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The Atpare Rai from the Dhankuta District of eastern Nepal are famous for their intricate 'counted thread' embroidery. Traditionally used by the women to embroider shawls signalling their ethnic identity, these skills are now being used to make a variety of beautiful items for export.


In this photo Balsowri and Bidaysowri are wearing traditional shawls embroidered with red and green geometric patterns formed by picking up threads in the cloth using very long needles. The finer the fabric the more intricate the pattern. The cut ends of the shawl are folded and stitched with a knotted and tassled border which gives weight to the shawl helping it to drape so that the embroidery is shown to its best advantage.

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