Convent’s embroidery bowls over Bedi

July 12, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Puducherry, July 10, 2016: Puducherry’s famed French-style embroidery will now get some official patronage.

The city’s well-known Cluny convent, which has been running an embroidery centre for local destitute women since late-1800s, will now have the Raj Bhavan as its customer.

On a sudden visit to the centre, Pondy Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was so impressed by the amazing needlework on display that she requested her officials to source some rare pieces to be given away as mementoes and gifts to visiting dignitaries. Already a few pieces have been chosen and collected – a decision that has delighted the 30-odd needlework artists at the centre as well as the nuns who run the organization.

“Hand embroidery is fast becoming a dying art as machine embroidery has replaced it almost everywhere,” said Sister Augusta, the nun in charge of Atelier Broderie, the Cluny Embroidery Centre.

“Yet there is exquisite beauty and painstaking work involved in the textured layers of hand-stitched embroidery.”

The encouragement from the Governor is a particularly welcome development for the centre which depends on a handful of local and the occasional tourist patron to stay afloat. “She told the girls at the centre ‘Ninga Rajbhavan Vanga’ and they were so happy,” said Sister Augusta.

Nestled in a 250-year-old heritage building on Rue Romain Rolland in Pondy’s iconic French quarter, the Cluny Embroidery Centre is also part of the city’s living heritage. “This beautiful villa was given to us by a French lady back in 1845,” said Sister Augusta.

“She asked the convent to use it to offer shelter to homeless and destitute widows and orphans.” The embroidery section started 40 years later. Initially a group of French nuns took turns to teach the poor women in their care and they in turn passed on the art to the next batch of needlework artists, The Times of India reported.

Today, the centre not only does its own designs but also undertakes special made-to-order items for its patrons. “Ever since the Governor’s visit, the girls have been on cloud nine. It was such a beautiful gesture on her part,” said Sister Augusta.

– matters india

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!