Cotton Moirangphee saree from Manipur
WEAVER name: Amurei ,Imphal Age :55 ,sole breadwinner of her family
Length: 5.5 Meters, Width: 44 Inches, Blouse piece :No
PROJECT MANIPUR :
We shifted lock, stock and barrel to Manipur for two reasons- first, to revive our traditional motifs by working directly with the weavers. These motifs are found on shawls, scarves, bedcovers and similar products but not on sarees. These traditional motifs have a social significance and are beautiful to look at, we wanted to bring them on sarees and highlight the Manipuri traditions for saree lovers like me.
The special Manipur motif which is woven along the border is called LEIRUM. It’s distinctive to Manipur just like Bhujodi ,dongria,pashmina are special to their respective states.
Second, we wanted to bring weavers back to their looms as many of them have moved to other occupations due to less demand. We are making efforts to bring in innovation in the local products and create a global market for the items they weave
BACKGROUND OF WEAVER : Amurei,55 years old is one of the oldest weaver in Moidangpok village. She is special and highly skilled, her forte is old motifs which are no longer woven by new generation.
We surveyed almost 200 weavers and found their focus is more on modern motifs like floral and animal designs. There were only 2 weavers who knew how to make the old motifs.
Convincing Amurei to make old motifs was not an easy task. She gave us a list of reasons for not weaving- some were real issues like her poor eyesight, old and rusty equipment, no market to sell and so on. We knew to bring her on board we had to solve the issues first, therefore, invested in new equipment, got her eyesight checked and gave her a new pair of glasses.
Finding market for her work was our strength and we knew as soon as the saree will be made it will have plenty of buyers who would like to encourage weavers like Amurei to save our dying traditions.
It took us three weeks to convince amurei, we started with set of 15 sarees as a first batch with the LEIRUM DESIGN .
LEIRUM BACKGROUND:- Leirum is a coarse cotton bedcover, traditionally an important cloth to be carried by the bride to the bridegroom’s place.
It is customary to wrap the bridegroom pillow and mattress with the Leirum-Phee.
Leirum design consists of red,black and white stripes.
The white rows are in the middle with small black lines separating each one of them and the adjacent sides have black and red rows alternately.
The black rows are actually small sized black and white boxes in chess board pattern.
Over the years the Leirum design has been used on different products but never on saree.
For the first time Aria Ethic Introduces "LEIRUM SAREE". It is one of the most respectful traditional design. According to beliefs, when any Leirum design cloth is presented to someone it marks highest form of regard & respect by the Meitei community. For instance our respected Prime Minister was welcomed with LEIRUM scarf.