Bhairvis Chikan

Bhairvis Chikan

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      Much of the knowledge of how to create the art of chikankari embroidery was lost in the second half of the 20th century. Mamta Varma, founder of Bhairvis Chikan, has not only revived the craft but positively changed the lives of the women she works with in Lucknow, India, the epicenter of this craft. Mamta brings the supplies to approximately 340 village women, teaches them the stitches, and advises them on their work. The designs are printed on hand woven fabric using wooden printing blocks and brought to life by these artisans who master the 36 different chikan stitches. These women use their earnings to send their daughters to school, pay for their families' medical expenses, install hand pumps in their homes, and thereby enjoy the respect and understanding of their community.