Double the return: Empowering women and supporting dying crafts

Published: May 26, 2013
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Wall hanging items on display at the Nomad exhibition. PHOTO: PRESS RELEASE

Wall hanging items on display at the Nomad exhibition. PHOTO: PRESS RELEASE

ISLAMABAD: 

Hand-embroidered accessories and traditional clothes made by women hailing from Pakistan and other South Asian regions are on display at the “Support the Crafts” exhibition at the Nomad Art Gallery.

The gallery is showcasing work produced by 10 social enterprise organisations that it collaborates with to economically empower craftswomen and female embroiders.

The items on display include hand-embroidered tops, scarfs, stoles, traditional shawls, bags, floor cushions, decoration items such as wall hangings and other accessories from all across the country.

Polly&Me, a social enterprise working with female embroiders in Chitral valley, and Swati, a hand embroidery project for women in Mingora, are among the organisations whose work is on display.

The accessories and decoration items range between Rs300 and Rs1,000 where as rugs, and some products by Tribal Truck Art — an organisation committed to the preservation of truck art — are slightly more expensive.

Silk shawls from the House of Wandering Silk — Nomad’s partner based in New Delhi, India — are also on display. The products are made by female weavers and a portion of the proceeds from each product goes to the education of children in rural India.

Director Nomad Art Gallery Nageen Hyat said the gallery works as a space to support women artisans and promote positive social change.

Hyat said the gallery only retains a basic 10 per cent fee on the sales of the items while the remaining 90 per cent goes to the artisans, who are not charged for display and are also allowed to fix the products’ prices themselves.

“The idea is to train rural women artisans in business skills, product design and packaging so they are able to achieve economic empowerment as well as support these dying crafts,” she said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2013.

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