Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Prerana Anjali Choudhury

June 5, 2024

House of Noorie was started by WARP Member Prerana Anjali Choudhury who belongs to Assam in northeastern India. Prerana grew up loving handmade textiles as she would watch her paternal grandmother weave traditional mekhela sadors (a traditional two-piece drape worn by women in Assam) on the household loom. The humble charm of the manual loom coupled with a deep interest in sustaining this slow, sustainable cloth-making practice inspired her to travel to several parts of rural Assam, across different districts, and work with interested women in creating drapes with old-world motifs and patterns. HoN is also about understanding the manner in which living traditions associated with weaving are carried across generations by communities of women who consciously choose to weave on the manual loom, a non-mechanised tool that makes cloth-making time and labour intensive. Prerana further wishes to study the function of memory and materiality in the indigenous weaving practices attached to the manual loom, the varied design histories born from it, and the pivotal role it plays in the sustenance of rural, biocultural lifestyles.

More about House of Noorie

House of Noorie is a micro handloom initiative working with indigenous communities of Assam. HoN was started by Prerana Anjali Choudhury in 2019, with the intention of reclaiming the textile language of indigenous communities by working with the region’s rural women. The intention behind this initiative has been to sustain and preserve the living traditions associated with weaving as well as the broader nature-dependent and biocultural lifestyle of the people at large. Even today, many rural women continue to weave their own clothes as a way of life, consciously taking forward this performative tradition inherited from their foremothers. Working with these women, one discovers the tenacity and resilience of the rudimentary manual loom, also called the “ghorua xaal” or household loom, that lends the structure and patterns of handmade motifs called “buta” in Assamese. House of Noorie explores this structural influence of the manual loom upon the aesthetic and design history of the clothes being made. 

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