Weaving a niche

Zeenath Irshad became an embroidery artist quite unexpectedly
Zeenath Irshad
Zeenath Irshad

The art of embroidery is timeless albeit laborious. But for many artists who have experienced the magic of the threads, embroidery art is wild and limitless. Zeenath Irshad calls it ‘hand magic’. The young entrepreneur who travels with her embroidery kit, says the craft is her therapy for her. “When I step out, I always carry my embroidery kit with me. When I am not doing anything in particular, I take out my thread and hoop and start stitching. It really helps me enjoy wherever I am at that point,” says Zeenath, who owns an embroidery business Art shed. 

Her embroidered hampers and hoops are quite popular for their patterns, colour combination and calligraphy styles. Zeenath’s journey started a few years ago, when the MBA graduate undertook a short fashion course.

“That’s where embroidery first captured my attention. But I couldn’t continue the course. Later, I started a small business selling dresses but the pandemic caused a setback. Around that time, I shared an embroidery hoop art I created on social media and it garnered a lot of interest,” recalls Zeenath, a Malappuram-native settled in Ernakulam

Now through her brand, embroidery art gets luxuriously etched onto sweaters, baby wears, mittens and cap. She also offers customised gifts. Of them, the baby hampers and Quran hampers are the most famous. Zeenath also holds embroidery workshops, both online and offline.

But the journey wasn’t easy either. Many people questioned how she could become financially independent pursuing embroidery. “Things have changed now. I focus on experimentation, working out new patterns, and creating new styles in embroidery. Moreover, people prefer handmade, customised items,” says Zeenath. 

Embroidery art may be a time-consuming process but it is also rewarding. It has something for everyone, she says. “Anyone can learn embroidery. For me, it is therapeutic and prevents me from overthinking. A few of the homemakers who learned embroidery from me have said that it is something for them to fall back on,” says Zeenath. 
@art_shed_ on Instagram

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