Introduction and Heritage Value
Rajasthan’s unique and splendid form of embroidery, Dabka work is one of the most innovative and intricate works available in the Indian subcontinent. Detail oriented, precise and grand are a few words that can describe this craft’s magnificence.
Origin and History
Though this type of embroidery is one of the most beautiful and detailed works, there isn’t much hubbub around it and that is the reason it lacks in popularity. However, the fact is that this embroidery is complicated and rather fascinating, and at the same time requires much skill and patience on the part of the worker. This is basically a detailed kind of needle work with the help of Zari, and normally three to four people work on the same piece at one time. This embroidery had originated in Rajasthan and the adjoining areas which now belong to the country Pakistan.
Present Day Scenario
The present day scenario regarding Dabka work does not seem too promising. While it is true that, there is a huge amount of demand for this kind of work all over the country and the world, but the workers here, are not being able to enjoy the benefits of this ancient craft. They still have to work in ’unfriendly’ weather conditions, and they do not use the modern equipment which can make their work a little less complicated and easier.
Most of the people who are working for Dabka or ‘Dapka’ embroidery use a simple needle to do their job and the result of the same is rather fascinating. Though the government and various NGOs are trying to help these people, the situation does not seem hopeful, and the revival of this craft has a long way to go.
Sources of Inspiration
Dabka work is extremely intricate and heavy, at the same time it is gorgeous. The work is done on basic fabrics like Silk and Chiffon, and the embroidery is done with the help of Zari threads.
The main inspiration behind the works and the designs is that of nature. The popular designs and motifs created by the workers consist of flowers, leaves and peacocks. Needless to mention, that one may not find a lot of variety in the work as such, but these motifs are anything short of spectacular with their opulent style and grace. This is the main reason that this kind of embroidery is one of the most popular ones in the Indian and overseas market. With time, the workers are trying to create little more variety in their works and things are changing for the better, but that is a slow process, and will take some time to get introduced on a large scale.
The embroidery is heavy and gorgeous and you cannot manage to wear it on a regular basis. It is also not daily attire. Dresses and saris with Dabka work are perfect for traditional occasions and gatherings. You can wear it at a marriage, reception, engagement party and other such events. Along with the sari or the dress, you need to make sure that, there is ample amount of jewellery and make up. As the dress in itself is gorgeous, you have to use heavy jewellery and appropriate make-up to retain the balance and inherent style of the Dabka work.
Maintenance is the key when we speak of such intricate work. It is not going to be too easy though. You cannot machine wash these materials and neither can you soak them in a bucket of water and detergent and wash them manually. Therefore, dry cleaning is the best option.
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