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The income generating activity for the women in rural area (2013/2/19)

~The processes of making embroidery pouch~

Since 2009, KnK Japan and our counterpart, SUF Bangladesh have been running “Cooperative” for rural women’s income generating activity in Barisal, Bangladesh. Over the last three years, their embroidery and sewing skills have been improved by providing trainings including embroidery and sewing. After trainings, products have been made by cooperative members and now products are sold at our showroom which is located at first floor at our office in Pirojupur, Barisal. In addition, we have exported some of the products to Japan.

Now, I would like to present case how products are been made by our cooperative members. The below figure shows the flow of making embroidery products.


So let's look at each step undertaken of product development in more details!

Step 1: Weaving fabric
First step of making bag begins with weaving of fabrics at Shehangal villages where there was a traditional weaving culture. With our project, we have restored where it was already at the verge of extinction. With restoration, weaving of fabrics is carried out and different types of fabrics are produced by this village. In general, weaving is done by men because of hard labor requiring in it. So it is needed lots of energy for women.

Bangla weaving 1

Member is weaving fabric

Step 2: Designing
Designing of embroidery starts with advice from local instructor and Japanese expatriate. For designing, drawing of patterns is been carried out repeatedly by members until it comes to final decision of pattern. The drawing process itself takes lots of time and not easy since members have less experience. However, it is found exciting by members because they are proud to showcase their design and sell in the market which gives them motivation for making next design.

Bangla design 1
Members carrying out drawing of pattern

Step 3: Cutting
For cutting fabric, member use ruler and tailor’s chalk in order to have a straight line.

Bangla 1
Members is cutting the fabric

Step 4: Quilting
Quilting is a process where stitching of fabric is carried out whereby two fabric are brought together. This is simple process but it requires lots of patience because quilting should be done at same length of each stitch, same distance and straight line. The original purpose of quilting is to strengthen the fabrics, but sometimes it becomes a design by itself.

Step 5: Tracing
For tracing purpose, design is made by making holes on tracing paper. After making design on tracing paper, the tracing paper is placed on fabric and spread with tracing powder whereby design gets printed on fabric through tracing paper hole. The embroidery will depend upon the quality of tracing on the fabric.

Bangla 2
Member is tracing design on the fabric

Step 6: Embroidery
After tracing the design on the fabric, it is time to start embroidery. Members choose different kinds of stitching and threads for better looking. While carrying out embroidery, one has to remain in same posture and it is quite stressful for eyes.

Bangla 3
Members are doing embroidery together

After embroidery, the fabrics are washed by hand for removing stains and paint of tracing. And then, the fusible fabrics are applied using an iron in case of thin fabric.

Step 7: Sewing
For sewing, sometimes, they do again and again in the same process because they struggle to sew with straight line and also while installing a zipper.

Bangla 4
Members carrying out sewing

Step 8: Finishing
Members check the stains and trim embroidery threads which are not wanted. After that, ironing is done and price tag is placed on the products. With this step, product development gets finally completed.

Bangla 5
Members is doing ironing
Bangla 6
Final product

By following above mentioned steps, it can be still difficult producing good quality of product. This is because hand-made product development is not as uniform as compared to machine made. In addition, sometimes, embroidery design is changed by themselves among members without prior discussion. All in all, the thoughts of members toward products are serious and they hope to provide quality products to the customer. They are eager to improve their ability for making high quality products.

Recently, we got good opportunity to sell our products which are clogged up with above thoughts from members. One was the spring festival by Japanese association and another one was at craft bazaar in Dhaka (*) on February 2013. During our sale, we got lots of feedbacks from our customers and we are now in the process of improving the products by putting feedbacks received from customers and also with our own experiences.


Bangla bag 1 Bangla bag 2
Embroidery eco bags which was sold at bazaar

Bangla bazaar 1
The display of products at bazaar

(*)Dhaka Craft Bazaar
Dhaka Craft Bazaar is a monthly fair trade festival for creating business opportunities for rural women artisans who are able to produce great handy craft products but have no access to sell them in the market. This Bazaar has been conducted monthly in Dhaka leading by Bangladesh NGO, Prokritee.

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