Lambadi embroidery- a few glimpses from the monsoon collective

Hi everyone,

Today morning I was at the National Institute of Fashion Technology campus in Bangalore enjoying the medley of crafts exhibited there at the Monsoon Collective by A Hundred Hands. 



It is not often that I get to see a craft based exhibition and I decided to use this opportunity to the maximum. I spent time talking to many of the artists and yeah,I emptied out my wallet too.. 

The Lambadi embroidery stall was the first one where I stopped at.
Lambadis are the gypsies of the south who originally belonged to Rajasthan and migrated here.The collective had two stalls - one from Lambadis of the state of Karnataka and one from Tamil Nadu.

This is a pic of the Karnataka Lambadi stall. Click on the pic for a better view.

The members of the stall.

..and this is what one of them was working on. Look at the label -it is a FabIndia product!!!

The triangles appeared to be blanket stitches. I should've spent more time there and learnt a stitch or two. But I was eager to visit as many as possible before my hubby and daughter lost patience and moved on

The next  Lambadi embroidery stall was one of the last I visited. This was being managed by a lady.
What captured my attention here were these framed pieces.

 Aren't they fabulous!!

Here's a closeup.

I talked to her and she explained how she had come across the small population of Lambadis in TamilNadu who had stopped wearing their traditional dresses and switched over to sarees .The traditional wear used to have plenty of embroideries on them -and not wearing them anymore meant no more embroidery. 

At one point there were only two among all of the Lambadi group who had some knowledge of the stitches used. The story of revival starts from here.The two ladies were made to take up the role of teachers and train fifty others. And thus Porgai (Pride in Lambadi dialect) was born. You can read the revival story here.Only after reading the article did I realize that the lady was Dr.Lalitha Regi ,who along with her husband set up the Tribal Health Initiative.

Again, I feel like kicking myself that I did not buy anything from her.Among the items on sale were small patches of embroidery that could be added on to fabrics. I could've gotten at least a couple just for the sake of understanding the stitches. But I didn't...aargh.

Sometimes, sensible thoughts creep in only after a long time. Anyways, hopefully in the next monsoon collective I'll get a chance again.

Well, that was about the embroidery in the exhibition today. In the next post ,I'll show you some great pics of another fantastic art.

Love,luck and sunshine,
Deepa


Comments

Rachel said…
It sounds utterly enthralling!
These textiles look fascinating - I think I would have been spending my money too!
How wonderful to see all that fabulous work! thank you for sharing it with us.
I do hope you make it back and can describe in more detail the stitches used, its inspirational. My fingers always itch to touch the fabrics and feel as well as see how its all done.
neki desu said…
such wonderful stitching! thanks for sharing
Anonymous said…
I have seen that triangle like stitch on a fab india kurta before...and have wondered what stitch it was..please do make a post in case you manage to replicate it......I have tried and failed.
Awesome embroidered frames. I just love their embroidery. I had bought couple of bags few years back, although the fabric is faded the whole thing still looks fabulous.