Craft Documentation on Fardi

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Kaamdani and Fardi ka Kaam

Shimmering Embroidery



Craft Documentation 2012 Kaamdani and Fardi Ka Kaam Saiqa Nimisha Kale Textile Design, PGDPD National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

Photo credits mentioned along with bibliography All copy rights reserved by NID and the authors


Kaamdani and Fardi ka Kaam

Shimmering Embroidery





ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Being in a new city and navigating through is always a difficult task, but finding people who help you through out is something not very common. It is difficult to mention all the individuals who have helped us in various ways. We will still try and mention everyone who has supported us through this enriching experience. We take the opportunity to thank Mr. Prashant Singh, who helped us by going out of his way to introduce the city of Lucknow to us. He took us to various monuments like Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza and other significant places. Because of him we met relevent people who helped us in various stages. We are thankful to Hedat Mehandi who taught us the basics of the craft and answered to all our questions. We are grateful to Munne Naga, who took out time from his busy schedule for us and helped us with queries that we had about the craft, its existence and every minute detailing about it . We would like to thank Erroll Pires and Sakthivel for his valuable guidance throughout the documentation process. We are also grateful to Aditi Ranjan and M.P. Ranjan’s book ‘Handmade in India’ from where we initiated the idea of documenting this almost neglected craft. We would like to thank the Textile Department for giving us this opportunity to explore and research in this area. THANK YOU ALL


PREFACE India is a country with a wide variety of living crafts that form a part of it’s rich culture and tradition. Every region has a distinct craft and culture associated with it, often influenced by various factors like the region’s history, climate, condition and social system. This craft document is an attempt to understand the social and economic condition which influence the craft sector and the community that we have sought to study - ‘Kaamdani and Fardi ka Kaam’. It is basically a study of the usage of materials, color, form, design vocabulary and the technique that has evolved over the last few hundred years. Through this we have also tried to gain an insight into the culture of the city of Lucknow that has been the home of this craft. This document has been result of the research that we did in Lucknow. The document carries our understanding about the place, people , Craft, Government help and other such factors which are of direct or indirect relevance to the craft. This document inclose brief description of the craft “ Kaamdani and Fardi “. the process of embroidery, about the craftspersons, materials used, techniques, production cost, market, the condition infrastructure, development and the support from organizations.








Under mughals The British influence

Introduction Geographical location Climate

Culture and lifestyle

Tools Pre production Process Motif library Product range Craft as livehood Costing

12 - 17

18 - 21

22 - 27

30 - 56

68 - 79 80 - 85


90 - 95


96 - 103


104 - 105


106 - 107

APPENDIX 1 Ancient facts

108 - 111

112 - 115

APPENDIX 2 Gallery of nawabs Gallery of monuments

APPENDIX 3: Places visited


116 - 121



Awadh Awadh also known in various British historical texts as Oudh, Oundh, or Oude, is a region in the centre of the modern indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which was before Independence known as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

History of Awadh



History of Awadh

Awadh Awadh forms part of Today Uttar Pradesh, a state of India. Awadh, was established around 1722 AD with Faizabad as its capital and Sadat Ali Khan as its first Nawab, the first of the Nawabs of Awadh. Awadh is also known in various British historical texts as Oudh or Oude derived from Ayodhya region in Uttar Pradesh significant for its connection with the Hindu Mythology. This area before independence was known as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. The traditional capital of Awadh has been Faizabad which then moved to Lucknow, the modern day capital of UP. The modern definition of Awadh geographically includes the districts of Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Balrampur, Barabanki, Faizabad, parts of Terai area (Inner Terai and Outer Terai), now lies within Nepal (Tulsipur Dang) and main parts of Gorakhpur district. Awadhi is the distinct dialect of the region


History of Awadh

THE BRITISH INFLUENCE The treaty of 1801 formed an arrangement that was very beneficial to the Company. They were able to use Awadh’s vast treasuries, repeatedly digging into them for loans at reduced rates. In addition, the revenues from running Awadh’s armed forces brought them useful revenues while it acted as a buffer state. United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, 1903 In 1856 the East India Company first moved its troops to the border, then annexed the state, which was placed under a chief commissioner - Sir Henry Lawrence. Wajid Ali Shah, the then Nawab, was imprisoned, and then exiled by the Company to Calcutta. In the subsequent Revolt of 1857 his 14 year old son Birjis Qadra was crowned ruler. Sir Henry was killed in the hostilities. Following the rebellion’s defeat, Qadra and other rebel leaders obtained asylum in Nepal. The rebels took control of Awadh, and it took the British 18 months to reconquer the region, a period which included the famous Siege of Lucknow. Oudh was placed back under a chief commissioner, and was governed as a British province.

Left Top -Streets of Oudhe (Awadh or Lucknow) before the annexations Ledt bottom - Nawab Wajid Ali Shah


History of Awadh

United Province of Agra and Oudh The United Provinces of Agra and Oudh was a province of India under the British Raj, from 1902 to 1947. It corresponded approximately to the present-day Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. From 1856 to 1902, the region existed as two separate provinces, NorthWestern Provinces and Oudh.

and Ambala in the Punjab the Punjab States of tSirmur and Jubbal. The Jumna river formed part of the western boundary, the Ganges part of the southern, and the Gandak part of the eastern; other boundaries are artificial

By the 18th century, the once vast Mughal Empire was collapsing, undone by internal dissension and by expansion of the Marathas from the Deccan, the British from Bengal, and the Afghans from Afghanistan. By the middle of the century, present-day Uttar Pradesh was divided between several states: Awadh (Oudh) in the centre and east, ruled by a Nawab who owed allegiance to the Mughal Emperor but was de facto independent; Rohilkhand in the north, ruled by Afghans; the Marathas, who controlled the Bundelkhand region in the south, and the Mughal Empire, which controlled the entire Doab (the tongue of land between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers) as well as the Delhi region. The Provinces were bounded on the north by China, and on the north-east by Nepal; on the east and south-east by the Champaran, Saran, Shahabad, and Palamau Districts of Bengal; on the south by two of the Chota Nagpur States in the Central Provinces, Rewah and some small States in the Central India Agency, and Saugor District in the Central Provinces; on the west by the States of Gwalior, Dholpur, and Bharatpur, the Districts of Gurgaon, Delhi, Karnal,


UTTAR PRADESH The heart of india’s contemporary and religious life .....



Introduction Of Uttar Pradesh

UTTAR PRADESH Uttar Pradesh or UP literally means the northern province. Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India and fourth largest state in India. It forms more than one eighth part of India and constitutes its heartland. It comprises an area of 294,413 square km. The region of Uttar Pradesh has been the heart of much of India’s contemporary religious and cultural life. It contains the source of the sacred river Ganga which is regarded by most of the Hindus as the physical and spiritual life source of the country. Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh. It is situated along the banks of the Gomti river in the heart of the eastern UP. There are some of the most well known tourist centres in UP like Agra, the city of the Taj; Varanasi, one of the most ancient cities of the world on the banks of the Ganges; Haridwar, the religious city; Allahabad, the place where the great Kumbh mela is held and Mathura, situated on the banks of the Yamuna river and regarded as the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Hindi, Urdu and English are the main languages which are spoken in Uttar Pradesh. The best season to visit Uttar Pradesh is from October to March.

Cotton mills were first established in Kanpur in 1869 making it one of the older industrial cities of India. It is now one of the greatest manufacturing cities with woollen and leather industries, Cottage and village-based industries like weaving, leather, woodwork, ceramics, silk weaving and perfumery are the important industries.

Vidhan sabha

Economy of Uttar Pradesh Agriculture is the main occupation of three quarters of the working population. About one sixth of the state is under forests. Wheat, rice, maize and pulses are the major crops grown in Uttar Pradesh. UP does not have lucrative mineral resources.




