Coimbatore Vizha and Laavanyam offer an opportunity to those who want to learn embroidery and doll-making

As part of the on-going Coimbatore Vizha, Lavanya, Shivanjali's craft shop, organised a doll making and hand embroidery display in the city.

Called Lavanyam, its highlight was the intricate hand embroidery. This included more than 50 types of stitches ranging from the chain stitch, fish stitch and satin stitch to the French knots and the Roman stitch. There was also a display of vibrant Kutchi designs, sequin work, cut-work, appliqué and bead work. The appliqué of a Rajasthani woman on a piece of cloth was particularly attractive.

Learners sat around at Lavanya's café to learn doll making and embroidery. While one section cut out pieces of thick hand-woven cotton in the shape of parrots, that they stuffed with pieces of waste fabric and cotton and then stitched it up, another group learnt the various embroidery stitches. They threaded colourful skeins into their needles and experimented with the various stitches. Women employed by the Shiva Shakti Trust supervised them. They sat amid the learners guiding them in the more intricate aspects of the work.

Though the display of the dolls and embroidery was only for a day, the crafts shop offers regular stitching and embroidery classes. Learners can master doll making in a 15-day course, while month-long courses teach aspirants hand-embroidery, including the famed Aari work.

Ms. Bhanumati, who looks after the handicrafts shop, hopes that through the Coimbatore Vizha platform, more people will enrol in the classes. More importantly, she hopes there will be more awareness about Shivanjali's endeavours to empower the underprivileged. The funds they raise go directly towards this cause.

Lavanya, Shivanjali's craft shop, is located at New Thillai Nagar, PN Pudur. Those interested in learning doll making or embroidery, or want to know more, can call 0422- 2438255 or write to lavanyascbe@yahoo.co.in.