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Company profile

Taj handicrafts is a registered company in surface embellishment.They export its


products to most countries worldwide.
Taj handicrafts founded by the legend sheikh shams uddain who excelled its name and
glory all over the world.

Aim and objectives

The main objective behind the organization is high standard quality and preservation
of the art invented by lt. Shamsuddin the main aim is to spread this unique and rich
art all over the world.taj handicrafts believes in producing top class and world level
needle work.
The organization is also very particular about delivering the product within the given
time frame. They have customized and tailor made products to cater to the needs of
variety of clientele.
Man force

Taj handicrafts have trained more than 8000 artisan in this art who are earning their
livelihood. It has a man force of more than 100 artisans working in the workshop.
Workshop is divided into various departments like designing, finishing, Zardozi
embroidery and reshamdozi embroidery.


PRODUCTS

Reshamdozi is used to make exquisite evening dresses, coats, fashion accessories like
purses, handbags, belts, shoes; ceremonial adornments like badges, Furnishing
accessories like carpets, curtains, cushion covers, wall hangings decorative, shoes,
table covers and boxes etc.
Clientele
They cater to the higher section of society and elite class..their major clients are

Zara
Clarks
Matallin
Versace
Marie claire
elle etc.
Reshamdozi art

One of the most beautiful embroidery styles of India used particularly in home
decoration and clothing. Painstakingly and delicately done by hand, creations in
reshamdozi work are timeless, unbounded by the shackles of trends.
Invention of Reshamdozi ( a gift by late Sheikh Shamsuddin)

Sheikh Shamsuddin (September 17 1917.-29 April 1999 )


He hailed his desendency from Ustad Ahmed Lahori who was the chief architect in the
panel of great Mughal emperor Shah jahan. Ahmed Buksh the fore father of shams
was the chief disciple of Ustad Ahmed Lahori . He inherited the art of Zardozi from his
father late Ustad Habib Buksh.
Admiration and appreciation of Reshamdozi across the globe

In 1966, Lt. Shamsuddin made an official seal of the U S president Lyndon b Johnson
in Zardozi and personally presented it to him.


He had represented India several times on the world stage and won great laurels and
admirations for India.


Government of India adjudged his contribution and honored him with Padma shree
award, national award, special awards, Yash Bharti award and many more.


A documentary was also made on him called shams vision which begged the best
documentary award in national film festival in India and Belgium. Shams Vision was
essentially about the tragedy of an artist who is driven by a celestial power he can
barely comprehend to pursue his visions of life forms in paradise and, in doing so,
loses his eyesight.

Late Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru used to call Shams Michael Angelo of
Asia.


The last work of him was a master piece of Prophet Moses which took more than 14
years to be completed. Perhaps this was his most demanding work. What Shams
achieved with his needle, wielding it like a painter's brush.


He also crafted the attire for the queen of England on the occasion of dilli darbar in
India.
Tools and Raw material used

The raw material is purchased from different parts of the world. There are several
tools used in Reshamdozi. However the important tools and raw material are Karchob,
muslin, velvets, shahneel, silk threads, cotton threads, gijaai, kora, kasav, nakshi,
tracing paper, plastic paper, kerosene, precious stones needles, scissors, thimble,
copper wire and glass.
Silk threads


The silken threads are purchased from Mumbai which are of supreme quality available.
They are categorized into two grades; grade A and grade B according to the fineness
and luster. Grade A is the finest silk thread, hence, costlier then grade B. various
shades of threads are used as per requirement of the design. All these silk threads are
chemically dyed in various shades.
Cotton threads

The cotton threads are purchased from Delhi. These cotton threads play an important
role in padding. Cotton threads used in padding give the embroidery a 3-Dimensional
grace. Layer by layer cotton threads are used to give desired shape to the padding.


Embellishments

Semi precious stones and beads are also embedded in the embroidery giving this craft
a more royal look. These include emerald, lapis lazuli, Amethyst, moonstone, jasper, ruby,
jade, agate etc
Zardozi threads

Zardozi thread is made from an alloy of silver and gold. This flattened wire is then
twisted around silk threads to form the spring like Zardozi. It has to be cut to size
depending on the design. Plain wire is called badla, and when wound round a thread, it
is called kasav. Gijaai, kora, dabka (a spring type of thread are also used
Frame / Karchob

This is a wooden frame over which the cloth is pulled tightly, so that it does not move
while the artisans are at work. This also enables faster movement and clear vision. Big
and small frames are used according to the area to be covered by embroidery.
Needle

The embroidery is done with a needle. The needle used is the smallest available. But it
could depend on the design and the thread used. Needles used in 3-dimensional
embroidery are Germany made.
Designing


All embroidery begins with a designing. The first and foremost step in reshamdozi is to
visualize the theme. It calls for high levels of creativity, aesthetic sense, imaginative
mind and designing skills. Here designer defines the idea of the shape, size, the
color, shades and symmetry of the design to mesmerize the viewer. In older times,
the designs used to be very Mughal in nature, comprising of floral and leaf Patterns
derived from that era. With modern influences, the patterns have changed. More and
more geometric designs are used but flowers, petals and leaves still find their Place.
Clients specify patterns and motifs to suit their budget and choices.
Drawing of design

The chief designer draws the design first on tracing paper using a pencil. It requires
3 to 5 weeks of work or more than that, depending on the nature and details of the
design. Designer many times draw motifs on the graph and keep it for further
designing so that it can be used with any modified size and shape. As the designing is
freehand all the motifs must have rhythm accuracy and uniformity in shape and size.
For this he makes a graph for every design and motif. in carpets and rugs designing
he usually draw one fourth of the design on the tracing paper to save time and efforts
as this one forth design can be repeated for all over carpet designing during printing.
For sari borders also they draw design of certain size and shape and repeat it all over
while printing. Rendering is also done for any design which gives the direction to
weave different shades of threads accordingly. If the picture requires very fine lines of
drawing then the design is further traced on muslin cloth and embroidery is done
directly over the muslin cloth with Resham threads hence it does not require pricking
process Now a day they use plastic paper instead of tracing paper to save designs
from wear and tear and to give it more durability.
As soon as the drawing or design using pencil is complete, the process of pricking
starts. In the process of pricking, embroider make a series of holes along the outline of
the design. The tool used for pricking is a needle. The craftsmen use needles to
perforate the tracing paper along the outlines of the design making uniform holes at
extremely close distances. This perforated design on tracing paper is used to trace the
design on the fabric using a coloured chalk powder.
The pricking

Fixing the design \ tracing on cloth


Once pricked the tracing is held by the craftsmen who place it either on fabric
extended on a frame. A colored chalk powder mixed with kerosene is applied with the
help of cotton yarn over the perforated paper after placing it on the fabric. The powder
filters through the fine holes and the design appears on the fabric. Placing the sheets
properly on the cloth needs an idea of how the design will grow further. Many times
the one fourth designs over tracing sheets are placed repeatedly in opposite direction
and many times in the same direction to complete the overall design. This is then sent
to the Embroidery workers for padding.
Setting the Karchob/Frame

The fabric to be embroidered is stretched taut over a frame called the Karchob.
The frame can be made to fit any size Of fabric.
The Karchob is in wood and can weigh more than 100 kgs. The two other wooden
pieces which go through the frame enable the adjustment of the width of the frame
which is blocked to the desired width with the help of nails.

If the design is smaller, then a smaller frame can also be used instead of the
wooden planks.

Men at work

This whole is then placed on trestles and the craftsmen sit around the frame on the
floor working on the piece of cloth.
The frame itself is quite large, and can comfortably accommodate five to seven
artisans
working together on the pre-traced designs.
Padding

Padding is done to give 3-dimensional effect by embroidering the cotton yarns first on
to the fabric along the outline of the design. An embossed and elevated effect is given
to the motif by putting multiple layers of cotton yarns. These multiple layers are
cumulatively called as padding. While padding embroider should have an idea of how
much and where the elevation is to given to bring out the desired effect. Keeping this
in mind he embroiders double cotton thread with the help of big needle. Here padding
is also done in patches and these padded and embroidered motifs are then placed
and stitched afterwards on the final fabric ground. This is done basically because it
gives an ease of hand movement to the craftsmen for embroidering the design on
Karchob. Now on the padding shades of silk threads are used for embroidering the
desired design.
The Embroidery


