On the shelves on a trial

On the shelves at Handmade Interiors, London

On the shelves at Handmade Interiors, London

What an amazing opportunity to be able to share shelf space at the prestigious Handmade Interiors store in Maida Vale, London! Absolutely delighted to bring this image of our colourful towels for all to see. Its currently on its first trial run at the store so keeping my fingers crossed.

The store details : http://www.handmade-interiors.co.uk/contact/

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Et Voila!

 

Kone woven proudly presents its first line of 100% cotton towels hand woven in the beautiful outskirts of Imphal, Manipur. 

Pink and green

Soft and absorbent

Softly blue

Softly blue

Together

Pretty pinks snuggled together

We are having a test run – a pop up shop at the prestigious store Akin & Suri in London. I cant help but feel really excited at the junction on where we stand now. I’m hopeful that it’ll be well appreciated and really looking forward to peoples’ reactions to them. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The first piece…

Light turquoise poise!

Light turquoise poise!

The first piece to be woven!

The first piece to be woven!

Photo of the first towel off the loom woven with love and care. Its not a very high res image as it was shot via a phone but it still looks great! The rest of the photos should arrive mid next week along with the first set of towels and I can’t explain how excited I am that I’ll finally get to see and hold it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

KONE

The other day I was sharing the usual cuppa with a dear friend and she asked me about what I’d call my venture. I related how confused I was about it as I wanted the name to come easy on everyone’s lips whereas still maintaining its uniqueness from whence it sprung. All she asked me was what was the loom called in Manipuri(my native language) & voila! The one simple yet unique name was right there… Kone. It also interestingly means a vessel. The simplicity of it couldn’t escape us and I’ll always be grateful to my friend for finding this ventures’ name.

‘Kone’ embodies the spirit of the venture. Its part of every household in Manipur and is an inherited way of life and living for almost all women in the region. It is the ‘vessel’ that contains and maintains an ancient tradition that I feel should be protected.

Turns out that there are plenty of websites out there with the same name including a well renowned elevator making company and a footballer too but I can safely say that its not the same thing. It’s also terribly easy to pronounce… just like a cone! It has such a happy association and ring to it, doesn’t it?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What it is really…

When I started out exploring this new venture, I wasn’t sure how to address it. Was it a venture, a business, a social cooperative, a project, an enterprise? I’m not particularly fond of calling it a business as calling it that would mean I’d be doing it solely for making profits which isn’t the case. My objective is to introduce Manipuri textiles to a wider audience and the income earned will be shared amongst the weavers who create them so that they can directly see how their work is being appreciated and perhaps it may egg them to preserve their craft and revive it too. Weaving is a legacy that has been passed on generation after the next by the women of Manipur and I do hope and pray that we can continue this craft for it is unique and beautiful like none other.

I came across the word profit-sharing enterprise and I think I shall use this term for it reflects my ideologies and aspirations too. The economic gains will be shared so that the weavers may better their lives and be able to send their children to colleges and better schools and they don’t have to think twice before buying vegetables and fish from the local bazaar!

And hence my profit sharing venture has found its etymological home. Now just to finalise the name… hmmm..

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Master Weaver at work

Abok carefully and skilfully spins the yarn for the shuttles

Abok carefully and skilfully spins the yarn for the shuttles

Care must be taken to ensure that the bobbins are evenly covered with yarn
Care must be taken to ensure that the bobbins are evenly covered with yarn

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Integral story… same story different day

Drawing every inch of the woven yard to its snug roll

Drawing every inch of the woven yard to its snug roll.

Each spindle carries the hopes & aspirations that'll get woven into the warp of endeavour

Each spindle carries the hopes & aspirations of the weaver that’ll get woven into the warp roll. A blessing uttered into it, a song woven in.

The shuttle awaits to do its bidding

The shuttle awaits to do its weaver’s bidding.

Every inch lovingly woven... every weft counted

Every inch lovingly woven… every weft counted.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hiccup!

A couple of days ago I received news that perhaps all new entrepreneurs hate to receive. The first batch of woven products were a disaster thanks to the independent thinking of the lady whom I entrusted the weaving work to, with detailed instructions about weaving pattern & raw material as well. Not only did she not use cotton for the towels, she also botched up the weaving pattern with poor weaving & uneven warp tensions!! Besides I won’t be using polyester or acrylic yarn not only because I’m pro natural fibres but also because they aren’t as absorbent.

I’m really gutted. The first batch of towels thus haven’t been made and I’m not going to be using this particular weaver for the work anymore.

Sigh. Lesson learned. And now moving on…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IMA KEITHEL or Ima Market

Here’s a small peep into the unique Ima Market in Imphal. Its perhaps the only market in the world run entirely by women. Amidst the vendors there are always women who will try to sell you their wares at a high price or trick you into believing that you’re holding a cotton towel when its clearly not but its easy to get fooled. But for every such person, there are 10 others who’ll educate you on fabrics, traditional attires and ceremonial significances and for that I absolutely love this market. The vendors all help each other and will point you in the right direction for the products you want and even guide you about it!

And another really nice thing I find is that every Ima or Mother there will give her blessings to the products you buy from them. Its a blessing just to be able to spend some time here in peace and watch the constant bargaining and heckling and banter.

A panoramic view of the amazing all women IMA KEITHEL or Ima Market

A panoramic view of the amazing all women IMA KEITHEL or Ima Market

 

5-6 feet high stacks of gorgeous hand woven phaneks(Meitei sarong), shawls & Innaphis amongst other products!

5-6 feet high stacks of gorgeous hand woven phaneks(Meitei sarong), shawls & Innaphis amongst other products!

Every aisle had something amazing to offer... there were plenty of non-manipuri dupattas(stoles) & power-loom woven bed linen too much to my disappointment!
Every aisle had something amazing to offer… there were plenty of non-manipuri dupattas(stoles) & power-loom woven bed linen too, much to my disappointment!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A day’s work!

Abok wove around 45 pairs of cotton towels on this warp and these much sought after pieces would’ve been sold by now in the very busy and bustling Ima Keithel or Ima market. Her towels are also sought after as … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment