Monday, 10 November 2014


This was to be a very full day.    We left Sayla around 8 am with our host Mr. Singh who had arranged a meeting with 'Mr. Green' an ecologist from Wagwam.   Only a thirty minutes away and we entered the old walled city.

the town is well known for bhandani work and sitting outside their house 
two ladies  are busy tying cloth ready to be dyed

Mr. Green was an excellent host.   We had a Gujurat breakfast of a curried rice dish, dry curried vegetables, and a dipping sauce for the local 'crisps' -  gram flour extruded into hot fat, so delicious.  All washed down with cups of chai.

Then to the main room to look at his photographs of wild life, peruse his amazing library before setting out to the countryside in search of the Indian Eagle Owl.    Success, one sitting on the nest, and two soaring over head.  Magnificent birds. Mr. R was delighted.    You can find pix on his website shortly.

meanwhile, my little contribution to bird photography

 painted storks sorting themselves out atop a very high tree
lots of comings and goings with nesting materials

Chai at the farm and then back into town to meet two sisters whotaught local ladies to stitch.    We were shown lots of work, nicely doneand fell in love with an elephant hanging, but it wasn't for sale.

I was given books of samples to look at - crochet, tatting, knitting - sample slipper above,   no hand stitching, but what looked like free machine work   

there were two rooms with really old sewing machines 

I couldn't work out whether the ladies were learning for domestic use or earn money by selling their work

we were directed to the shop, but there was no sign of anythingas nice as the elephant hanging, or even hand knitted socks.

I did find some thick Khardi cloth, perfect for the indigo pot.This did cause some hilarity - it's used for dusters!   Went mad and bought lots, it weighed a ton.   Brought some home with me, the rest I have left with Samshu until our return.  If the cloth doesn't dye well, he will have enough dusters to last a very long time

we had an appointment with a very nice man, who organises ladies who do stitch very beautifully - but first we had to try some Jain dishes prepared especially for us.   Delicious.

We met the stitching ladies who were very welcoming.After Diwali their cupboards were almost bare.   Work in hand included bed covers stitched in thick cotton and pillow cases
Shalwar kameze and dupatta sets - bhandi, tied and dyed.  I have been invited back for stitching lessons.

I brought this fine piece home - actually it is doubled,possibly to be cut into cushions.   Stitched in a viscose thread, again closed herringbone stitch, outlined in chain stitch.   On ironing out the creases I realised justin time that it has been stitched on polyester cloth!

We went to the local market looking for metal framed mirrors.  When I say 'we' I was accompanied by four men who probably had never stepped inside a haberdashery shop!
It was hilarious.

Walking back through alleys we came across a man sewing on an ancient sewing machine, c.1880.

love the foot pedals
the arm of the machine looks like a clamp
the sewing bed is really tiny 
fabric is stitched from left to right
the box on the right had lots of
interesting things in it!

and so, back to Sayla for a wash and brush up, we have a drinks invitation at the palace.

a long and interesting day

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