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This scarf is made of pure wild silk (Tussar silk) and hand-embroidered by rural women in West Bengal. They are specialized in Nakshi kantha. The term stands for a traditional basting stitch from the region that is used to embroider motifs and symbols inspired by the culture and life of the women who embroider.
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 designing 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 laid over the silk fabric. A paste of chalk and turpentine is rubbed over the paper and seeps through the small holes on the fabric below.
Once the pattern lines have been applied to the silk fabric, it is ironed and distributed among the women who take it home for embroidery. Once completed, the fabric is hand washed several times to remove any stains and the trace lines.