Ambedkar hall

Lucknow - A Journey

LUCKNOW - THE GRAND CITY Lucknow is the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh and a second largest city after Delhi within the states of north, central and eastern India. City is located on the northwestern shore of Gomti river, which flows through the city. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city, and flourished as a cultural and artistic capital of North India in the 18th and 19th centuries. Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, was founded by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula. In the olden times, it served as the capital of the nawabs of Awadh and it is one of the reasons why it is also called as the city of the Nawabs. The era of the Nawabs bestowed Lucknow with the courteous culture as well as mouthwatering delicacies for which it is famous today. Courtly manners, beautiful gardens, poetry, music, and fine cuisine are things which one encounters . The city’s design is heavily influenced by the several emperors and incorporates significant areas of natural imperial that have earned Lucknow the title of the “City of Nawab’s”. It is situated 23 Mts. above sea level. It is situated on 26.30 & 27.10 North latitude and 80.30 & 81.13 East longitude. Lucknow covers an area of 2528 It is surrounded on the eastern side by District Barabanki .

Left top - Ambedkar Park / Courtesy - Wikipedia Left bottom- Map of Lucknow


Lucknow -A Journey.

Lucknow is placed among the fastest growing cities of India and is rapidly emerging as a manufacturing, commercial and retailing hub. This unique combination of rich cultural traditions and brisk economic growth provides Lucknow with an aura that refuses to fade away.

CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE The people of Lucknow speak Urdu, which is one of the sweetest languages. The poetry and prose written in Urdu has its own charm and is a delight to listen to. The people of Lucknow have their own refined style of doing each and every thing. Even the smallest thing like rolling paan leaves and taking it with the proper etiquettes from a woman is done with the highest level of sophistication

Tunde kabab

AWADHI CUISINE Awadhi Cuisine is similar to that of central Asia and Northern India, and the cooking patterns of the city are similar to those of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern India as well. The cuisine consists of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. Their spread consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabs, kormas, biryani, parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like mutton, paneer, and rich spices including cardamom and saffron.

Lucknawi cuisines


Lucknow -A Journey....


Koi Kissa Rass Nahin Aata Base Sivaye ek Sham-e-Awadh Lucknow is known for it’s evenings, Shaam-E-Awadh along the river Gomti - Lucknow’s lifeline. As luck would have it, Lucknow’s finest structures are built either along this river, or just nearby. So as the sun sets in the evening, and one happens to be on the banks of Gomti, or boating along, Lucknow’s skyline presents a breathtaking view. The other depiction has Lucknow, the capital of Awadh and hence referred to as Shaam-e-Awadh. Here the scene is usually depicted in a tardy fashion by presenting a glamorous tawaif (courtesan) displaying her exotic charms, beauty and graceful stature and appearing in one of the balconies of a building in the street, purporting to be throwing an open invitation in the form of a salaam or a gesture to the customer standing below, in Chowk (in a street lying between the Masjid of Tehsin and the Gol Darwaza). The adjacent lane there is still known as Phool wali gali, for the flower-sellers, who flourished there with the tawaifs by selling flower ornaments and garlands made with neelofar, yaasmin. chameli, champa, beta, gulab (rose) and other sweet smelling flowers.


“Kal bhi jiske tazkire the, anjuman dar anjuman Daastaan dar daastan, Shaam-e-Awadh hai aaj bhi” - Josh, a well-known poet from Malihabad town near Lucknow

Lucknow -A Journey....

Sure enough, while the city has its fair share of Imambaras, Chikankari, Zardozi, it also has a fine sprinkling of plush showrooms, restaurants, Of late, several international infotech companies and corporate houses have come to Lucknow, making it a truly cosmopolitan city. Today, the city is not laidback any more, it is vibrant. The composite culture and peaceful ambience of Lucknow has always attracted settlers from outside. Today denizens from all over the country have made it their home. Lucknow’s promising future lies in its glorious heritage. It was an ancient seat of learning. It has been a city of gardens and impressive monuments. Places of worship belonging to all sects and denominations of important religions dot the city’s landscape. The composite culture of North India is best reflected in the Ganga Jamuni Tahzeeb achieved here.

Top - Last surviving nawzb mir zafar abdullah Below - Lucknawi Tehzeeb



CITY The city of Lucknow is located on the banks of river Gomti. Lucknow has always been known as a multicultural city, and flourished as a cultural and artistic capital of North India in the 18th and 19th centuries. It represents a blend of old and the new . Aminabad, Chowk, Chota Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Hazaratganj and many other places filled with nostalgia, attract many visitors . People in Lucknow have an extremely relaxed and a peaceful life . The city homed the great legends of urdu poetry, especially in Marsiya Nigari like Mir Anees and Mirza Dabeer. Lucknow is famous for Azadari because of its history of Shia kingdom of Nawabs of Oudh who promoted Muharram and its religious events on very high regards. The culture of Urdu poetry is still popular, especially in Muharram and other occasions related with Islamic lunar calendar.


Contemporary product


All that Glitters... Kaamdani and Fardi kaam

Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

KAAMDANI AND FARDI KA KAAM It is an ancient form of metal wire embroidery. For centuries, this fine metallic embroidery on white fabric has delighted the heart of king and commoner alike. It is a complex and elegant craft that has come down to us evolving, over the years into an aesthetic form of great beauty. Under the cultured, sophisticated influence of the rulers of Awadh, Kaamdani and Fardi ka Kaam flourished. Patronized by the rich nawabs, favoured by local rajahs, sultans and zamindars and became a very intrinsic part of Lakhnavi grace and culture. Workshops were established wherein this embroidery was practiced and perfected. That it has survived the loss of royal patronage, suffered deeply at the hands of commercialization, lost its way sometimes in mediocrity and yet stayed alive, is a tribute to the skill and will of the craftspersons who have handed down this technique from one generation to another. According to some old craftpersons this craft is being practiced in Lucknow for almost more than 200 years. But it did not originate in Lucknow. It flourished in the Mughal Court at Delhi in the 16th and 17th centuries. When the Mughal courts disintegrated the artisans scattered across the country. Some of them came and settled in this area and developed this craft further. It gained a meaningful presence in Lucknow and its surrounding areas sometime during the late18th and early 19th century when it was brought to the Lakhnawi courts of the nawabs. Top Left- Jehangir’s silver embroidered garment , belived to be kaamdani Bottom - Queen of king jehangir


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

MYTHS/LEGEND RELATED TO THE ORIGIN OF THE CRAFT Kaamdani and Fardi ka kaam are rooted in antiquity. There are a number of stories behind the origin of this craft; however, it is difficult to ascertain its actual origin. It is believed that this embroidery technique is around four hundred and fifty years old. One origin theory says it traces its roots to Noor Jehan, the Queen of Mughal King Jehangir. She, inspired by Turkish embroidery, introduced this needlework in the region. There are some very fine Mughal miniatures that depict the Emperor Jehangir in silver embroidered garments. Historians believe this could be Kaamdani. It is also said that Raja Dashrath used to wear costumes with Kaamdani , Badla art . ww Folklore says that a traveler while passing through a village near Lucknow asked for water from a poor peasant. Pleased with his hospitality, the traveler taught him the art of Kaamdani that would never allow him to go hungry. The craftsmen believe that the traveller was a prophet. The origin of this craft is also ascribed to the harem’s of Awadh’s Nawab, where a seamstress from Murshidabad embroidered a cap for the Nawab to please him. Jealous of the attention she received from the king, other inmates of the harem followed her and thus evolved the art of Kaamdani.

Top Right- Artist illustration of Mughal court Bottom Right - Artist’s illustration of Emperor Jahagir and his begum


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

CRAFT- KAAMDANI AND FARDI KA KAAM It is an ancient technique, where a flattened metal strip (badla) is either laid on the surface of the fabric or by employing a technique called mukesh, and embroidered through the fabric using its pointed end in place of a needle. Metal wire embroidery can be majorly categorized into two types. • Kaamdani • Fardi

KAAMDANI : Kaamdani is the metal wire embroidery which is made by long stitches of the wire on fabric creating the required motifs. The badla(flat metal thread) is treated like a thread and goes in and out of the fabric to make stitches. There are satin stiches used which fill up the spaces. During the making of the kaamdani if the wire get short the craftsman join another wire to the end with a link and continue. It is ensured that the link is kept on the outer/facing side of the fabric so that it can be finished later with kaudi. These finished ends and joined links ensure user comfort.



Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

FARDI : Fardi (As earlier the embroidery was done on white fabric which resembled clouds), Fard means length of the fabric ,and when anything is embroidered on fard its called “FARDI “. This intricate craft recreates a starry night sky when used in combination with black flowing chiffon or flamboyant organza silk. Fardi is created by wrapping a short length of badla around few threads of warp and weft threads of the fabric, and then breaking the threads off. This leaves a small metal dot on the fabric. The process is repeated to fill a space with dots. If a thick fabric is being used, then a short, thick needle with two eyes is used to take the badla through the fabric. Fardis are an effective way of embellishing a textile or garment. Fardi dots can be placed in patterns and can be combined with other textile techniques such as bandhani or chikankari, or on printed or woven textiles to enhance their beauty. Mirrors have flat back and are heavy, so instead of affixing mirrors with stitches to add sparkle to a garment, fardi is being incorporated as a suitable alternative. A skilled embroiderer can work fardi quickly across a garment. In this way, by skillfully using metal strips, embroiderers create rich, formal and elegant work on attire. fardi dots


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

BADLA- The material Badla is basically a flat metal thread used for the embroidery . In the traditional method of producing badla, a bar of pure silver is beaten and pulled through successively smaller holes in a flat, perforated steel plate with the help of pliers till silver wires or threads of the required diameter are obtained. These threads, are very fine and are absolutely uniform in diameter, and are soft and flexible as well. For badla work, the wires are flattened into thin strands by light hammering. For gold badla, the bar of silver is covered with three layers of gold, and placed in a furnace till the gold and silver are diffused. The bar is then pulled through the perforated plate to obtain gilded thread that is subsequently beaten.

Left Top - Badla Left Bottom - Badla with perfectly even dimension Right Top - Silver Badla Right Bottom - Golden Badla Corner - Colorful badla


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

Earlier real gold and silver badla was used , but presently aluminium wires are used. These days there are a very few designers who use pure gold and silver badla for high-end embroidery. Less expensive embroidery is done with metal threads produced with copper or steel base and are chemically gilded. Silver badla has traditionally been preferred for kamdani, embroidered on white fabrics. It creates a formal, rich look without being overly gracefull. Though traditionally the embroidery was done only on fine white fabrics, kamdani is now worked on a variety of fabrics and on different coloured fabrics resulting in striking effect.


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

Badla affected by the climate change

The climate plays a very important role as the badla turns black beacuse of the moisture content in the atmosphere. Very good care has to be taken while handling the sample, because once the product starts turning black, it looses its


beauty. These days badla is enamled with either gold or silver to avoid blackness due to climatic change, so that it’s shine and beauty remains intact and hence the quality.

Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

THE FABRIC Fardi and kaamdani is generally performed best on chiffon and georgette fabric. The manufacturer give the fabric to the artisan according to the demand of the costumer. The process starts when client deals with Kaarkhandaar (manufacturer), he gives the idea about the design, the kind of product and on type of fabric. Kaarkhandar then explains the designer about the design to be made. Designer then draw the design on butterpaper (khaka likhna) and perforates with needle or with motorised pen (gudai). There are nine stages in the production of a single piece:

• Purchage of fabric • Cutting • Printing • Embroidery • Finishing • Washing • Stitching • Packaging • Marketing


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

PROCESS Cutting of fabric is carried out in the lots of 10-20 garments. The layouts are done to minimize wastage of materials. Different pieces of fabric are cut according to the requirement and client’s order. Saris are generally the sizes of 6.50 mt length ie. 45”araz (width); Salwar suit 4.50 mt length ie. 45”araz; Dupatta 2.50 mt length ie. 40”araz. Chapai(printing) is carried out by the use of wool/cloth (Phuchara) dipped in dyes like neel/safeda with kerosene {neel is used when fabric is white, safeda(chalk) is used when fabric is coloured}. The already designed and perforated butter paper is kept on the fabric and putai(rubbing of the dipped cloth) is done by some skilled person, so that continuity of the pattern can be maintained (saandha milana). The fabric gets the impressions of the dye. Care is taken in the composition of dye used (so that it can easily be washed out).

Left Top - cutting of fabric LeftBottom - chapai Top right - Craftsen embroidering Right Bottom - place of Dhulai


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam


After printing, the fabric is embroidered by karigars(craftsmen) both men and women. Washing and finishing, takes about 2-3 days. Washing (dhulai) is done by washing machine with any detergent (Ariel, Tide etc.) then it is washed slowly with hands (if print marks are still their). If the indigo applied is strong and it is not going even after washing. It is cleaned with a chemical (Shore ka tezaab). After washing, Ghutai (smoothening) is done (as the work is made out of metal wire on fabric it is rough and the broken ends of the wire can hurt the person who wear the fabric). The fabric is placed on a plain surface and ghutai (rubbing) is done with kaudi/bottle filled with sand(to make it heavier). It also imparts shine to the work.


Charak (stiffening/ironing) is done to stiffen the fabric. One end of the fabric is stitched to a rod and the fabric is stretched and sprayed with startch. It is then rolled and put under sun for drying. Ironing is done after charak. It is then folded and parcelled to the client Time taken for the work depends on the design, karigar and several other factors (like the size of the fabric etc).

Left top - Ghutai (Smoothning) Left Bottom - Selling of the final product


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

PREPARING KHAKA Good quality embroidery starts with perfectly made khakas or paper patterns. Fine line drawings of motifs are made on butter paper by pen or pencil, and a craftsperson perforates the paper according to the design made.

Motifs or the designs are either given to the artisans by the customers or they already have certain design library made, which they show it to their customers and they choose it according to their need and requirement. This Khaka is placed on the fabric. There is a mixture of blue powder (neel) and kerosene applied on the cloth through the khaka, by gently soaking a cotton dab in the neel mixture. Kerosene and neel/chalk mixture is used so that it can be washed away leter after the embroidery is done. It leaves the impression of the perforated pattern on the fabric. This pattern acts as a basic structure for the craftsman to work. It is imperative that the pattern is neatly made and subsequently, neatly covered by the embroidery, as a client will not purchase a garment with the neel marks.

Top - Pinning of the khaka Bottom - Neel being spread


chiffon and georgettee fabric generally used

Time taken to complete the product given by the customers depends on the design. The product can be finished in 1-2 weeks to 6-7 months.


Initially the manufacturers have to invest for the materials, labour cost etc. They get the money once the final product is sold.

Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam



The wire attached to a small length of thread is pulled through the fabric with a needle. Earlier in fardi and kaamdani the wire (badla) was used as a needle, the reason being, it was strong enough to pass from the fabric . But now due to the bad quality of the badla needle is used.

Siyahi ka kaanta (porcupine quill)

It’s a very fine instrument which is used to make small fine holes in the fabric. For openwork, the fabric is pierced with a porcupine quill or pointed sticks made of ivory, wood or bone into the fabric .


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

Shell - burnishing

After the emboidery is done on the fabric. It is laid flat on a blanket and rubbed over with a cowrie/shell as this flattens and burnishes the wire. This is done to smoothen the wire’s sharp edges and also to impart shine and lusture.

Pinwass -

It is pointed tool, which is used to perforate the motifs on the khaka (butter papar).


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

The use of needle while embroidering

Siyahi ka kaanta used for making holes


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

EMBROIDERY - DISCRETE TECHNIQUE As badla is flat and broad, the embroidery cannot be done by threading it into a regular needle. To facilitate embroidery with badla, the embroiderer threads a thick needle with a short length of regular thread and makes a small loop towards the end of the thread. One end of the badla is then attached to the loop. The needle is slipped into the cloth, pulled out and in the same movement, the thread is pulled completely. Badla is pulled keeping just a small bit on the top surface of the fabric. This end piece of badla is then turned over to secure it, while the needle is once again pierced into the fabric and stitches are made. The wire is folded back with the finger tips. Badla is pressed against the fabric on wrong side of the fabric. A thick needle is selected for the work so that the hole made in the fabric is large enough for the badla to come through it. One can see in the lanes of Lucknow, people sitting in “addas” and working . “Adda” is basically small shop or workspaces where people get together and work .

