In school when we had to learn needlework, most of us girls would get bored. What’s the use we would think! Frankly speaking, my needlework is not all that good, as it requires a lot of skill and patience. Since I am always in a hurry to see what it will look like, I never got around to learning the skill. But today, given a chance, I would learn stitching and needle work to teach myself a lesson or two on patience, skill and perseverance.
Two of my friends Shruthi and Shabana, both naval wives have recently got involved in creating exquisite hand crafted embroidery called Ribbon Stitching and founded ‘MaFiSa: Bed and Table Linen‘. Meet 29-year-old Shruthi Asoori, who is a BE in Bio-Medical Engineering. She has worked as a software engineer for companies like Infosys Technologies, Tesco etc. “Currently, I have taken a break from work, since I have a small baby. My other hobbies include painting like Tanjore paintings, acrylic and oil paints and embroidery,” mentions Shruthi.
Dr Shabana Saleem, a 36-year-old an MBBS, DNB (in Family Medicine), is one of our regular Guest Writers and her interests include cooking, travelling and reading.
How did it all begin?
Shurthi mentions, “I used to observe how my craft teacher would stitch ribbon roses in school. I was so fascinated by the use of ribbons in embroidery that I developed my interest and I taught myself how to embroider using ribbons two years ago.”
“I was on a sabbatical from work due to my knee surgery and I saw Shruthi, my neighbour and friend busy doing ribbon stitching. I developed an interest, learnt from her and was really amazed at the magic which can be created with ribbon!” exclaims Shabana.
What can be made with Ribbon Stitching?
Presently Shruthi and Shabana have started cushion covers, table runners, table mats, bed covers, and tablecloths. They plan on making mobile phone holders, clutch bags, pillow covers, photo frames as well. When asked how long it takes to create one piece, Shruthi mentions, “For a cover, it takes approximately a day, but it all depends on the intricacy of the design and it may take longer.”
They usually use raw silk, cotton silk, brocade and cotton for their stitching. To elaborate, in the case of cushion covers, they use raw silk and cotton silk for the top fabric and pure cotton for the back.
“We are extremely cautious about the material we use. We test the material before hand for colour bleeding, shrinkage etc.,” mention Shurthi and Shabana. What fascinates them about ribbon stitching is the simplicity, the richness and the vibrant colours they can experiment with.
Like most transferable jobs, Shruthi and Shabana are aware that they too would move out to new and different places. But what about sourcing raw materials etc?
Shruthi and Shabana explain, “We can procure our raw materials from any place where we get posted. Thanks to the digital era, we can sell our products online and ship our items by courier. We have a return policy for customised items, where we will have to be immediately informed about the non-customized items to be returned by mail. These customised items have to be shipped back to us within a week with the original packing and in an unused condition. The shipping charges for the returned products have to be borne by the customer.”
Shurthi and Shabana are planning to open a retail outlet in Bangalore in a year’s time and as of now are planning to launch their website in beta stage. They also plan on exhibiting their products in various exhibitions in various cities and also keep it in various stores.
Pricing and Marketing
Shruthi and Shabana are currently displaying and selling their products through Naval Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) and are also planning to set up their online stores. “We have sold a lot of our products through word of mouth and have an extremely satisfied clientele who have given us a good feedback about our products,” mention Shurthi and Shabana.
The prices of the products are:
- One 15 x 15 Raw Silk embroidered cushion cover with envelope back – Priced at Rs.180/-
- One 10 x 10 Raw Silk ribbon embroidered cushion cover with envelope back – Priced at Rs.150/-
- One 15 x 15 Brocade Silk cushion cover with envelope back – Priced at Rs.250/-
- One 10 x 10 Brocade Silk cushion cover with envelope back – Priced at Rs.220/-
To place an order, you can contact Shurthi and Shabana on: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/S24u.Handicraft (Free Shipping if the order is more than Rs.2000/-, otherwise courier charges to be borne by the customer, including overseas orders.)
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