Surti Bai, approved a veteran artisan from jasai village of Barmer, prostate has been doing embroidery since she was a kid.
She along with thousand other people from Pakistan came to India at the time of ’71 war. For them the war didn’t end when both the armies retreated to their camps. They have been struggling for living with dignity over last 2-3 centuries.
Khetu devi, a young lady from sagana kuna village is an enthusiastic learner and practitioner of Embroidery. Her hands are so familiar with the needle and thread that when embroidery comes on fabric it gives a feeling of blooming flowers so full of life and color. She is carrying forward the rich legacy of craft which is integral part of community’s identity and culture. She along with her friends Cheni, Keshari, Nirmala, Pushpa and Hema does this with great devotion and love. Whenever we think cynically about craft and its fading away from day to day life, likes of Khetu assures us about craft’s universality and timelessness.
while appliqué is the process of sewing smaller pieces of fabric onto a larger background fabric. History: Appliqué is an ancient technique of creating beautiful and decorative items with different pieces of cloth. Nomadic people of the desert have long pieced together their tents and even decorated them with elaborate appliqué. Festive patchwork textiles created for special occasions are found in many places throughout India. Pieced and appliquéd household items are made by women for dowries. These objects include decorative bags, check pillows and sitting mats. Appliqué played a part in religious textiles as well. It has long been used to make decorative clothing, buy because most clothing is used until it is worn out and then again reused to create beautiful patterns out of the worn fabric. This serves both economic and decorative purposes. Small pieces of fabric are cut and joined side by side to make a large piece of fabric or for repairing a damaged fabric. Regions Patchwork and appliqué are done in many different geographical regions of India with each area having its own particular local aesthetic. The main centers where the crafts are practiced are: • The Thar Desert in western Rajasthan: Barmer, Bikaner and Jaisalmer Each of these regions used their distinct styles and colour palettes to create decorative designs. Producer Communities In Westron Rajasthan the main communities practicing this craft are Refugee community Meghwal, Jaat, Kumahar Prjaapat, Naai, Suthar, Bheel, Rajput, Muslim, Lohar and Soni. Raw material The basic material for appliqué is cloth. Cotton cloth, which was being used traditionally, continues to be used today. Voile and Organza are also used to give it a more elegant look. Multi colored threads as well as fabric swatches are required as per the design. Tools Needle, a pair of scissors. Process Appliqué, which is a French term, is a technique of forming a single pattern with different pieces of cloth. Pieces of fabric are applied on top of another for decorative or functional purposes. Design: Most appliqué designs are shown as full-size drawings for the completed design. The drawings show dotted lines to indicate where one piece overlaps another. Other marks indicate placement of embroidery stitches for decorative purposes, marking such features as eyes, lips, flowers, trees etc. Before the actual appliqué process begins, the background block is cut and prepared for stitching. Sometimes the background fabric is prepared by joining various shaped fabric swatches (squares, rectangles, various geometric shapes etc) and then on top of this base the appliqué work is done. Two equal sized pieces of fabric are taken. One of these will form the base, on which the pattern will be appliquéd. The pattern will be cut out of the other piece of fabric. Tracing: An actual-sized drawing of the design is transferred on to a large piece of tracing paper. Tracing paper is placed on top of the design and the design is traced out. Holes are pierced on the tracing paper along the design and water erasable ink is used along the dotted line to transfer the design on to the fabric. Pasting: Fabric is placed on to the background fabric and stuck with glue (called ‘lai’ in the local language, it is made out of wheat flour, gum and water). Cutting of shapes / design: Once the fabric is prepared and the required design is traced on it, 1/2” space is left between design motifs to allow for the seam when cutting out the shapes. The shapes are cut out leaving 1/8”- 1/4″ all around the drawn line for turning under. Tidying: The shaped edges are turned over on the drawn or stitched line. Corners are made sharp and edges smoothened. The fabric patch should retain the shape of the template used to cut it. Stitching: Then using a blind stitch or appliqué stitch, the cut fabric is sown with matching thread on to the background fabric. The stitching is started with the background pieces first, working up to foreground pieces. Finishing: The product is given final finishing touches. Any extra threads are cut, and edges smoothened. As per the design required, different colors of fabric are used. Sometimes the cuttings are in contrast to the base fabric. Sometimes the same color is used for base and pattern, as in white on white, which is very much in current demand. In recent times, applique has been facing competition from machine-made substitutes for it. However, we aim to preserve this tradition and are continuously developing new products that will breathe new life into the age old tradition.
Core Activities: GVCS is working on a large scale with embroidery and applique artisans in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan. We are actively engaged with 3000 women artisans and have been able to generate continuous employment for them through creating a market for their products.
The women we work resides in remote areas of the arid Thar Desert which have remained under developed due to their harsh terrain. Apart from the lack of infrastructure, visit web
the main problem in the area is the restrictive ‘Pardah’ system and lack of education.
As a result, prostate women of this region rarely step out from the confines of their home and are exploited by the traders of the region who pay them less wages for their work. Also, the artisans are denied access to good quality raw materials as well as a market for their products. To counter this, GVCS runs a number of programmes in 75 villages of Rajasthan which have served to not only regular employment but also united the women artisans of the region.
Common Facilty Centre(CFC): GVCS has presently set up a community guidance centre along the lines of a CFC which provides institution handicraft related facilities for artisans such as cutting, tracing, dyeing and washing of finished products. A design lab has also been set up with modern stitching machines to improve the quality of the finished products. There are also smaller guidance cells set up in the remote villages of Barmer.
Area of Operations: While the scope of our operations is the entire state of Rajasthan, we presently have programmes running in the districts of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jallore, Jodhpur and Bikaner.
Our registered office is in Nehru Nagar, Barmer and we have field offices in Baldev Nagar, Ram Nagar, Chauthan, Dhanan, Sanawada and Leelsar. Similarly, in Jaisalmer district, we have a presence in Shri Mohan Garh and Devikot.
Programs and Activities completed by GVCS
1. Handicraft related
• Handicraft and Tailoring training program
• Heritage handicraft training program
• Marketing training program
• Representation at fairs and Exhibitions
• Buyer seller meet
• Exposure visit
• Awareness raising of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) schemes
2. Handloom Weavers related
• Handloom weavers training program
3. Community mobilization related
• Capacity building and leadership training for SHG leaders
• Periodic meeting with SHGs
4. Farmer Development Program
• Seeds distribution program for BPL farmers
• Plantation program
5. Education Relation Program
• Uniform and Book distribution to needy students
6. Health Camps
7. Folk art preservation and development program
Upcoming Programs and Activities
1. Increased employment and livelihood level for marginalized women artisans
2. SHG activity to increase through greater saving and lending activity
3. Cluster development schemes for artisans as provided by the govt.
4. Direct access to schemes for rural women artisans
5. Encouraging livestock rearing in drought porn area
6. Direct benefits to those eligible for employment under NREGA
7. Increase leadership capabilities and development of Dalit communities.
8. To ensure claims of 1000 artisans’ families covered under Artisans Health Insurance scheme and
register 2000 new families in the scheme.
9. Resource mobilization for GVCS