Tuesday, April 20

Screwpine

I thought I'd share pictures of my fifteen days in Kerala with you. It was hot but a lot got done, I got to buy more, traditional Malayali cookware. I should do a post on all my traditional Indian cookware and utensils. For fifteen days I was working with women to add new products to the existing range of products made of screwpine mat.
The Screwpine plant is of the Pandanus family. This is the female plant which produces softer and more supple fibre than the male plant and has been used traditionally to make mats for sleeping .
Braids of screwpine fibre being woven into the mat. Plain weave is the weave used. Two or even three women work side by side on a single mat.
Women weaving mats in the background and some stitching the products with screwpine fibre.
Traditionally sleeping mats were woven of natural coloured fibre by one group and two mats were stitched together by others. So today there are weavers and there are those who stitch and some who are skilled to do both.
We made large biscornus to be used as floor cushions.
The women use chemical dyes to dye the fibre and they have a great sense of colour and they use it so well to produce beautiful checked patterns.
I decided to use the fringe like edge of the mat which is usually discarded.
A visiting card case
Case for scissors
I introduced the basics of satin ribbon embroidery as a value addition technique.
Products are stitched with screwpine fibre, lined with fabric and thin cardboard is used sandwiched between the fabric and the screwpine mat to create different shapes and to give strength. The women were very keen on making these heart shaped boxes and called them love
petti or love box.

14 comments:

Devi said...

Very nice...loved it...

Priya said...

Very interesting. So this is what it is like. And the 'biscournu' has been made into a cushion! Neat!

Poorvi said...

Good Products! Love the scissor glove and napkin holder ideas. How much weight can the cushions bear? I love them, but I'm so heavy! :)
Great going Maya!

Priya said...

Oh, the ideas are fantastic and the execution very impressive. I think the biscornus are superb and so are the fringed bags. Very hip. Glad I got to see them all...

michelle said...

What a wonderful and inspiring blog you have ! so glad i came across it i have spent the morning looking through some of your beautiful projects and i just love your take it further book. I would to make one of these maybe one day !! have a great day
michelle

stitchin' girl said...

What a very interesting blog post! The creations of these women are simply beautiful.

ArtPropelled said...

I have my eye on those cushions. Most unusual!

FiLZaH said...

how's beautiful of these handicraft....

Anonymous said...

Those are so beautiful, I especially love the visiting card case and the "love pettis"! It's so fascinating to see the women making these products and learn about their lives. Thank you for your wonderful posts!

rinks said...

very pretty stuff!!

Endy said...

Molto belli - Very nice!

nivedita said...

Lovely lovely work, Maya! Stumbled upon your blog, and now it's been bookmarked. Your embroidery is so very inspiring and beautiful- makes me want to take up the needle and thread right now!

Chris said...

What a wonderful industry. The work is so beautiful and I love the colors. Your ideas are so interesting.

nishi jain said...

may i get the exact location of the industry?

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