I have a closet full of saris, most came with me from India when I arrived in Canada as a young bride. I have added to the collection over the years; although I love to wear it myself but for one reason or another have not done so as much as I should. Perhaps to a wedding, or to church at Easter and Christmas.
A sari, as some may know, is six yards of fabric, can be cotton, silk, georgette – you name it – draped around the body, by women in India. I think the sari is the most elegant, beautiful and alluring piece of clothing a woman can wear – but it does take a lot of practice to make it look just right.
For some time I had been wondering how to put these beautiful saris to work. Surely they were not meant to be hidden in a cupboard. What should I do?
Then, one day while chatting with a staff member in charge of the Art program for youth at the Yonge Street Mission’s drop-in centre (www.ysm.ca), I discovered she was looking for fabric for a project. And an idea was born! I offered to donate some of my saris to this exciting project and it was accepted. By putting their collective creative energy to work, the team worked with my saris turning them into fabulous items, among them prayer flags, fabric decorations, pouches to carry knick-knacks and long skirts, just to name a few.
By creating beautiful items out of those yards of silk that had once crossed the ocean in company of a young girl about to start a new life, the story of my saris will live forever, reminder of how thoughtful collaboration can produce happy results.