Katey’s first stop in Lucknow was to meet with Shahana. Shahana makes our incredibly beautiful Chikkan embroidery work. Katey was invited to meet with her at her friends’ place for lunch. As Katey has been missing home-cooking, she jumped at the chance! Madhu and Pratima, Shahana’s friends, were warm and welcoming, and the food was delicious!

Katey not only made new friends, but also managed to pick up a few new things as well. Madhu and Pratima are patrons of a variety of artisans in Lucknow, particularly those who reuse materials. Katey met a young man, Kapil, who is particularly adept at reusing and repurposing materials such as newspapers, magazines, and CDs to create useful household objects. Katey picked up some containers from him which are made from magazines and laminate. She also picked out some really cute bags made from repurposed ties, some gift bags from bright fabrics, and some beautifully intricate earrings made from quilled paper.

Shahana showed Katey some of her new Chikkan designs, and they will be working together to design some new things which will appear in the shop in a few months. The embroidery on each top can take up to 20 days to complete. This is after the kurti is stitched and the designs stamped onto the stiffly starched fabric. Once the embroidery is completed by hand, then the kurtis are sent to the washers to have the stamped design and the starch washed out. The tops are then pressed and folded before they are shipped.


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