Left top - Doing kaamdani


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

In addas there are 2 differen type of working styles • Kaarchob (a traditional frame with legs placed on the floor) • Other is where no frame is required and they sit on the ground and work. For surface badla the fabric is fixed on a kaarchob. Badla (or metal elements for zardozi) are placed on the surface of the fabric according to the motif, and stitches are made to secure it. On the other hand, Kaamdani embroidery is done by holding the fabric in the hand. As the needle has to be worked in and out of the fabric, Kaamdani embroidery is not suited to the kharchob. As a kaarchob is not used in Kaamdani work, the embroiderer has to hold the fabric by holding one part of it wrapped around and held by the fingers of the left hand (if the embroidery is being done with the right hand) and a section of the other part held by the legs or knees.

Top Right- working on adda Bottom Right-Sitting on the grounp and emroidering


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

METICULOUS PROCESS “Embroidery with badla requires a lot of skill and attention as after a few stitches, the badla tends to get twisted, just like a regular thread does, in the course of making stitches. The Badla (silver coated aluminium wire) is attached to the thread of the needle. As the needle passes through the cloth, tightened around the finger, the succeeding folds of the wire on the cloth make the knot or the buti. Fardi and kaamdani both are done through the folding of the wire.

Turn (Mod)

The three most important terms in kaamdani and fardi are: Tod (break), Mod (turn) and Jod (joint). This is particularly important in badla work. Attention is being taken during “Tod, Mod and Jod” so that the motifs are continuous and flawless.

Joint (jod)

Break (Tod ) Turning (mod) of the badla


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

PROCESS OF TYING THE WIRE IN THE THREAD Earlier badla used to be strong enough to pass through the fabric, but nowdays as the wires are not strong enough, needle is used and there a different technique to attach the badla to the thread, which is explained below.

Step 1- Pass the normal thread through the needle eye.

Step 2- Fold the tip of the wire and attach it to the thread as a hook


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam


Step 3- The needle is passed through the fabric.


Step 4- Embroidery is done according to the printed design on the fabric.

Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

Step 5- The final result when the embroidery is done.

Kaudi - The Instrument by which the fardi is finished and smoothen.


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

Step 6 - The Kaudi is pressed and rub on the fabric to make the edges of the wire smooth.


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

In kamdani, all joints are on the upper surface of the fabric so that the ends of the badla do not touch the skin. On completion of a stitch or embroidery, the badla is snipped and folded or gently pressed into the work so that the end does not create an abrasion. After the work is completed, the embroidered surface is placed facing a hard surface and the reverse of embroidery is gently rubbed with a Kauri/shell to smoothen the work and flatten the badla against the fabric. The dots vary from simple shimmering stars to denser constellations. Minute ones join to form an exquisite patterns. The most commonly found ones flooding the markets are floral butis, kairis and leafy vines. Heavier, intricate work carry richer designs - figures of peacocks with wide plumes and fishes.

Right - small dots making a big intricate desi


Kaamdani And Fardi ka Kaam

TYPES OF STITCHES AND MOTIFS The badla is treated like a thread, embroiderers work a variety of stitches. Over time, several stitches of chikankari were absorbed by kamdani work, giving it the elegance of chikankari with the richness of badla. These include satin stitch (lote), long-cross stitch (kangan), a square with a back stitch (rozan), button hole (meharki), satin stitch encircling fabric (kauri) and long button hole with eye in the centre (bijli). Once you learn the technique, you can develop it and create a variety of stitches that look rich and beautiful.� Traditionally, floral motifs were the most popular in kamdani work; geometric motifs were few. The flower motifs of jamdani weaves and the jali (mesh) of chikankari were absorbed in kamdani. Today there are different types of jalis worked with badla, which create different patterns such as a wave pattern, parallel lines, stars and diagonals. The motifs usually found in fardi are salami patti, ring, Kairi buti, tiki, kut, inner circle karan, mundi patti, banarasi, chunar patta in Kashmir, kanta, nukili patti, pinwass.




Salmi patti

Banarsi chunar patta



Kut 58




Kairi patti 59


Mundi phool

Chota inner circle

Bada inner circle



Nukili patti


The other better known stiches are • Karanphool (basically a straight line flower) • Mundaphool (petalled flower ) • Patta (leaf ) • Ring design Incidentally all the various stiches of chikankari can be done on kaamdani, thats the reason why the craft is known as “gold and chikankari work “. Making aluminium wire stiches on cloth requires a more strenuous effort than simple cotton thread. While silver badla is mostly used, gold and multicolored threads creating exotic patterns are rare. The needle work is first done on white chiffon and later the cloth is dyed to the desired shade , the color of the wire is unaffectes by the dyeing process.

Product Range

PRODUCT RANGE During the time of nawabs all their clothing starting from head to toe was embroidered. which included 1. Head Gears 2. Angrakhas 3. Sarees 4. Dupattas 5. Table top 6. Salwar kameez 7. Men Kurtas


Right Top -Kurta Right Bottom - Potli


Product Range

Burkha made from fardi and kaamdani


Product Range


A dupatta made from kaamdani

A saree made of fardi

A saree made of fardi

A saree made of fardi

Product Range

Fardi on fabric georgette fabric



Crafts and craftsmenship

CRAFTMAN PROFILE : MUNNE NAGA “Bas ye khwab hai ke is kaam ko zyada se zyada logo tak pahuchau, aur log is kaam aur is hunar ki tarif kare”. Munneji, aged 61 yrs, is part of a family that has been practising Kaamdani since almost 150 years. His grandfather was the one who started this work, and slowly got his father into this field. His father then went to Delhi and started a karkhana in Chandni Chowk, which was the biggest karkhanas of that time, with many craftsmen working there and beautiful pieces being made. He says that earlier Kaamdani was in high demand and Fardi was a new variation made, but in a short time, Fardi was also in the same race as Kaamdani. His father moved back to Lucknow in 1972 where he joined his Chacha. After a few years, there were very few karigars left in the area. Many of migrated to other places like Hyderabad or Mumbai, some even having migrated to Pakistan. Many of them had quit working in this field because of the money (income) they used to get. The artisans get only Rs 100 - 150. And that too if they work continuously for hours, otherwise even that is difficult. It’s his primary profession, there are many people who also have to work in different places as the money that they get in this work is not sufficient enough to run their families .


Crafts and craftsmenship

Munne naga is on a better condition than the rest of other craftsmen as he owns a shop of his own, has a retail outlet in Lucknow and one in Delhi. There are no middle men between him and his customers, with him mostly working for his Delhi showroom. They generally make the products as and when the order comes. Earlier the badla was of chandi (silver), now its generally copper or aluminium wire with silver and gold polish, there are even colourful badla that one gets these days. 1 saree almost takes 2 months to finish. Based on the intricacy and the patience that they need while embroidering, is nothing compared to the wages that they get in return. He told us that the climate has a great influence over the badla , it turns black, because of the moisture content, so one needs to take great care while handling it . The costing or the price of the product is decided by the amount of fardi used. The usual cost is 100rs for 3000 dana. The material price has gone up, but the customers still are stuck at the old price, failing to understand how expensive the market has become . The only change that happend is the taar (wire) has been replace by the copper wire and also the designs have added on which is obvious as the time changes, new thing keep getting added up.


Crafts and craftsmenship

He had a box full of khakas kept with him that contained a range from traditional designs to new modern designs. The current generation doesn’t want its children to enter this field as there is no future. He works for almost 16 – 17 hrs a day, he earns almost 10 – 15 thousand per month. Family – He is born and brought up in Lucknow only, has a wife and 4 children of which two are settled abroad and 2 are studying in JNU at Delhi. He is a person with a progressive outlook, even his wife works, and goes out to sell his products. He goes to delhi once in a month, works alone.


Crafts and craftsmenship


The very first day, after roaming for quite a few hours, we found this lane in Chota Imambada which had many small “Addas”, few of which were being used by mochis, tailors, embroiders. After a few shops we found a small adda where 4 buzurg (elderly) people were sitting and doing a unique metal embroidery which we call – Kaamdani and Fardi ka Kaam Hedat Mehandi belongs to Lucknow, and has his family staying here for more than 70 years. He lives with his wife 2 sons and a daughter. All 3 of their children were either studying medical or engineering, which made us curious enough to ask, why isn’t anyone involved in what he did. He said he doesn’t want any of his children to enter this field as there is no income. He also said that generally this is the mind frame of all the artisans who are working in this area, they don’t want their chidren to enter, which obviously means the death of this beautiful craft . But to think about it, the craftsmen are not at fault, there is no support from the government, or from the NGOs, which is demotivating for them. He said there have been times when they have gone to bank to ask for loans but they been rejected on their faces. About the craft – “ Shauk “ is the word that he used. He used to see his grandfather, father and his mother doing this embroidery which generated interest in him , and thus even he learnt


Crafts and craftsmenship

which generated interest in him , and thus even he learnt this craft. There are definite ups and downs, at times they get work for continuously 3 months or more, and there are also times when there is almost no work for 3 months He told us that the craft Kaamdani and Fardi origninated in Lucknnow only, and once upon a time it was at its peak. But over a period of time, craftsmen started migrating to different cities as they were being valued more there and also being paid more. The peak time or the busy season is “Sept - Dec “. He gets customers from all over the world, as whatever they make mostly gets exported to places like Iran, Dubai , and the rest is bought by people from different places within India. Another disheartening story that we heard was , the customers who come to them , just give them the fabric over which they want the embroidery to be done, and come back when the product is ready, which means absolutely no additional money to buy the raw material, or even pay the majduri (labour cost), which almost feels like exploitation of the craftsmen . The craftsmen have to manage things on their own only, the material is so expensive these days because of which the debt keeps on increasing as they don’t have the money to buy it, so when the season comes, they pay their debts off . The 2 visible changes that we found out was


Crafts and craftsmenship

A. Badla – which earlier was used only of pure gold and silver and now aluminium wires were being used. B. Motifs – the design has gone through a lot of modernization, according to the need and wants of the customers. Change in the craft The craft has gone through a rough patch, which is evident, when one compares it to the time when it was its peak and the prices they got for their work and the present time where hardly people want to enter this line. But still all the craftsmen who are working in this field are trying their level best to maintain the essence of the craft. There is a huge product range – saree, suit, mens kurta, caps, handkerchief. Ultimately he wishes to setting up of his own karkhana (workshop) if he got government support or any help from the NGOs. A person needs to pay lot of attention to details when the metal wire is coutched by piercing on the surface

of the fabric. Once the piercing is done the metal wire is locked on the facing side It has to be lock properly. which is the most important step in the entire process of Kamdani making. This process is majorly done by the master craftsman, and based on his skills the quality of the fardi is judged and the pricing is decided according to it finish. Munne naga is very expert craftman. He said that “The coutched surface is further pressed and smoothened by Kaudi. This is done applying an even pressure on the surface of the fabric and always keep fabric on the plain surface like table, to achive uniformity and also becomes shiny due to friction of the Kaudi. So that the metal wont hurt to the skin. It is nice to feel it.” Based on the surface coverage the quality is decided. For example if more number of dots of fardi are coutched the pricing gets heigher and it increases the weight of the fabric as well. Which obviously makes the fabric look richer. .




Crafts and craftsmenship

ISSUES AND CONCERNS OF TODAY To make one piece of kaamdani work it takes five to seven hours for which a craftman earns 6-8 INR since wages are determined by the type of stitches used and there is no fixed piece rate system. Women workers generally earn INR 30 per day. They get work from stores through middlemen. This arrangement reduces their bargaining capacity to get a better price for the handicraft and makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Kaamdani work belongs to the informal sector where women and men are not organised. Due to illiteracy and lack of awareness the women are unable to demand their entitlement of a minimum wage of INR 58.50 under the Minimum Wage Act of 1948. Once the process of commercialization set in, the thrust was on quantity and not quality.There are today approximately one million people involved in the Kaamdani industry, working at various levels of production. Unfortunately, there is a gap between the embroiderer and the market.

Zardozi craftsman in rustam nagar


Crafts and craftsmenship

This is bridged by the middlemen who get the embroidery done by the karigars at very low wages and markets it at a good margin for themselves. This has caused much grief and deprivation to the poor karigars who have been terribly marginalized by the middlemen and brokers. Thus commercialization has not only exploited the workers, it has also led to complete deterioration in the quality of the work.

Aari worker in basimandi



craftsmen in Chota Imambada

There is a huge demarcation which anyone can see between the kaamdani ;fardi artisans and chikankari artisans. Thats the reason why there majority of the artisans dont want to continue working like this, as theres no one to carry forward the craft in their family after them. Also , many craftsmen have migrated to places like Hyderabad, Surat, Pakistan, to places where theres more work and people are ready to pay them rather than exploit them . The fact, that now there are very few artisans who want to continue this art, because they are not getting paid


enough for the work they perform as compared to other artisans are working in chikankari . There are few karkhanas which were set up ages back , but at present there are no new karkhanas that are coming up because of the decline in the craft and migrating craftsmen . There has been a tremendous decline in this craft . There are very few artisans who are trying there level best to save and preserve the craft. Its heart breaking to see that the craft which was once at its peak, now is almost at the verge of getting extinct.

Crafts and craftsmenship

Now even the cost of all the raw material has increased tremendously , which makes it even more complicated for the craftsmen as the customers who come upto them, dont pay them enough , the payment is given after 2 - 3 months, when they come to collect the final product,because of which the artisans have to buy the materials from their pockets only ,and also their salaries or wages get delayed because of this scenario, so it basically increases their problems rather than easing . Earlier the cost of the badla was 200 Rs Kg is now 1,600 rs per kg , but still the price of their skill is almost the same. Depending on the fardis( the dots) they price is decided. Its generally 100 rs for 3000 fardi . This proves the point why the artisans unhappy and want government involvement .

The middle men are also very troublesome , as they buy all that products that the carftsmen make and sell them at a higher price , which means that the selling proce is higher than the buying price , where the profit that the middle men gets on selling the product is very high and the returns given to the artisans is almost negligible .

Top - 2 craftswomen in ahmedganj

Now a days the products are generally exported to places like Bombay , Hyderabad, Delhi and even abroad to countries like Dubai, Iran .


BUSY LANES.... The market space


MARKET Crafts sector is the second largest employment sector in India. There are 23 million crafts people in India today. Many agricultural and pastoralcommunities depend on their traditional craft skills as a secondary source of Income. The inherent skills in embroidery, weaving, basketry etc. are a means to social and economic independence. The crafts sector is home based industry which requires minimum of expenditure, infrastructure and training. Itneeds existing skills, locally available resources and materials. However, there is a shift from small scale industries to hi-tech mechanized production. The rural crafts based industries, agro based industries and other traditional occupation based economic activities are being replaced by MNC’s sophisticated production through support of expensive marketing and advertising strategies. The change in consumer buying trends and entry of various new international brands of products has aggressively promoted factory produced commodities into rural and urban markets Crafts have been an integral part of village life. But production for homeconsumption is radically different from production for a commercial market.


Artisans embroidering in rustam nagar


Traditional craft skill needs sensitive adaptation, proper quality control,suitable pricing and improved designs to meet customer demand and satisfacton.Dastkar, SEWA and several other NGO’s have intervened in a organizedmanner for revivalism, craft development, skill up-gradation, marketing of finished goods etc Many a times the work is distributed to the women by going to their homes and dropping the work. The function of distributing work is some times carried out through contractors who are entrusted with the job of chikan garment stitching and chikan embroidery at rates settled with them by the trades/ entrepreneurs.. The contractors collect raw materials from the traders/ entrepreneurs distribute these among individual artisans at their houses, negotiate the labour charges and they pay them after work is completed and return the finished/ semi finished items to the traders/ entrepreneurs after obtaining payment from them on piece rate basis as initially settled.

work being distributed to the women

Traders/ entrepreneurs distribute these among individual artisans at their houses, negotiate the labour charges and they pay them after work is completed and return the finished/ semifinished items to the traders/ entrepreneurs after obtaining payment from them on piece rate basis as initially settled. .



