Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fazilika women gaining recognition with embroidery

Fazilika (Punjab), Feb.20 (ANI): Phulkari, the traditional art of floral designs on fabric, has been a synonym of Punjabi culture and a major charm among Punjabi women for centuries. However, a number of resident women in Fazilika town here have earned recognition for themselves through a special embroidery work.

Several resident women, some of whom initially received training from migrant Muslim craftsmen families of Uttar Pradesh, have today made the specialized embroidery work their occupation.

These craftswomen are today a major draw for several clients, including exporters and non-resident Indians. Their hold on the special embroidery techniques and creativity have become a major source of earning for these women, bringing a big smile along with highly absorbing orders for this art form.

Though this embroidery work that is done on suits and other clothes material, is quite tedious work of craftsmanship, it has its own elegance and charm that fascinates one and all visiting Fazilika town from far off places.

This work enables these craftswomen to sell a wide range and variety of high quality embroidered suits and saris at reasonable rates. Besides, this art form has enabled many women to become financially independent and support families with additional income.

Meenu Nagpal, 40, who runs Mehrab Boutique, has been in the business for the last one decade. She took to this art form as a hobby but it soon turned her profession.

“The craze of embroidery among women is increasing because the designs that are available in markets are almost the same. But we make different designs. We use various embroidery techniques like Dabka work, needle thread work, Sipi work, Pearl work, Mirror work and Naqshi work and all this is not easily available in the market,” said Meenu Nagpal of Mehrab Boutique in Fazilika.

Hand-embroidered and hand-made suits are popular among Punjabi women.

Fazilika attracts customers from across Punjab and Haryana and Rajasthan as well. The business of the embroidery has grown over 20 per cent per year on account of the growing demand for hand embroidery.

Most of the exporters, arriving here to book these artists with orders, often prefer keeping the identities of their chosen craftsmen, a secret for market competitiveness. These craftsmen supply to various fashion houses.

The intensity of labour, which is required for such delicate embroidery, strains the eye but still these craftsmen do their best and try to outdo one another. They charge as per the pattern and material used on the fabric.

There are different types of embroidery like thread work–Tille ki Khadai, Moti-sippy work.

“They use superior fabric and the designs are completely different from others. You don’t get such designs anywhere else. They are very good both–the handwork and machine embroidery,” said Meenu, one customer.

Punjabi women, especially those visiting India from abroad, have a craving to get their suits embroidered at Fazilka. Not just that, many of the craftswomen here have permanent non-resident Indian customers and they keep record of their clients’ tastes and preferences.

“She makes the clothes according to customer’s choice. She creates her own designs and chooses the colour contrast by herself. If you buy readymade clothes, you have to compromise because you know there are limited designs available but here she knows how to satisfy her clients, and accordingly she makes these things,” Rinky, another customer.

From beading to sequin work, the richness of traditional fabrics, designs and colours, with a modern feel gives it a whole new interpretation that is appreciated the world over. By Avtar Gill (ANI)

No comments: