Each step of the process: colouring the yarn, preparing the warp and weft and weaving on traditional wooden looms; is touched by the adept hands of our master weavers who work for days to craft the scarves.
The caterpillar cocoons itself in the fibre that it spins; and leaves it behind after its metamorphosis into a moth. The fact that the yarn is produced only after caterpillar’s transformation (and escape) as a moth appeals to many; buddhist monks among them who use the so called „peace silk“ for their gowns.
The soft cocoon shell, the Samia caterpillar leaves behind, has naturally a hole in it; thus yarn cannot be reeled off as in mulberry silk’s case. Instead, the staple is spun to make yarn, this makes Eri fluffy.
Each dyestuff we use has a rich history of bringing beautiful colours to human creations ranging from Byzantine mosaic to traditional Kashmiri cuisine. We source our dyestuff from a company in India who have been making natural dyestuff since 1994.
Using these organic dyestuff, we dye yarn in small batches in our own atelier to ensure consistency and fastness.
The bobbins are placed in a frame and hundreds of strands of yarn from the bobbins are passed, thread by thread, through a raddle, which ensures even spacing between threads. Taut and parallel to each other, these threads are wound around a beam. The beam is then taken away to get it ready for the loom.
In the first step, warp is threaded through the heddles. Each warp thread goes through the eye of a heddle. To pass the threads through the eyes of the heddles, two weavers work in tandem. One of them fiddles a hook through the eye while the other guides a single thread — on the other side of the heddle — for the hook to catch it and pull it to the other side. This set of actions is repeated at least a few hundred times.
The next meticulous task entails drawing individual threads though the reed, a comb-like tool to separate the warp threads; and finally tying these threads in bunches to a rod.
Readying the loom for weaving is like arranging a band for a musical session: just like the selection of musicians depends on musical arrangements for the evening, design — pattern and weave — determines which and how many of the shafts on the loom will be used.
The selected shafts are then tied to the individual reeds (and frames).
The wooden pedals are used to raise or lower the heddles not unlike the pedals on a hi-hat or a bass drum. When the heddles are lifted, the shuttles carrying the weft pass through the warp creating another set of sounds. Just like the pedals of a piano, which either muffle or highlight a note, pedals in a loom ensure that each thread receives the right accentuation for the desired pattern. Once the frame with the reeds is pulled to push weft to the edge of the woven fabric, the cadence ends; and the rhythm starts anew.
Depending on the design and size of the scarf, the weaving takes from a couple of hours to a couple of days and the rhythms vary from staccato to more continuous sounds.