Being in the city of nawabs, which marks the origion of so many beautiful crafts is a new experience , which both of us could feel, going from the lanes of Aminabad, Chota Imambada, Hazratganj and so many more such market places , we could already see the difference within all these different types of market we visited One could easily compare between the craft that literally got cultivated in lucknow and the changes the craft has gone through the years . Hazratganj being a new market one could see the changes in the motifs and in the motif library . We basically categorised the market of lucknow as NEW and OLD . The categorization was done in this way so that we could compare the difference in the motif library , product range, originality .product range , material being used. Places like Aminabad, Chowk, Chota Imambada, Muftiganj were in the old market, places where the craft had grown The place where we learnt about the craft , its origin , the way its made ,and also the changes it has gone through . Here , the same old culture of sitting at the addas and working in a group , customers coming up to their addas and giving them the product to make still exist. Its heart warming to see that there are people who are still trying there level best to preserve the old culture of Left Top -Small shops in Chowk


A Big Showroom in Hazaratganj

Hazaratganj , it is a major shopping area of the city. It houses showrooms and retail stores of almost all major consumer-good manufacturers in India . One can buy anythn from a 5rs handkerchief to a very expensive saree. It has a different culture all together . The striking contrast between the new and the old city was unavoidable. The striking difference that we could see was between

“then and now� was inthe price or the state of the craftsmen or the artisans. The artisans who still work in the addas or have no ties with organization like SEWA or the middlemen who give them work their condition is real bad as the labour cost that they get is so minimal . For all the hard work that they do keeping the craft still alive , the returns that they get is upsetting to see. On the contrary people who have shops in places like hazaratganj or any other posh places, the returns that they get on the same craft is unimagniable .






Labour Cost: Current wages for kaarigars depend upon the type of work.undertaken generally, craftsman wages are determined by stitch type, amount of work and type intricacy the price rate systems keep changing.

Price of the final product depends on the type of fabric, dimension, and the labour charge.

Current rates :

Cost of the fabric + Cost of the material(wires) which is done by calculating the dots on the sample design and estimating the number of times it is printed on the fabric+Cost of dye+Washing+Charak+Stitching

Dot work: 50 Rs./tola for 3 round work (*1 tola=50 wires) 100 Rs./tola for 5 round work Fancy work: 250 Rs./tola Women workers earn 30 Rs./day. They procure orders from stores through middlemen. This arrangement reduces their bargaining capacity to get better wages for their work and makes them vulnerable to exploitation. The craft of falls under the informal sector and work is not available all year around. Due to illiteracy and lack of awareness, women are unable to demand their legally entailled minimum wage of Rs 58.50 under the Minimum Wage Act of 1948.


An estimate is done by the kaarkhandar before placing order.

SEWA The Self-Employed Women’s Association of India, selfemployed women workers in India.


OBJECTIVES - The revival of the craft together with the craftsman. - To Organize and empower women artisans and self employed women to establish sustainable livelihoods for poverty reduction and rights based sustainable development. -To create conditions in which women enhance their bargaining powers and thereby ensure equitable opportunities for growth. - To provide orientation in group dynamics and leadership training for strong mutual association. - To enhance literacy and increase women’s knowledge of law / regulation related to social and gender justice for the achievement of women’s rights. - With the aim of providing shelter and residential accommodation of deprived and vulnerable women, SEWA Lucknow will organize finances from any national and international financial institutions to meet their requirements.



SEWA LUCKNOW Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA-Lucknow) is an autonomous organisation .It was set up in 1971, the main achievement ang goal of SEWA has been craft revival and a fair share to the karigar . Runa Banerjee has been with SEWA since the year 1979 . The organization started with 31 members and now there are over 4000 members. Children were the worst sufferers as poverty paved its way for them to go through pains of malnutrition, unhygienic living conditions and illiteracy. For family’s survival, extra earning became a need and the children became a victim of circumstances as they were dragged to work. For educating the children in the community, SEWA has been running a school since 1982 known as, SEWA Samudayik Shiksha Kendra which has classes from Nursery to standard Eight. The This school in collaboration with Data Mission Foundation provides computer training to students above class four under an experienced computer teacher. Children are linked with formal schools after passing their eight standard. At present there are 350 children who are taught by 11 teachers.

runa Banerjee with a master tailor




Since 1979 there were constant interactions with the community for understanding the need of becoming selfreliant as well as a support for the earning members in the family. Regular value for work earning which will enable them to contribute respectable amount in the family. n the bustling rooms of the centre women gather around talking , walking up and down enthusuastically going about their business. Some sit in groups with the pieces they are working on . There is overall a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, its a place where workers are not stressed and are confident and eager to meet noew people. They are upbeat about the craft that they know and are also ready to learn the changes the craft is going through . Unlike the other karkhanas , where the owners are scared of competition and not open to meet new peoeple. In big karkhanas ,the condition of the artisans is bad in comparison to the wages and the working enviorment to the artisans working in SEWA.


IIf the karigars fail to prodice the work on time , no efforts are made to see as to why there has been a delay and the wages are deducted. Where as in SEWA ample time is given to the workers to finish a piece and interest is taken in whatever they do . The gap between the karigars who make the pieces and the shopkeepers who market them is rapidly increasing . More and more middlemen ar coming in to make a multi-tiered structure, where the craftsmen is the lowest , when it should be the other way round The shopowners sells the product at whatever price they want to, and make profits a s much as possible but the craftsmen are given the minimal wages . where as they are the ones who should get a substantial wage , so that they can fulfill their needs and live a good life and also that it makes them confident of what they do. In case of S.E.W.A , the monthly salary of the artisans is alreast fixed, over and above which they earn money printing or embroidery per piece. The craftsmen here earn upto 1000 rupees a months and specialize in this field . As there are no middle men involved in SEWA, theres no explotation of the craftsmen . They get what they deserve .





Other Craft

CRAFTS For a city whose arts and crafts heritage has witnessed a chequered existence, those that have joined the list of extinct ones far exceed the few that have survived the times to emerge as living traditions. Whether it be lucknow’s once famous fish - design bidri - ware which flourished during the nawabi era and dissapeared with the fall of its patrons , zarbuland , the modified damascening on polished surfaces , or gold and silver plating , or the glass-work industry , which was initiated by the celebrated artisans from Multan, all have vanished ,leaving behind a few items in museums and private collections to prove thier once-thriving existence . while horncraft and the miniature clay toy industry are at the brink of extinction , others like the sacred art of Islamic calligraphy , daraj ( a variant of luckno applique work joined at the seams), the fish- scaled applique art tukri ka kaam , and the traditional block printing , are all struggling hard for survival in host circumstances. It is only chikankari , the shahi kaam or zardozi and kaamdani , and the bonecraft that have emerged as winners through the past century - the first because of its impact among the fashion cognoscenti and the rest all thanks to a burgeoning export market .


Other Craft


Chikankari is very subtle embroidery, white on white, in which minute and delicate stitches stand out as textural contrasts, shadows and traceries . Some stitches are worked from the back and some from the front. In a unique, anokhi chikan, the stitches do not appear at the back. The fabric used is fine, and traditionally muslin. Chikan appear to have been derived from Persian word chikin or chakin , meaning cloth brought with needle work. It was originally a court craft having been introduced by the Mughal empress noorjahan . In Lucknow, the nawabs of awadh made the finally embroidered muslin a prescribed requirement of the ceremonial court. A single piece of chikan relies on many skilled craftsmen, designer, printer, embroiderer, washer man. Traditionally, different artisan families practiced and perfected one type of stitch and it would therefore, often take between three to four craftsmen to embroider a single garment. Bhakhiya, herringbone Stitch, done on the reverse of fabric, gives a shadow effect that became a dominant feature of the craft in the 1980s.


