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This scarf is made of pure, wild silk (Tussar silk) and hand-embroidered by rural women in West Bengal. They specialize in Nakshi kantha. This is a traditional running stitch from the region, composed of motifs influenced by religion, culture and the lives of the women who sew them.
Under the auspices of 60-year-old Takdira Begum, a national winner of her kantha work, skilled female artisans embroider this beautiful fabric by hand.
The first step in this process is to design the pattern to be embroidered, which is then drawn on tracing paper. This is done by Takdira Begum herself, who also determines the color palette. Then the lines of the pattern are pierced by hand with a pin and the paper is placed over the silk fabric. A paste of chalk and turpentine is rubbed over the paper and seeps through the small holes on the fabric underneath.
When the pattern lines have been applied to the silk fabric, it is ironed and divided among the women who take it home for embroidery. Once completed, the fabric is hand washed several times to remove any stains and the tracing lines.