The exhibit is the result of 20 years of effort by Asif Shaikh, an Ahmedabad-based expert in Indian textiles.

"I have sourced these pieces from different parts of India. I work closely with artisans and learn their techniques. Then, I improve on it to enhance the quality of embroidery. The idea is to promote Indian embroideries to the world," Shaikh said.

"I have been working on it for over 20 years and the idea is to use these traditional textile techniques in a contemporary style," he added.

Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch inaugurated the exhibition on Monday. She appreciated Shaikh's efforts to curate the best of embroideries from most states, but felt he had completely neglected the Northeast region.

"It is a great effort, but he has not included Northeastern traditional embroideries. They have many interesting tribal things and clothes that are very fashionable. Perhaps he should now come up with a tribal exhibition to show what these states have to offer," she said.

On display are intricate weaves of zardozi, Parsi style embroidery, danka embroidery with zardozi work, bead work, ajrak with embroidery, soof embroidery, rabari embroidery, gotta-patt Mughal designs and many more.

Shaikh believes that collaborations with designers can help local craftsmen to improve their skills, and adapt to modern times.

"Designers today are using a lot of Indian embroideries in their works. If they don't source it and rather work directly with the craftsmen, this, in a way will not only help these people in generating income, but also teach them to provide high-quality designs," he said.

The embroideries are on showcase at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts till September 15.


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