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Stitching a new fashion statement

Staff Reporter
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With ‘aari' designing, students learn a stylish way to earn pocket money

Stitch in time: Students participating in an 'aari' designing workshop at Jamal Mohamed College in the city . —PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHINAM.
Stitch in time: Students participating in an 'aari' designing workshop at Jamal Mohamed College in the city . —PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHINAM.

Annoyed at bumping into someone at a wedding sporting the exact replica of your prized designer saree? With exclusivity lost in factory produced wares, women today are more than willing to invest to get that unique look. Adorning plain sarees and salwars purchased at stores with various embellishments being the trend, those skilled in ‘aari' work stand to gain the most.

Knowing how to put in the right stitches with a dash of creativity can not only help students make a fashion statement, but cut down on shopping expenses and earn some much-needed pocket money as participants at the two day ‘aari' workshop organised by the Department of Fashion Technology and Costume Designing of Jamal Mohamed College here discovered.

K.Meera, member-in-charge, said the workshop was arranged as aari deisgning is not a part of college curriculum. “Aaari work exists as a commercial undertaking but is hardly taught as a professional course. It is not included in the syllabus which focuses more on basic hand and machine embroidery.”

Around 60 students learnt the nuances from trainers Jeyanthi and Lalitha, hailing from Premier Fashions, Coimbatore. According to Ms.Jeyanthi, by learning the craft students can explore various avenues right from designing for offers in the neighbourhood to opening their own boutique. “Apart from the profit motive, knowledge of aari deigning can help women cut down on expenses. It is a great way of looking fabulous on an economical budget,” says Lalitha.

“Nobody wants the same look today, however trendy the clothes maybe. Clothes can be designed with aari work according to customer preference,” says faculty member Thenmozhi. With aari designing, ordinary clothes get a makeover with coloured threads, sequins, beads, mirrors, kundan and zardosi. Aari designing also scores over traditional embroidery as it is less time-consuming, gives a more professional touch and rakes in more profits. “You can thread more than three beads at a time whereas in traditional embroidery it is one bead or sequin for every stitch. A pattern that takes an hour to embroider can be completed in half an hour using the aari designing method,” adds lecturer Manochitra.

As cost of raw materials for embellishing a saree or blouse is invariably less than Rs. 100, profits are thrice the original cost. A plain saree priced at Rs. 300 furbished with aari work sells for Rs. 1,200.

The basics involving 20 different types of stitches take a couple of days to learn but with regular practice, novices can turn aces. Shajitha, a student who attended the workshop, is all geared up to put into practice the new skill under her repertoire by trying out some new designing for friends and relatives.

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