There are 2,500 micro units in Barabanki employing over 10,000 people and many workers are women. The turnover of the industry is over Rs.100 crore, according to state government records.
“The demand for chikan embroidery work has increased. Traders from Lucknow place bulk orders for chikan work. Earlier, sales were restricted to Uttar Pradesh only, but now we sell across the country and abroad. Artisans are also shifting base to be closer to traders,” said Ram Sharan, an artisan based in Barabanki.
“There has been a huge increase in sales over the past few years, partly-fuelled by sales to tourists,” sharan said.
“Manufacturers are facing problems such as the lack of automation in the industry - it takes a long time for artisans to complete orders. There are not many designers in the area; there is no association of artisans that can take up our cause. We have to depend on traders for everything, including major orders,” said Chhatarpal, another artisan based in Barabanki.
“We get the embroidered cloth material from Barabanki and supply it to other parts of the country, most of it through traders based in north india. There is a huge demand for chikan embroidery work, especially during the summer months, because of its uniques style and in the wedding season,” said Manish Kapoor, a Lucknow based trader.