Other Craft

ZARDOZI Zardozi in Agra is traditionally done on velvet which is said to have been introduced by Portuguese. The zardozi of lucknow is of bareek or fine variety, however it is the quicker zari ka kaam that is keeping the craftsmen busy. Zardozi is glittering. Heavily encrusted embroidery by couching wire purls, beads, sequins and spangles onto heavy fabric with a needle. The splendour of zardozi is revealed in the manner in which it reflects light. The more the levels and direction of couching on the zardozi, the more appealing is the piece. The variety of purls, dull and shiny; sitaras, sequins and the padding help achieve the effect. zari ka kaam , also known as haathari, ari kaam and fancy kaam, is a quick chain stitch in zari and art silk, done with a fine hooked needle called ari. The craftsman deftly manoeuvres the ari, working it at a rapid pace, the hook picking the appliquÊ material, and couching it onto the fabric. The craftsman’s skill lies in maintaining the stitch size while working the needle at breakneck speed. The fabric is stretched taut on karchob, large wooden frame, around which five to six craftsmen sit and embroider. The pattern is transfer from a perforated paper stencil by rubbing over it with chalk powder. Design are made by naksha navis, artist.


Other Craft

BONE CARVING Lucknow was an important centre of ivory carving in Uttar Pradesh. It extensively produced court object for the nawabs of awadh-sword and dagger hilts, plaques to adorn the sides of carriages and howdahs, chessmen, miniature figure and utilitarian object like combs, bangles and mirrors. The Britishers introduced ivory on furniture. Since the worldwide ban on ivory, craftsmen have been carving camel and buffalo bone with great skill. The work is of two types in Lucknow. The jaali, and lattice work, characteristic of mugal architecture is carved extensively on jewellery boxes and table lamps. For jewellery, different shades of camel bone and even dyed pieces are often used. Carving in the round, comprising hunting and forest scenes complete with elephant, tigers, parrots, peacocks, and flowering trees is done on thicker bones. Carved elephant in procession are popular in the European market. Trinket is sold at Jaipur and Ajmer in Rajasthan. The open work products are exported to Saudi Arabia.


BASKETRY Basketry is an everyday craft in rural uttar Pradesh. Readily available raw material –plant stalks and tree branches are woven into rough stake and strand baskets. In eastern utter predesh the arhar, pigeon pea provides lentil, and once harvested, the main stalk is woven into baskets for vegetables sellers, construction workers and gardeners. The activity is seasonal depending on the harvesting of the arhar crop. The stalks and branches are soaked


in the village pond for a day or two so that the fibre swells and becomes pliable . the thicker stalks are split. The stake element is rigid and passive and is formed of the thicker branches or the main stem. The strand is flexible and is manipulated in and out of the strand in an upward spiral. At the rim the ends are folded back into the weave. The thicker branches are used as the warp with the thinner ones serving as the intertwining weft.

APPLIQUE In applique, pieces of cloth cut into patterns are sewn onto fine muslin. Appliqué is economical as it eliminates the need to embroider. Aligarh was well known for its appliqué shamiana or tent, though the skill are now being used to ornament dress material. In patti ka kaam, the fabric is cut into motifs and hemmed onto the base fabric. Stem are embroidered in ‘stem’ stitch. In the day of nobility, shamiana and chandowa, canoies, were appliquéd with waste cloth. Even today appliquéd shamiana are commonly used

for religious and social gathering. The craftspersons are muslim women and work from there homes. Rampur is also a big cluster where appliqué is done. An appliqué called daraz, a remarkable seam detail used in the hand stitched garments worn by the nawabs, royalty, is unique to lucknow. Daraz is done to join two pieces of fabric with two seams that are done on either sides of fabric. motifs such as the fish, leaf, flower, and star are the cutout from used.


GLOSSARY Adda Araz Badla Bel bootey Bhakhiya Bhari kaam, chalu kaam, Chapai Charak Chikankari Cowrie Daraz Dukandaar Ghaghra Ghutai Gudai Hazara butti Kaamdani Karigars Kaarkhana Kaarkhandaar Kaarchob Kaudi Khaka Lachchi Madda


wooden frame, where 4 -5 people can sit together. width of fabric silver or golden metal wire. Motifs and patterns herringbone stich. Intricate Work fancy Work printing. starch herringbone embroidery. shell appliquĂŠ work in lucknow. Shopkeeper Gathered skirt. mixing. piercing thousand small motifs. satin stitch done by wire. craftmens. workshop workers wooden frame. shell perforated stencil paper Bunch of wires Slack season


Meenakari Mukesh Naksha Neel Patta Phuchar Putai Quran Sahalak Saandha Milana Safeda Saree Shamiana Shore ka tezaab Siyahi Taar Tukri ka kaam Turpai

detailing tiny small dot, done by metal wire design on paper blue powder leaf printing paint religious book in muslim religeon. Busy season for continuous pattern white chawlk powder. draped cloth. cloth shelter, for geathring. kerosine oil animal wire patch ka kaam hemming

Basti Bawaechis Bazaars Sheermal Zamidaars

slum area. cook. market. sweet bread Landlords


BIBLIOGRAPHY Book Name LUCKNOW : NOW AND THEN . Marg Publication, 2003 Contributors : Rosie Llewellyn - Jones, Ravi Kapoor Mukul Mangalik Sudipta Dev Ian Shephard Christopher W.London Neeta Das Lucian Harris J.P Losty Sophic Gordon Ranjan, Aditi and Ranjan M.P, HANDMADE IN INDIA, COUNCIL OF HANDICRAFT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONS COHANDS) , NEW DELHI

LINKS OF THE WEBSITES &source=bl&ots=k-5Vxv6GZk&sig=TwWZeLhkOvoo7_TQ0ew0m2M0OEI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CSESUMb2LcTNsgbo4Y HQBw&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=runa%20banerjee%20sewa%20lucknow&f=false


Bibliography Battery_at_Lucknow,_July_30th,_1857,.jpg – market - photos


Appendix 1

Awadh : Ancient Facts

Awadh : Under Mughals

Awadh’s political unity can be traced back to the ancient Hindu kingdom of Kosala, with Ayodhya as its capitalModern Awadh finds historical mention only in the time of Akbar, in the late 16th century.

From the pre-historic period to the time of Akbar, the limits of the province and its internal divisions seem to have been constantly changing, and the name of Oudh, or Awadh, seems to have been applicable to only one of the ancient divisions or Sarkars, nearly corresponding to old Pachhimrath.

In prehistoric times, Awadh, reputedly the kingdom of Rama, consisted of five main divisions: a. Uttara Kosala or the trans-Ghaghra districts, now known as Bahraich, Gonda, Basti and Gorakhpur. b. Silliana, consisting of lower range of hills to the north of Uttara Kosala, now belonging to Nepal, with Terai at its base.

As constituted at the Subah contained five Bahraich, Khairabad again were divided in

end of sixteenth century, the sarkars, viz. Awadh, Lucknow, and Gorakhpur, and these, numerous mahals and dasturs.

c. Pachhimrath, which may be roughly described as the country between Ghaghra and Gomti west to the line from Ayodhya to Sultanpur. This division included about third of present district of Faizabad (including Ambedkar Nagar), a small portion of the north of Sultanpur, greater part of Barabanki, and sections of the Lucknow and Sitapur districts. d. Purabrath, which may be roughly described as the country between Ghaghra and Gomti east to the line from Ayodhya to Sultanpur. This division included about twothirds of present district of Faizabad (including Ambedkar Nagar), a the north-eastern corner of Sultanpur, and parts of Mirzapur district and JaunpurArbar, extended soutwards Gomti to the Sai river. Right Top : Gate of the Lal-Baugh at Faizabad; by Thomas and William Daniell, 1801 Left Bottom : Babri Masjid, which is believed to have been built in 1527, just after the Mughal empire was established by Emperor Babur. In fact the mosque was built by the general in charge of this region, who named it after Babur. The mosque was built in Ayodhya, which is in the north-east of Uttar Pradesh (earlier known as Awadh) .*


Appendix 1


Appendix 1

SHIFT OF CAPITAL FROM FAIZABAD TO LUCKNOW : Asafud-Daula, the fourth Nawab and son of Shuja-ud-Daula, moved the capital from Faizabad to Lucknow in 1775 and laid the foundation of a great city. His rule saw the building of the Asafi Imambara and Rumi Darwaza, built by Raja Tikait Rai Nawab Wazir (Diwan) of Awadh, which till date are the biggest architectural marvels in the city. Asaf-ud-Daula made Lucknow one of the most prosperous and glittering cities in all India. It is said, he moved because he wanted to get away from the control of a dominant mother. On such a thread did the fate of the great city of Lucknow depend.