Outlining - with twisted and stretched gijaai first and foremost outline is being done
with the twisted metal wire called gijai. gijai is embroidered over the final fabric with
matching single cotton thread




Stem work after outlining stem work is done which gives flow to the design. For
this purpose gijaai is stretched and twisted with Resham thread. Which colour of
Resham thread to be used, how much gijai should be stretched, how many wires of
gijai should mingle and how many silk threads to be used while twisting is depends
upon the requirement as per design.
Work of silk threads (turning the art into craft)



Threads are embroidered as if a painter gives strokes to his painting. A
simple needle is used for the embroidery. The needle and thread method is
more feasible, but is very time consuming as well as labor consuming, and
require high artistic and embroidery skills, hence make this art far more
expensive. This work can be done only by craftsmen who are artisans. The
movement of the thread should be in accordance to the outline of the motif.
beautiful French knots are also embroidered wherever required.





Red is not just red




Here red is not just red but a combination and variation of many shades of
red. Various shades of silk threads are embroidered one over the other to
bring out a fine 3-dimensional effect. For fine shading single thread is
used with smallest needle. As much fine the shades of the threads used, the
finer the 3-dimensional appearance becomes.
All kinds of combinations and shades are used to add to the grandeur of
Reshamdozi. Sometime for finest shading they mingle and twist two plies of
thread of different colour to get a new shaded two ply thread for the ultimate
liveliness to the picture.
Reshamdozi with the strand of silk yarns

In Reshamdozi one another most refined dimension of embroidery is done only by the
strands of Silk thread which requires lot of years of expertise in Reshamdozi and
Zardozi. Only masters of Reshamdozi can amaze your eyes with this kind of exclusivity
after the experience of decades. They embroider the delicate silk strands onto the
cloth to make masterpieces. The craftsmen need to rest their eyes after the interval of
3 to 4 hours otherwise they can go blind due to the intricacy of this art.
Stitching patches over the final design


Now the embroidered patches are to be placed and stitched on the final fabric ground
to complete the design.
Touch of Zardozi


A lot of thread work is done with few metal wires and semi precious stones and beads
added, can make the fabric appealing while giving it a unique exclusivity. After
embroidering with the silk threads, embroidery with metal wire of kasav gijai nakshi
may be done along the outline of the motif depending upon the design. The metal wire
while highlighting the motif, also add to the durability of the motif.
Stone Embellishment

Now various semi precious stones and beads can also be embedded on the motif
according to the design. These stone add to the beauty of the design imparting it a
royal flavor. Since these semi precious stones are expensive, they automatically add to
the price of the final product making it very expensive. Intricate patterns traced in
gold and silver, studded with pearls and precious stones enhance the shimmering
beauty of silk, velvet and brocade.
Time required
Some embroidery can take several hundred or sometimes thousands of hours, having
around one single frame 15 to 20 craftsmen working together. It is often necessary to
have an eyeglass to make out the miniscule difference which are part of richness of
these works done by 30 40 hands. The more time required to embroider a design, the
costlier the design becomes as the famous saying says TIME IS MONEY.
My learning experience through the journey

For the first 20 days i was there to grasp the process of reshamdozi and to deepen my
knowledge regarding this art. I saw the whole process being done on carpets. I was
listening and watching the artisans there where they were working and describing me
every minute detailed process. After that I have worked over a design myself to learn
effectively and then I realized how much skills and hard work it needs. I have found
that it takes years and years of experience to make a piece. I was trying my hand on
embroidery for the first time and got stuck so many times during the embroidery
process but there were the artisans and designer who was the head designer and pupil
of lt.Shams Uddin to help me in every step ahead. i felt proud when at last he patted
my shoulder and appreciated me. Now I find myself in a much better position to work
with surface embellishments but there is lot to learn with the rich heritage of our arts
and crafts.