Danke ka Kaam / Embroidery with metal pieces and Zardozi of Udaipur, Rajasthan

Danke ka Kaam / Embroidery with metal pieces and Zardozi of Udaipur, Rajasthan

Languishing Craft

Danke Ka kaam, is an unusual and unique textile surface ornamentation technique that is practised in Udaipur, in the Mewar region of Rajasthan. Using small diamond shaped concave relief formed cut pieces of sheet metals that are hand-stitched on to fabrics with zari yarn, it is further complemented by Zardozi embroidery that is worked around it. Earlier only real gold, and silver sheet metal was used to make the Danka, while gold and siver-plated metals are now in use.

Embroidered on luxurious textiles like silk and velvet the embroidery has an opulent four-D look with the added cache of the concave shape glinting when it catches the light. Danka builds up motifs like paisleys, flowers and peacocks, borders, vines and scrolls to create sumptuous textile garments.

A languishing craft practice Danka embroidery is practiced only by the Bohra Muslim community who migrated to this area in the 16th Century and continue to practice it till today in this corner of Rajasthan. The community themselves do not throw any clear light on the origins of this craft and as to whether it was already being practiced at that time or before or if it travelled to the subcontinent during their migration here cannot be clearly established because of lack of any written or oral history about the craft.

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