Exquisite hand-embroidered Sarees, Kurtas and Saree Blouses in natural fabrics are what Sonal Gandhi’s Shringar specialises in. Especially hand embroidery (desi bharat – herringbone, chain and stem stitch) from Kathiawad and Saurashtra, with typical desi motifs like mor-popat, keri and so on that have been traditionally popular here for centuries. Sonal studied textile designing at Mumbai but was always more inclined towards traditional textile crafts. So when she made Baroda her home, she established contact with her aunt based in Bhavnagar who has located and supervises the talented traditional embroiderers there. Sonal ‘designs’ embroidery motifs, decides the stitches to be used and the colour combinations and then the sarees are sent to Bhavnagar for the embroidery. She keeps in mind the quality and texture of the cloth to be embroidered on and accordingly ‘designs’ the embroidery so that the saree ‘falls’ well. While Sonal usually buys the saree cloth in yardage, she can also jazz up your plain Kanjeevarams, Narayan Peths, Dharwadis and Maheshwaris with some elegant work.
Sonal has gone beyond the desi bharat to revive little-known stitches like tiny knots that suceed effectively in replicating the danas of bareek bandhani. "Since the women and girls who work for us are already skilled in embroidery, they very enthusiastically and easily learn new stitches and designs too. In fact, the Dhakai stitch, which gets one the effect of the woven patterns in Dhakai-Bengali sarees, is now expertly worked on by these ladies too," she explains. At the same time, Sonal also has a team of men embroiderers doing excellent quality khatla work – zardosi, kora zardosi, moti-tikki and metal wire work, as well as Parsi gara embroidery.
Sonal always has ready embroidered sarees in stock. These include pure silks, tussars, tussars with dyed pallavs, Patolas and Kanjeevarams. She accepts orders on sarees provided by clients too. Her other products include embroidered and stitched men’s kurtas as well as especially made saree blouses for wedding and festive wear.