For November Noon’s latest collection, Doraha, the textiles deserve the real fanfare — serving as the artistic inspiration behind the clothing. The centuries-old weaving techniques consider the traditional strands and materiality of what we wear. The resulting textiles are engineered to create intricacy of design and soft, supple textures.
A Memento of Textiles
Like a skilled weaver, Doraha takes the many disparate threads and constructs a compelling narrative that’s culturally rich and emotionally engaging. Part historical survey and part odyssey, there’s a story behind the materials — recontextualised for modern-day, wearable silk essentials handcrafted in Benares.
It begins with the impeccably smooth, self-textured fabrics crafted using the Tanchoi technique — first developed in the 19th century and devoid of any floats. And, goes on to the Jamdani technique, which originated in erstwhile undivided Bengal almost 2000 years ago. In Doraha, we’ve used Tanchoi to create delicate butterfly designs in resham; you can spot them in the spices thaan made from cotton Chanderi fabric. The self-textured abstract thaan is crafted from two different weights of luxurious satin, which makes each piece so versatile.
Reengineering Surfaces & Stories
There’s more to intrigue any textile enthusiast. Doraha also features trousers made from Mashru — a fabric that was popular in the 19th century — handcrafted with a symphony of lustrous silk on the outside and airy cotton on the inside. Elsewhere, the engineered Jamdani technique appears in the placement thaan, where the artwork is designed to fit the silhouette of the garment and then woven to its exact dimensions. This technique is unique to the handlooms of Benaras and is meticulously crafted, even in the digital age.
The collection also chronicles fascinating techniques that use cross-colour warp and weft. The cross-section of hues (colloquially called dhoop chaon) is carefully checked and given for production, with the artwork hand-graphed to ensure perfect results every time. From the Tanchoi to the engineered Jamdani, the weaving techniques from Dohara are a testament to the skill, precision, and rhythm that produce a delicate weave. The resulting fabrics showcase a distinctly human presence in the aesthetics, the generational return to the skill of the hand, and reinvent the language of contemporary Indian fashion.