Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rural Fashion, Empowering Women!

Art is quite a new entry at Allwhatshewants, but we make sure to connect you with some really interesting and innovative things in the field of Art. And, look what we covered last week?

There was this beautiful exhibition of traditional Phulkari work, exhibited at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. What was special about this work was that all the traditional embroideries were complete hand work, and that to counting the yarns of the fabric. Which means, there was no pattern, no space-setting, no tracing... just the calibre of roral women, who have been doing this form of art form a few generations now! That surely is interesting. And, these pictures will make you understand what we are talking about

Phulkari is a traditional form of embroidery, from Punjab (North India) which years back used to be done by the mothers, on a broad Stole (Odhna) for their daughters, for their wedding day. But, with time, the meaning has changed, as it not much about the wedding gift now, but more about empowering the rural women of that state, as Phulkari work is now an international demand, and has become a Style statement. We spoke to Ms. Krishna, the organizer, and who was the first women employee at National Musuem, of the event, who told us that the displayed work was purchased by the centre in later 90's, as later the traditional emproidery went through a lot of modifications, like tracing the patterns and then doing the embroidery, just to make the process faster, also using machines for the embroidery, to make it more affordable.

Later, we also spoke to one of the National awardee's under whom more that 500 women artisans work and provide a decent earning to themselves. " We have been doing this work for ages now, but today, it is more about making women independent. We get orders in such exhibitions, people get to see what we do, and how tidious the work is. Because of this talent, a lot of women are the strong pillars of their home, in terms of revenue. I just love to do this work, although, I'm not very happy with Punjab government's support, as the officials don't do much for us," she said.
Well, we feel that at least we are trying to do our best for these women... and, our readers know how!!

Fact File
Phulkari work on a simple stole takes at least 4-5 weeks to complete it, as it is totally a hand embroidery.
These emproiders usually have Darn stitch or running stich, which are traditionally done by counting threads!
Asimple stole costs around 3500/- and a sari costs around 8000/-  (depending on the embroidery and fabric)
Today, phulkari is also done on Kota Doria, georgette, and chiffon!

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