Embroidering Lives: Women's Work and Skill in the Lucknow Embroidery Industry
SUNY Press, 1999 M01 1 - 239 pages
Fusing aesthetic and economic analyses, Embroidering Lives investigates the lives and work of women in the chikan embroidery industry of Lucknow, India. Richly descriptive and accessibly written, the book explores many important issues in women's studies, anthropology, and urban development today--the impact of purdah (seclusion of women) upon women's work and occupational opportunities, the key role of sub-contractors in home-based industry, the need to understand a handicraft from its makers' point of view, and the role of development agencies and programs.
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Chikan in Historical Context
WHAT IS CHIKAN?
STITCHES AND WORK
ORIGINS AND HISTORY OF CHIKAN
The Division of Labor
KNOWLEDGE AND THE DIVISION OF LABOR
KNOWLEDGE OF CHIKAN
SHAUQ AND PARESHANI
PROCESSES OF LEARNING
PLANNING AND EXECUTION
CONCESSIONS IN SKILL
Development Schemes and State Patronage
GOVERNMENT PROMOTION AND PATRONAGE
Embroiderers in Social Perspective
PROBLEMS WITH STATISTICS
EMBROIDERY AND POVERTY
EMBROIDERY AND THE LIFE CYCLE
Work and Wages
AGENTS AND EMBROIDERERS
IS CHIKAN EMBROIDERY FREETIME WORK?
Skill and Knowledge in Fine Chikan Embroidery
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Page xxvi - A little later, a very attractive embroidered cap of the same type was created for the winter. The five panels were covered in thin muslin upon which gold and silver crescents and designs were stitched in different colours. In winter one saw no other covering on the heads of men of fashion. Later, when chikan [embroidery on muslin] became popular, it was used for this purpose.
Page xxv - Oudh attracted to their capital many of the famous craftsmen of India, hence Lucknow, to this day, has a larger range of artistic workers than are to be found in almost any other town of India. Lucknow chikan work is perhaps the most remarkable of these crafts as it is the most artistic and most delicate form of what may be called the purely indigenous needlework of India.