Here’s some of what the Flamingo Tours information sheet told us about our visit to see Ahir embroidery:
“Next you will be visiting Dhaneti village for embroidery by Ahir community. Ahir embroidery of Gujarat is a rhythmic row of embroidered patterns, circular mirrors encircled with stitches enriching the fabric and material. This type of embroidery can be used for home décor and clothing. The bright colors of the threads and glittering pieces of mirrors, embellish the fabric and gives it a feeling of grandeur. It appeals to every soul and remains in the heart.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
Our second stop found us arriving at a family home to see the traditional embroidery of the region. Our driver must not have had any luck reaching the family because they seemed unprepared for our visit. We were ushered into a sitting room of sorts and then asked to wait for the grandmother who was just having her lunch.
She eventually emerged, gathered her sewing items around her, squatted on the floor and proceeded to embroider a small piece of mirror onto an already decorated piece of fabric. It was hard to see what she was doing, and she didn’t really make any attempt to ‘teach’ us how it was done. I ended up squatting near her on the floor with hopes of getting a better look at how she started off. I’ve done a fair amount of embroidery in my early years, and I thought I could learn something new.
Before we knew it, she was done and her granddaughters were bringing out all kinds of items for us to view, with a clear anticipation that we would be buying something. This was an entirely different situation that we had just experienced, and in the end, I bowed to the pressure I was putting on myself – especially seeing that it looked like we had come unannounced.
I ended up selecting a small cloth bag with a long shoulder strap that I thought I could probably donate to our yoga centre’s annual Spring Tea silent auction. I paid for it quickly, and we left just as quickly. Once we were outside, I mentioned to the others that I really didn’t want to buy anything, but felt we should, given the situation. To my surprise, it turns out that my sister liked the little purse I’d chosen and offered to take it off my hands. Thanks again, Donna!
When I was working on this journal entry, I suddenly had the idea to look on YouTube and see if there was a video on how to do mirrorwork embroidery. Bingo! The second one I viewed was perfect – it you’re at all interested in seeing how it’s done, click here: