Sunday, May 15, 2011

No Sew No Glue Sari Journal

It was my favorite sari. Handwoven from the finest softest silk cotton, it was one of the best specimens of the Oriya hand loom weaving style. I brought it with me to the US thirty years ago. When the number of suitcases I could bring with me was limited to two, I gave away several of my saris to my sister, but not this one. But quickly it became obvious that the very same qualities that made it so lovely in India made it an impractical garment in the US. It slowly sank to the bottom of the pile and languished there for thirty years. I could not bear to throw it away. Then one day,  as I was making my rice bag journals it came to me that I could make cloth journals out of it. I cut the six yards into three parts, washed and starched each one individually. I tore them into roughly equal sized pieces and using the slot and tab technique created the journal you see above . I used the pieces as they were which led to some interesting variations among the pages. The top page above , for example, comes from the end piece of the sari and has fringes while the two below come from the border and the body sections.

I was very pleased with the way it come out. I decorated, wrote on it, painted---oh, the possibilities were endless. On one of the pages I wrote a little message "Bloom where you are planted" which is what this old sari  and I have done.

Last summer, I submitted this journal for publication. It can now be found in the Winter 2014 edition of Cloth Paper Scissors Pages issue. This sari has reinvented and replaced itself in such creative ways. I wonder where and what it will be next, I wonder.


  1. This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing just how special this creation is to you.
    Well Done, keep smiling and creating

  2. A beautiful book born of a much-loved treasure...the soul within already glows!

  3. I just read your profile, Indira and it's so interesting. I am on the Melange team too! (I found you on The Graphics Fairy.) Although I do Western, I have been interested in Vedic for many years and I was really intrigued when I read about your interest in it!


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