In 1798, the fifth Nawab Wazir Ali Khan alienated both his people and the British, and was forced to abdicate. The British then helped Saadat Ali Khan to the throne. Saadat Ali Khan was a puppet king, who in the treaty of 1801 ceded half of Awadh to the British East India Company and also agreed to disband his troops in favour of a hugely expensive, British-run army. This treaty effectively made part of the state of Awadh a vassal to the British East India Company, though they continued to be part of the Mughal Empire in name till 1819.

Left Bottom : Asaf-Ud-Dowlah


Appendix 1

Top : Awadh: Silver rupee in name of Shah Alam II, Banaras. This is one of the last coins issued before the East India Company acquired the mint at Banares from the Raja of Awadh in 1776, and served as the prototype for the beautiful EIC coinage from that mint. This coin shows a sun mintmark (in the form of six pellets) on the obverse and the curent regnal year only on the reverse.

RIight: United Provinces of Agra and Oudh (1902-1921)Today part of Uttar Pradesh & portions of Uttarakhand


Appendix 2

GALLERY OF NAWABS A pictorial representation of the Nawabs till the time they ruled Awadh,Lucknow.

Saadat Ali khan (1720-1739) first Nawab of Awadh. Very powerful,he also laid the foundation of Faizabad.


Safdarjung, (1739-1754) the second Nawab of Awadh, who made Faizabad a military headquarter.

Shuja-ud-Daula, (1754-1775) the third Nawab in Faizabad .He was comprehensively defeated in the Battle of Buxar by the British East India Company

Appendix 2

Asaf-Ud-Dowlah (1775-1797) The fourth Nawab of Awadh,laid the foundation of a great city, he made Lucknow one of the most prosperous and glittering cities in all India

Wajid ali Shah. (1847-1856) Amjad Ali Shah’s eldest son, Wajid Ali shah, who was eventually destined to be the last ruler of Awadh, ascended the throne of Awadh in 1847. He was generous, kind and compassionate ruler

Begum Hazrat Mahal she took charge of the affairs of the state of Awadh, after Wajid ali was sent on exile


Appendix 2


Bahu Begum ka Maqbara It is the Tomb of Queen Bride Begum Unmatuzzohra Bano alias Bahu Begum a memorial built for queen of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula. Its one of the tallest buildings in


Faizabad and is a beautiful example of non-mughal Muslim architecture

Appendix 2

It is a beautiful building of fine architecture, standing in a garden surrounded by a wall, approachable through two

Gulab Bari large gateways. It is considered to be one of the finest buildings of its kind in Avadh,


PLACES VISITED We explored many places in lucknow , starting from the old Lucknow to the new Lucknow, we saw the changes ,be it in the market, people, surrounding . But still there was one thing that was common through out and which was “The Culture “ , the way they greet you , talk to you , is something that never changes . Top -Ambedkar Park


We visited places like Bada Imambada, Chota Imambada, Chawk, Aminabad, Hazaratganj, Indira Nagar and many more. From the beautiful monuments made during the nawabs to the the present time architecture. The busy market to a sophesticated posh market, we saw all.

Appendix 3


Bara means big, and an imambara is a shrine built by Shia Muslims for the purpose of Azadari. The Bara Imambara is among the grandest buildings of Lucknow. One of the earliest building constructed by Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daulah was the Bara Imambara. The Nawab decided to build the Imambara as an act of religious

piety and a measure of relief to his people. It took six years to complete the extensive Imambara complex that was designed and planned by the architect Kifaitullah from Delhi, then known as Shahjahanabad. The architecture in the Indo-Sarcenic style has a harmonious blend of Moghul and Rajput features.


CHOTA IMAMBARA Popularly known as the Chhota Imambara, the Imambara of Hussainabad in the old city is one of the most beautiful and attractive buildings. This Imambara was built by Mohammed Ali Shah in the second year of his rule in 1839. Mohammed Ali Shah must have built this Imambara


as a token of allegiance to his faith and as gratitude for the lucky windfall, that he never expected at the fag end of his life, when he was 63 years old and infirm, to be chosen by the British and crowned as the third King of Oudh (Awadh), of which he wasn't even a claim.

Appendix 3

AMINABAD The Aminabad Market of Lucknow is a very famous market. It has existed from the times of the Nawabs of Awadh. Aminabad is very large and congested market made up of narrow lanes and bylanes..Traffic movement is next to impossible in the market’s interiors. But this is the real beauty of the market. Small and medium sized shops, sell items of daily usage, ladies ornaments, garments, and other fancy items. Lately the government and administration have been trying to improve the conditions in Aminabad. The market is now open till late. Its a different experience all together to shop in Aminabad during night. The colorful lightings, decorated shops and traditionally dressed people in the market, combined with the Lucknow politesse makes shopping in Aminabad a unique experience.

CHAWK Chawk has played a vital role in the development of the Lucknowi culture. It is the pivotal point around which the traders, engravers, painters. artisans, weavers,singers and nautch girls flourished and grew. This main bazar of yester years has not changed much. but transformation is there. Its humming and lively characteristics represent Lucknowi culture in its modern day context.

Top Right - Busy streets of Aminabad Bottom Right - A usual sight of Chawk


RUMI DARWAZA The Rumi Darwaza and sometimes known as the Turkish Gate, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, is an imposing gateway which was built under the patronage of Nawab Asaf-Ud-dowlah in 1784.It is an example of Awadhi architecture. Being an entrance to the city of Lucknow, Russell, the reporter of The New York Times who accompanied the victorious British army that entered Lucknow in 1858, after India’s First


War of Independence, had called the stretch of road from Rumi Darwaza to Chattar Manzil the most beautiful and spectacular cityscape that he had ever seen, better than Rome, Paris, London and Constantinople. The Rumi Darwaza, which stands sixty feet tall,was modeled (1784) after the Sublime Porte (Bab-iHĂźmayun) in Istanbul. It is adjacent to the Asafi Imambara in Lucknow and has become a logo for the city of Lucknow.

Appendix 3

HAZARATGANJ Hazratganj is situated in the heart of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It has a term associated with it “Ganjing”. Ganjing is a term used to describe ambling in the wide lanes and bylanes of city’s Hazratganj market. Hazratganj is a major shopping area of the city and is a very busy area, where most of the bazaars of Lucknow are located and is called the Park Avenue of Lucknow. It also has houses, shopping complexes, restaurants, hotels, theaters, offices . The Hazratganj road in Hazratganj was earlier called Queens Way, as it was open only to British carriages before Independence AMBEDKAR MEMORIAL Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar also known as Ambedkar Memorial, Ambedkar Park is a memorial dedicated to the glory of Phule, Narayan Guru, Shahuji Maharaj, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and other Dalit icons. It is the world's first of its kind which is dedicated to Dalit leaders. It stands as a symbol for Dalit empowerment and dignity. This memorial is constructed by Mayawati, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh during the regime of BSP at Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The entire memorial is built using red sandstone imported from Rajastan. Cost of the memorial is estimated at seven billion Rupees. tIts name was changed from Ambedkar park to Bhimrao Ambedkar memorial in May 2002 121

LIST OF CRAFTMEN people we met K.K Rastogi - Naath Chikan And Export ,Sitapur Road, Lucknow Nawab Mir Zafar Abdullah - The last living Nawab of Lucknow, Durga Devi Marg, Lucknow Abdullah Badla Works - Dargah Hazrat Abbas Road, Lucknow Mukesh House - Muftiganj, Lucknow Golden Dots ( Munne Naga ) - Hazaratganj, Luckno Runa Banerjee - Managing Director of Sewa, Lucknow Munne naga - craftman

Hedat mehandi - craftman