Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The sari

Sushila's embroidered nuno felt, detail.

The project making memories with The Indian Association in Oldham, is taking its own direction. Like a run-away train, the groups enthusiasm and talents are leading us their own way.

I had envisaged the nuno feltmaking would only be for one week, however more people kept joining the group, and the felt making work spilt into another week. That week saw the start of the embroidery, that took off, with more interest and excitement, that spilled over into this week, now participants are decorating their felts, adding symbols, birds and faces, taking their work home to add more colour and texture. It was such a success, the ladies didn't want to move even when lunch arrived. 
These lovely pieces will (in theory) be finished next week, and new ideas introduced, inspired by our conversations of yesterday. My notes are below.

Pratima's embroidered priest

Chandra embroidering nuno felt

"Old sari's used for quilting, folded over and over, stitched through. In India nothing is wasted- even a lightbulb, they crocket over, not even a lightbulb they throw away. A Rajia, a quilt in India, or Gudadi, a different name- its Gudadi in the villages, and Rajia in the cities, a quilt here! They're still being made, nothing is thrown away.

Used to do it by hand, now its done by machine- and my children don't even know how to thread a needle!

The old cotton sari's are used for paintings, they're put on the wall and painted like a canvas, stretched onto a wooden frame, that's a new thing in India.

We used to make floor mats, taking 3 strips of sari's and plaiting them together. Used them for praying to God, made a very soft mat when sat on, making some good designs on them.

I love stitching, when we were young there was no telly, our parents started us stitching, I made at least 10 bed covers, table cloths- no telly at that time. Summer time work to do. Our parents saying, you are girls, you stay at home."

Mukta's sari Rajia, or Gudadi (in progress)
A previous week, whilst working with Phil, Pratima wrote the following poem.


cotton silk synthetic chiffon
the house open, cold, big window
towards Dehli
sari for the season

19th September

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