I’m loving fiber right now. Sari in particular…
I was contacted by a women selling Recycled Sari Silk Ribbon and it got me wondering about how this recycling got started. Here is what I found.
Saree and the Society
Traditional Indian silk sarees, particularly the ones bought during weddings were heavy and had real silver thread or zari in their borders. Unlike the north, where wedding sarees had hardly been worn, they are worn regularly in the south. Thus due to wear and tear, they literally tear or come apart after a few years. The artists would convert them into cushion covers, curtain or make clothes for kids as the sarees were quite expensive to begin with. But they would soon end up with small tears unable to take the pressure of the sewing machine and would be relegated to the attic as people didn’t know what to do with them.
Then in mid 2000s came maverick saree stores with new interesting designs and light weight silks enticing the younger crowd by offering exchanges. Brand new pattern saree in exchange for an old one, whatever be its condition..
This Masterstroke of a marketing campaign led to small business selling lots of new light weight sarees with silver plated or silver finish zari which was a drastic reduction in quality and durability compared to the old ones but people were okay with it for several reason – chief of them not spending money out of their pockets and secondly not having to ask their husbands or inlaws before buying them. Generally women never bought silk sarees for themselves, by themselves, unless they were public figures or very rich. (This did not extend to cotton or synthetic sarees, simple silks or salwars that women wore on an everyday basis.) Even when the woman worked, it would always be a parent, sibling, husband, inlaws or son who paid for the sarees chosen by the woman though this has drastically changed now. This was not merely due to financial dependence as buying a silk saree was considered a gesture of love and duty, something that is sadly missing nowadays.
Below are a few of the sari pieces I have been working on. Stay tuned as I ordered tons more as God forbid I should use up ANYTHING in my stash!
Visit me at: BlingBeadedBaubles.Zibbet.com
Let’s chat soon,