Women and the art of hand quilting!
We are living in times where India too has made a name for itself as a centre for home decor manufacturing. This industry provides employment to roughly 3.5 million people across the country; and what is interesting is that women play a major role in the production of garments and bedding. In fact, one could say that India’s success in the export market is due to the predominance of the female and migrant labour force in this industry.
Sarita Verma joined ‘The shop’ in 1989 and continues to get better at what she does best; hand quilting. Sarita originally belongs to a district called Saharsa in the Eastern Indian State of Bihar but after marriage migrated to Noida, which lies on the eastern edge of the largest Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, on the outskirts of the National Capital, New Delhi. She has two children and also helps her husband support her family financially.
It’s been 22 years that she has been employed with the company and is the oldest employee in the hand quilting department. She says she learnt the art of hand quilting from her mother.
“All young girls practice stitching, tailoringand hand quilting in every house hold from where I come ”,says Sarita.
Anita Sharma is yet another craftsperson in this field. She joined the organization in 1986 as a checker but eventually mastered in the art of hand quilting. She lives in Noida, Uttar Pradesh but originally belongs to a district in Uttar Pradesh called Meerut.
There are roughly 25 women who are engaged in hand quilting at ‘The Shop’. Some have learnt the craft from their mothers; some have learnt it watching them; some picked it up at different companies they worked for earlier while the rest have picked it up working on the job in this organisation.
‘Hand quilting is a method of quilting that dispenses with the use of sewing machines.”The process of quilting involves sewing several layers of fabric and stuffing manually”, informs Anita..
It is thanks to these talented and hardworking women that the traditional art of hand-quilting is still alive .It adds colour to many homes and empowers them to exhibit their skills.