Thebvo Table Runner and Table Mat Set by Leshemi Origins | ARTISANS' Gallery (INDIA)
Set of 1 Table Runner and 4 Table Mats
This design is adapted from the Thebvora, a classic Chakhesang Naga nettle shawl - and a hallmark of the timeless and self-sustaining Naga lifestyle. Thebvo literally translates to 'nettle' in the language of the Chakhesang Khuzhami tribe. This is made of hand-picked, hand spun and hand woven stinging nettle. This wear-resistant and waterproof nettle cloth is perfect for the contemporary dining table.
This product is true to the original strip-woven Thebvora, but adapted in width to a contemporary dining table. It is exclusively co-designed and woven by Leshemi Origins, for ARTISANS' Gallery, to sustain the local tradition of nettle weaving. The minimal black stripe is a key design element. It is unique to the Leshemi identity, and highlights their restrained aesthetic. Today stinging nettle is woven only by indigenous women of the Chakhesang tribe in remote Naga villages in the mountains of Northeast India.
The spinning and weaving of stinging nettle is increasingly rare. Stinging nettle is foraged from the wild once a year, in early winter. In a long and labourious process, strips of nettle bast fibre (stripped off the stalks), are retted, dried, thigh-reeled into twine, and hand-spun using a drop spindle. The yarn is then soaked in a coarse local rice broth, which naturally bleaches and softens the fiber. It is repeatedly soaked and sun-dried until the desired tone is attained. It is woven on backstrap looms.The flexibility of the portable loom enables women to work from their own home. The fiber-to-fabric journey is entirely local and self-sustaining (although the cotton yarn, once local, is now sourced). The natural black dye for the centre stripe is a completely local recipe: the cotton yarn is mordanted in tannin-rich bark (locally sourced from the barks of wild hazelnut, walnut and oak trees) which is then soaked in dark iron-rich paddy field clay. The yarn is then warped and prepared for the back-strap loom alternating cotton yarn in the warp and weft.
After scouring the nettle yarn with coarse rice, a rice cake is baked from the waste crumbs. While this is a treat for young girls, it is considered a taboo for young boys to eat this rice cake.
Care Instructions: Please note that the natural colors of nettle textiles are unique and may vary a bit from item to item. Wash nettle fabrics by hand in cold water, using ecological laundry products. Nettle softens with washing.
Maker: Wetelhou-ü Losou
Size: Table Runner: 31 cm X 152 cm, Table Mat: 31 cm X 46 cm
Fabric: Hand spun stinging nettle (Urtica Dioica), unbleached cotton and Eri silk blend,
natural dyed black cotton
Available to dispatch in 30 days