Help Shershahbadi women express through lesser known embroidery, KHETA | Milaap
Help Shershahbadi women express through lesser known embroidery, KHETA
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  • Kheta

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    Kheta Exhibition
  • KE

    This fundraiser will benefit

    Kheta Exhibition

    from New Delhi, Delhi


Kheta, the reversible embroidered quilt from Kishanganj district of Bihar, is the cultural identity and embroidered expression of the migrant community of Muslims known as Shershabadi. The Kheta embroidery is a kind of quilting (the art of stitching layers of fabrics) that has survived the onslaught of time and shares a similar origin with other recycled quilting techniques, “Kantha” of Bengal and “Sujni” of Bihar. Over the years, however, the Shershabadi community has developed their unique quilting technique of pure geometrical motifs where the resulting textile is generally used as a blanket for newborn children or a mattress for the newlywed couple.

Even though it is a practising craft in the remote villages of Kishanganj, Kheta has largely remained undocumented in the family of recycled quilts from the Eastern part of India like Sujanis and Kanthas. Zameen Astar Foundation (ZAF) and Azad India Foundation (AIF) have been instrumental in getting government, national and international attention to these most exquisite embroideries.

Rationale/Idea behind the Kheta exhibition
Zameen Astar Foundation and Azad India Foundation intend to organise an exhibition of Kheta embroidery in partnership with Crafts Museum, New Delhi. This is being achieved with an academic collaboration with the Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD), New Delhi. 

Key Objectives of the Exhibition
  1. Establishing Kheta as a unique embroidery and cultural identity of the Shershabadi community, paving way for getting Geographical Indication (GI status)
  2. Using Kheta textile as evidence of Shershabadi migration from Bangladesh to Bihar thus tracing linkages between Bangladesh and India
  3. Documenting and showcasing the maximum number of Kheta patterns (many not in practice anymore)
  4. Encouraging economic empowerment through skill practice and conservation in the villages
  5. Showcasing a lesser-known craft to a larger audience
Target Audience: Textile and craft enthusiasts, educational institutions, textile scholars, foreign nationals looking for a slice of India, anyone interested in art, people looking for textile souvenirs and home decor products, etc.
Exhibition Venue: Crafts Museum, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, March 2022

Exhibition Format/Scope of work
  • Exhibition of embroidered (quilted) products in the textile gallery of Crafts Museum
  • Live display of the craft by Shershabadi women 
  • Expert Talk(s) with design practitioners and thinkers
  • Workshops for educational institutions to learn the craft
  • Film screening/Audiovisual sessions providing insights into the Shershabadi community and culture 
  • Sale of Kheta Products from the Museum Shop
  • Information brochure on Shershabadi community (on sale)

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