Jajim fabrics are steeped in tradition. Does the essence of this time-honoured narrative come through in Nushka’s silk Jajim offering?
The story behind our jajim cushions is a tale of salvage. Antique jajim fabrics, often used as wedding gifts and scarves, are found littered throughout Azerbaijan; diamonds in the rough, awaiting their second lease of life. They are gathered and sourced by artisans and master weavers in their torn, fragmented form, and lovingly restored and adapted for modern use. The restoration process is an alchemy of its own creation. The artisans hand-dye silk threads to a colour match in the original jajim, picking out a colour from the coalescence of stripes and rows and spinning a new measure of fabric into existence that extends the jajim, not only in a physical sense, but also its lifespan. What is most impressive about the way these jajims are reawoken and celebrated is the way the colour combinations and designs, some dating back to the 1920s, appeal to the 21st century audience.
What strikes you most about the unique patterns produced by the Jajim weaving technique?
The route that a jajim takes to one of our cushions is a long one. The original fabric will pass through many iterations before it is taken under the wing of an artisan who begins to restore and adapt the fabric into a more usable form for contemporary homeware. In this way, the most striking element of a jajim is the combination of old and new, unified by the time-honoured craft and techniques applied to it over its lifespan. The sensitivity of the jajim’s treatment at the hands of the weavers and dyers, and their unwavering respect for the sacred pattern, results in a refreshed length of fabric which is just as beautiful as the original fragment.
How does a silk Jajim accent/cushion contribute to the look and feel of a space?
Jajims work to contribute to the sumptuous layering of pattern and colour in considered, British homes. The curation of jajims at Nushka has a strong taste of the East, elevating other popular fabrics like suzani and indigo in eclectically decorated rooms. But beyond the unusual colours and patterns a jajim will bring into a living space, their soft, silky tactility us unrivalled. This can bring the mere act of sitting on a sofa or armchair a true feeling of refinement. At Nushka, we believe that the home is about cultivating this very sensation in everyday actions, generating little moments to inspire a smile. This could be the feel of a hand-woven rug underfoot, the pleasure of placing a cup of tea on an African dyed raffia coaster or the artful pleats in a colourful Ikat lampshade in an otherwise-unassuming corner.