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To achieve the long term objective of empowering the women artisans by making them proficient in skill based work, SETU opened a tailoring centre at Malikpur Dhani. The women artisans are associated with SETU for the past many years and earlier have also been part of our learning initiatives project for the elderly, where the women have successfully learnt how to read & write.
To achieve women empowerment in true sense, our next step was to make them self-sustainable. SETU has already been training them for doing hand ‘kantha’ stitching and other handmade decoratives. On discussion with women, it was observed that a lot of them were keen to learn tailoring/stitching skills. Most of them did not know stitching at all while a few knew very basic stitching, but lacked expertise & innovation.
It was also found that the women did not have access to sewing machines.
It was therefore decided to sponsor high quality, industrial purpose, motorized sewing machines to the women. At the same time, a tailoring centre was opened to train the women.
16 women took training in the tailoring workshop. A total of 8 high end motorized sewing machines were sponsored & installed, completely free of cost.
2 expert trainers for the centre were appointed. Initially, the workshop was planned for a period of 1 month, but on the request of participants, it was later extended to a period of over 2 months.
Participants learnt the following tailoring skill sets in the training programme:
• Basic and advanced stitching
• How to use motorized & high speed sewing machines.
• Cutting a fabric in different patterns and designs
• Making various types of garments like Punjabi Salwar suits, Rajasthani Salwar Kurta and variety of blouses.
• New techniques & designs to bring them at par with current trends & styles.
In addition to the above skills, artisans were also guided on basics of capacity building, cost setting & optimization, market readiness etc.
The raw material required for the workshop like needles, fabric, bukram were also provided by SETU.
All participants were very enthusiastic to learn something new.
The tailoring Programme ended on a positive note with many women artisans expressing their desire to make tailoring a regular source of earning. The sewing machines provided by SETU are high end & of industrial power & that would also help them in bulk production in future.