A stitch in time

Amrita Prasad
Friday, 16 March 2018

A city handloom store is holding a  workshop on the weekend which will introduce you to Lambani embroidery.

How often do you look at ethnic weaves and embroideries and wonder about the amount of handwork and creativity that goes into creating them? Thanks to Daram The Handloom Store, you can learn about the artistic skill employed by the artisans in crafting eye catching designs. 

Daram has brought accomplished Lambani artisans from Sandur, Karnataka to conduct the workshop in Pune. Latha Tummuru, in-charge of the store and workshop, tells us that Lambani, also known as Banjara, is a nomadic tribe which has its origin in Afghanistan. “Some of them migrated to Karnataka, while others settled in parts of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

The women of this tribe have been involved in making embroidery that is bright, alluring and intricate. This group of women has been working with Sandur Kushala Kala Kendra, which has been helping them turn their art into livelihood. 

“Lambani embroidery is unique with its combination of darning, cross stitch, mirror work, and cowrie work and has recently been in a huge demand. People in the cities like embroideries, but lack awareness about the craft. So such workshops will help them learn about the art,” explains Tummuru. She adds that now the embroidery of Lambani tribe can also be seen on accessories, home furnishing and décor items. 

Today you see many designers working with Indian weavers and handloom is seen on the ramps. When asked if designers’ contribution is helping uplift the Indian weaves and embroidery, Tummuru disagrees. She feels that designers are not consistent enough while working with the handloom or the weavers, and instead only focus on their own requirements in the designs.

“They may use Indian weaves and handloom in one season as it goes with their design and creativity, but may not use in the next. For them the connection with the handloom is driven by a certain fabric and not by their passion for the handloom per se,” Tummuru explains.  

Daram is one of those rare stores in the country which specialises in 100 per cent Indian weaves and fabrics. “There is a gap between what is being created by Indian weavers and embroidery artists and what is in demand in the urban cities. We try to bridge that gap and connect weavers and customers. For example, cotton fabric shrinks a lot. So we create pre-shrink outfits. We focus on basic and classic garments,” says

Tummuru, adding, “A lot of people are buying them because of the aesthetics. They do not have knowledge or understanding of the process of creation of these items. A lot of creativity and meticulous hard work goes into making each handmade and hand stitched product. Only when people begin to understand the labour, they will stop complaining about the price. For the Indian artisans it is their art that turns into a means of livelihood.” 

Learn the art of hand embroidery on March 17-18, from 11 am-1 pm and 3-5 pm (two batches on each day) at Daram, The Handloom Store, Nilaya, Jayanti Apartment, next to Ratna Memorial Hospital, S B Road. To register, call on 98490 23417 or write to daaram.da@gmail.com

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