KINTEM is a social enterprise promoting contemporary Naga textiles and the traditional Naga weaving technique Loin loom a.k.a back strap weaving.
Prior to joining this initiative, most of these talented individuals would weave traditional mekhalas and shawls from scratch, crafting the same 2-3 designs for decades.
The craftspeople are at the forefront of our organization, as they are fundamentally dedicated to championing their skills and craftsmanship. This signifies that the artisans are the very heart and soul of our organization. Whether they are weavers, skilled hand-sewers, or meticulous tassel-knotting artisans, each one is considered an invaluable asset.
Staying true to this mantra, they harmonize the allure of age-old craftsmanship with contemporary elements in our creations, creating an appeal for the modern consumer. Added to that the designs are also appealing with the mainstream and global audience. Drawing inspiration from our indigenous heritage, we seamlessly blend it with modern influences on craft pieces that are distinctly indigenously modern.
The team cannot produce in huge volumes as of this point considering Loin loom is an extremely slow process. In fact, a slower process than handloom. “Also, most of our weavers are mothers weaving between household chores and taking care of children so the pace of production gets slower. There’s more demand than we can supply right now but hopefully as we grow our number of weavers, we will be able to fulfil the orders at a quicker pace. Fortunately, our clients have been extremely patient and open to the idea of waiting to get their hands on that one exclusive piece. Our foundation lies in textiles. Our journey commenced with the creation of a mekhala, also known as a wrap skirt,” says Moala Longchar, Co-Founder.
Additionally, they explore novel applications of natural fibres, including the exclusively homegrown Eri Silk. We have also prioritized learning the time-honoured. Naga dyeing methods from the remaining few practitioners in the state, with plans to incorporate them into their textiles soon. The future endeavours involve expanding the product range and establishing a presence in the mainstream market, possibly by entering some concept stores.
Read the full story that first appeared in The New Indian Express dated Oct 29, 2023 here: