All our colorful creations are created from textiles that previously have been worn by women as saris; traditional female garment that consist of a drape in thousands of variations. People often ask us about our choice of fabric and we love to share the story behind our prints. Therefore, we would love to share this blog post about saris and what we have learned during the road when we´ve been discovering this beautiful handcrafted pieces of art. Since my sister and I are born and raised in Sweden (Scandinavia) we do know that we are far from being experts on the history and view upon this particular garment, but we always strive to learn more so don´t hesitate to contact us if you have something you would like to share to complete the full picture. However, we do know a little and here are some thoughts that have come our way during this journey and we hope it gives you some new perspectives and knowledge about these incredible textiles that you may now wear as your kimono
Saris are considered to be one of the oldest forms of Indian art and with this in mind we up-cycle these prints with both the greatest humility and respect for the tradition and the heritage. As far as we have learned saris are mostly common in Eastern Asia and traditionally worn by women. Every region offer a different style of sari fabric crafted and designed using ancient techniques perfected over many years by the rural artisans. In the past, most saris were made of natural fibres such as silk and cotton, but synthetic materials such as polyester are also common these days. When we choose saris for our designs we have a helping hand from our team in Kathmandu, Fia and her family. They handpick every single sari for us based on our request which sometimes can be some specific colors or patterns, but most of time we simple ask them to pick the ones that truly calls for change. All these magical fabrics come from different parts of India and Nepal where they previously been worn by women who now have decided to sell their garment. The reason why these women choose to pay forward their sari differs from case to case but it usually is because it has been damage in some way and can therefore no longer be used as a sari. This gives us the opportunity to be able to restore beauty that already exist and give each sari a second chance to radiate. A great way to create fashion without harming the environment, but also a way to make women reconnect by sharing not only the same garment – but story.
Traditional ways of wearing saris (the picture was found on Pinterest).
Our ambition at Cornelia Sun Collective is to pass on the stories that are embedded in each print. Of course we wish we could tell you the special story behind each single print, but that would take us forever so unfortunately we do not. However, we do believe you can be able to feel the unique story if you wear your garment with an open heart and so many of you actually tell us you do. Some people have told us that they felt like the kimono choose them instead of vice versa. Is that something you can relate to? In our eyes, it gives each creation a spark of magic that makes you care for your garment and treat it just like the good friend it is.
But what do women that usually wear saris think about this up-cycling thing? And what are their views upon saris and when and where are they wearing these pieces? As said in the beginning, both me and my sister are curious to find out more about the culture these textiles originally belong to and what could be more suitable than asking a woman that do wear saris in her daily life.
Let us introduce you to Kabita Neupane – a 42 year old woman running a grocery store in Kathmandu, Nepal. She dressed up in one of her saris, a sari that later would transform into a Cornelia Sun Kimnono. Kabita decided that her beautiful garment was ready to move on into a new shape and we are so glad that we got this eternalized in pictures. It's so amazing to be able to share with you the two different looks. What do you think about this transformation?
We love it ❤
We love it ❤
Kabita also explained to us her view upon the symbolic significance in general and what saris mean to her personally:
"Wearing a sari is a way of dressing up. Where I live this is a common way to dress and no one reacts if I wear sari or salwar suit. If I have a more fancy sari some neighbors may ask if I am going to a party – and yes – this is a way of dressing both in your day-to-day life but also at special occasions. This particular saris has for example been to many weddings", Kabita explains.
Kabita managing her store dressed up in Cornelia Sun.
We also asked Kabita what she thinks about us up-cycling saris when women do not find them wearable anymore;
"I think it is a great idea to create something new from saris that are not used anymore. That is so much better than just keeping them in the closet".
Kabita also shared with us her thoughts about clothes consumption and how she tend to walk the talk;
"It never happens that me or my friends shop clothing just because it's fun. When we buy something, it's because we need it and of course we do care for how it looks. I often fall for durable materials and I would say my wardrobe contains long lasting pieces. I do not was unnecessarily and when I do, I always hand wash. Another good advice to become a more conscious consumer is to actually care for the clothes you already have and try to repair instead of throwing away to buy something new".
Kabita outside her store in Kathmandu wearing her Cornelia Sun kimono, made from textile that previously was her former sari.
We agree with Kabita, there is always a way to give fabric new life and we can all be more conscious about our wardrobes. With that said, we want to give thanks to Kabita for sharing her story with us and for letting us eternalize her sari into a Cornelia Sun piece of art. We hope that you gained a little more insight and knowledge about the material we use for all our designs and we are looking forward to continue telling your more about the colorful, inspiring culture in which saris belong. We know there are so many stories out there waiting to be told and we can´t wait to let them be heard. Wearing these up-cycled prints give us not only the chance to change the course of the future, but also make herstory matter. Wear your kimono close to heart and look upon it as your canvas. This way of restoring beauty in both textiles and stories paves the way for us to stand up not only for Mama Earth – but also one another. To us, saris are prints that matter and to restore them is a way to always remember; what we share is more powerful than what divides us.