If you were to visit new market and arriving from the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road and S.N Banerjee intersection side, during weekdays, you will come across a line of about 5 embroidery shops with workers tirelessly etching their craft onto plain textiles thereby bringing life into them with their beautiful, intricate patterns with some small rectangular pieces of metal being squeezed shut around some threads of the fabric.
Speciality Of The Craft
Embroidery in India includes dozens of regional embroidery styles. The skilled craftsmen at New Market area ace the game in Mukaish work (known also as badla or fardi), which includes making shiny stitches amid chikan embroidery using a needle and long, thin strips of metal. The wire is inserted into the fabric, and then beaten with a hammer into different shapes
About Badla Embroidery
Badla is a type of embroidery that originates from the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. This type of embroidery involves twisting thin metallic threads to create patterns all over the fabric. Although the most common pattern is dots, other patterns are also created in this art work. This form of embroidery was first developed for the royalty that resided in the city as part of their ceremonial dresses since ‘Mukaish’ work initially used precious metals like gold and silver to make threads.
This form of embroidery can be done on all kinds of clothing items, right from sarees and salwar kameez to shirts, tunics, kurtis and more.
Why Are They Rare
Currently, this type of embroidery is considered a dying craft as there aren’t many ‘Karigars’ (craftsmen) invested in the creation of ‘Mukaish’ work garments anymore. Md. Shamim, an embroidery worker who has been mastering this art for 27yrs says that his children do not want to join this line of work as there is no life in it; neither is the income lucrative. There is a great deal of effort and the money is less.
Even for less work, it takes 10 days to complete with the help of two workers.
The cost differs according to the work done. It starts from Rs. 250 and goes up to as high as the work demands. “There is still a lot of demand of this work but the margin has decreased so labour has also decreased.” – said Sheku, another worker, who has been working here for 25yrs.
Future of the trade
In spite of the availability of machine embroidery, this trade has not been affected. This is an ancient art that will not die so easily.
So all you ladies who want to let your creative side out; can get your patterns designed by these skilled artisans.
Hungry after a long day of shopping at New Market? Check out this video about all the yummy food you can get there!