Korai mat chronicles

Strands of grass turn into works of art at the city’s oldest workshop for mats in Moolakadai

Maryamma has tied a strand of korai grass around her head like a bandanna. “I have a headache,” she explains, “This makes me feel better.” Maryamma works on the first floor of Anil Industries in Moolakadai, which makes korai mats. A tiny figure, she is dwarfed by bales of the beige grass stacked around her. The grass is fragrant – the smell is somewhere between that of sugarcane and crushed leaves. She picks a tuft and rubs it on a coarse stone; it drizzles loose strands and short, rough flecks at her feet. “The grass is now clean. I tie bundles of these and send them to the loom in the next room,” she says.

A lone power-loom, which feeds on the long grass and cotton twine, churns out lengths of the mats. They are chopped as per requirement and sent to the ground floor, where B. Muniamma and S. Shanti soften the rough edges by stitching a nylon fabric around them. B. Chandra gives the finishing touches by snipping away the sneaky bits that poke out of the neatly-woven horizontal lines of grass...............Read more


Source: The Hindu

Comments (0)

Please Login or Register to join groups