl with a plain/Zari sari or even with a monotone tusser or muga ensemble.
Azeem is a 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.
Ensemble worn with the shawl is not included. It can be custom made on request.
About Eri Silk and Natural dyeing:
Eri Silk is a wild silk with a wooly fibrous filament hand spun into yarn, handwoven on traditional throw shuttle looms of Assam. It is elegant in drape, subtle in appearance and the texture of fabric does not carry obvious lustre that we typically associate with silk. Eri Silk being a protein fibre absorbs most natural dyes.
Natural Dyeing involves a series of high precision steps to bring out the adequate conditions for textiles to absorb and retain dye. With non-injury as our core totem, we have given colour to this fabric using those natural sources that are procured locally, leaving least violent footprints on life and nature. The dye raw material is natural i.e. plant and resin based, instantly compostable, non-industrial and non- toxic.
Eri 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.
Paat Silk aspect of shawl
Involves traditional handloom weaving.
Yarn is produced from cocoons reared in Sericulture units. Zari is sourced from Zari thread makers.
The combined aspects of the shawl
One of a kind wearable textile that collages three prominent silks of Assam into one piece.
Pleasant-not warm not cold.
Not fragile. (Fabrics detachable without much effort if future demands choice of up-cycling or alteration).
Dry Clean only; Needs “Airing” in shadow, not direct sun. One may want to be more gentle with the woven zari threads on Paat aspect of the shawl.
Formal, Festive, Elegant, intentional statement.
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Made in rural household. Weaves made by artisan at home in available time-supporting farming lifestyle.
No bargaining with artisans. Mutual decision-making.
Eri Silk made with supervision from Narmohan Das, Assam.
Stitched by Gurmel Singh, Jalalabad, Punjab.
Beadwork: Mamta, Jalalabad, Punjab.