5th June 2020
As you’re all aware, in many parts of the world, hand embroidery is a lifeblood. Embroidery has provided employment for women as well as helped maintain traditional practices in countries as diverse as Cyprus, Laos and parts of India.
An idyllic image of the Nilgiris district – by Valli Ravindran (source)
Traditional Toda embroidery, worked by women from the Nilgiris district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is characterised by bold colour contrasts and geometric shapes.
Traditional Toda embroidery (source)
However, as tourism for Toda dried up and the market for their embroidered items declined, the enterprising embroiderers of the region have found another way to earn an income.
Using their skills, they produced beautifully embroidered masks for local residents, police and sanitary workers.
An embroidered face mask (source)
Realising that masks had quickly become part of their everyday attire, these gorgeous objects allowed the local people to earn:
‘…a stable livelihood, and also help fight the pandemic.’