Thursday, December 5, 2013

My new jacket

It is winter now, and Fab India has started to stock several jackets for women. I bought a new blue jacket a couple of days ago, and yesterday I wore it for the first time. I teamed it with an orange linen kurta.

As soon as I wore the jacket, I fell in love with it. Especially the easy laid-back yet formal look! And the pockets, lord, they were super useful!! As the day progressed, my phone, my pen, money, little chits of paper, coins...everything found its way into two spacious pockets.

By evening, I was hooked good and proper.

I was going to become a Jacket-Wearing-Person.

I would be just like my friend Debashish from Ahmedabad, who works in heritage conservation, and wears the kurta-jacket combination often on walks and lectures. This was going to be my new look!

And then came the rub. I discovered that the jacket was Matka Silk.

Matka is the local term for rough hand spun silk fabric. It feels and looks a bit like tweed, except that it is single-colour. It's a soft fabric, so if you provide inner lining cloth, you can make great jackets with it. Often there are rough irregularities in the fabric, which gives it a charm all its own. The best thing about matka, though, is that it always drapes softly and adapts to the contours of the body.

So what's the problem, you ask? The problem is that I've more or less given up buying silk. Especially after I visited the silk making village near Bangalore and saw the moths being boiled to death. Not a pretty sight.

The jacket was a quick impulse buy, I didn't even stop to see what the fabric was. I just assumed it was cotton. But I've bought it now, and I'm a little bit stuck here. Should I give it up? Aaaaagh, No! Maybe I should just gift it to someone. I'm telling you, parting from this jacket is going to be a very difficult thing :-)
Here's a closer look in sunlight, clicked in my car.
You can see the Matka fabric more clearly in this one. 


GSDastur said...

I think it's wonderful that you're asking yourself principled questions like this.
Everyone has their own set of ethics, of course, and I don't know if it's just matka silk or all silk that uses this method. But if it were me, here's what I would be considering: Any action I take should lessen the pain and increase the pleasure in the world. Boiled silkworms won't get unboiled by any decision you take now. So I would wear the Jacket, and enjoy it, and keep on trying to limit harm done to future generations of silkworms.
As for giving it away - wouldn't that be like trying to shift bad Karma on to someone else?
Oh. And I would definitely also check with Fab India, just in case they use some more humane method to process the silkworms and I could wear it without compunction.

Girija said...

Hi Deepa,

I would love to know of a place to shop for ahimsa silk and faux leather shoes and bags in Mumbai. Also, I hear that concept of veganism is catching on in Mumbai. Please do a post on vegan friendly eating places too :-)

Thanks for your wonderful blog,