GeetaRani works at Ureirom, which started in 2018 with an aim to focus on natural dyeing and hand block prints on the handloom products of Manipur. All around us we can see that there is an increasing interest in natural dyes, not only for textiles but also for other industries like food processing, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Due to the hazardous impact of synthetic dyes on our health and natural environment, natural dye is being recognized as a possible solution and an alternative to its synthetic counterparts. Natural dyes are renewable, eco-friendly, safe to the skin and pleasing to the eyes. In India, many brands have come up for naturally dyeing textiles and have become commercially successful ventures. Manipur, with its vast and varied flora and rich traditions with numerous exotic colour yielding plants, has immense potential to excel in this industry. Ureirom specialises on the traditional natural colours of the Manipuris. Each of the hand block prints used have mystical stories and beliefs associated with the designs. These will add to the beauty and aesthetics of the final product.
Led by Geetarani Takelchangbam, Ureirom is born out of her dream and inspiration. After earning experience in the garment industry in Delhi, she went back to Manipur and started Ureirom. She has received training in Weavers’ Service Centre and MGIRI, Maharashtra in Natural Dyeing and Printing. Ureirom now imparts training to the womenfolk of her community and employs them. In this way Ureirom also contributes to the society in its own way.
For dyeing, various parts of indigenous locally available plants like Annatto(Lipstick tree), Amla(Gooseberry), Tree Bean/Stink Bean, Alocasia, Teak, Bamboo, Onion and many others are used. The hand block print designs/motifs are sourced from various historical records and age old traditions passed down from ancient times. The products are generally Manipuri handloom products of pure cotton and silk and are of a wide range.
The difference with Ureirom is that Ureirom extracts its own colours and so the colours are unique and exclusive and cannot be seen anywhere else. Even though there were very few takers when it started, slowly but steadily people are beginning to recognise Ureirom for its unique products. Ureirom has also opened its exclusive store in 2022 and is looking forward to grow and expand.