Sitting in a room, with colorful threads scattered all around, Nadi Azad is keenly handling a needle, jiggling it around a loop, creating fascinating kaleidoscopic forms on a white piece of cloth. With thousands of followers on social media, Nadi’s mesmerizing hand embroidery art is winning hearts all over the internet.
Nadi Azad, 24, found solace in art at a very early age. From stone art to calligraphy Nadi left no stone unturned to quench her soul’s thirst of doing something unique and creative. Belonging to Kashmir’s Anantanag district, Nadi did her schooling in her village and pursued graduation from Women’s College Anantanag in arts faculty.
“I used to do stone art and calligraphy for my friends back in school. But with time, I found it difficult to balance between studies and my passion. My friends insisted me to put a stall of my stone art and embroidery in one of the carnivals. I was overwhelmed by the response that I got for the embroidery pieces”, Nadi said.
“When people visited my stall they kept asking if I made them. It is where I thought that I need to go back to my roots. From that day I started my work of embroidery yet again. There has not been a single day since then when I haven’t embroidered”, she added.
Nadi Azad has an Instagram page named “Ath-Kaem,” where she uploads pictures of her embroidery art. The page has around 2000 followers. The cost of one piece ranges from Rs 800-3000 depending upon the size of the cloth customer chooses. The comment section of her posts is always filled with praises for her work. Nadi has a reach of not just national audience but she acclaims come from foreign countries as well.
“I recently received six orders from Norway. I’ve clients based in Delhi and other parts of the country as well”, Nadi said.
Ifrat Rashid has been following "Ath-kaem" since a year and has also purchased some of the loops.
“One of my friends guided me to Nadi’s Instagram page. I was awestricken seeing it. Nadi’s attention to detail and unique designs drew me to purchase some pieces,” Ifrat said.
“Nadi truly puts her heart and soul into her designs and that makes her standout from the clutter we witness these days on social media,” Ifrat added.
Nadi Azad has inspired a number of girls to be a part of this old tradition of hand embroidery. “Few girls come to my place for learning this art. Though they find it difficult but I insist them to continue because it is a part of our tradition and at the same time is very lucrative way for a girl to be financially independent”, she said.
Nadi is planning to expand her range of embroidery by adding new designs.
“I want to keep on improving my work with each passing day. I’m planning to add some concepts which are quite new to hand embroidery. I want to make sceneries and portraits from the thread,” Nadi said.
Nadi Azad is blessed with a supportive family, which has supported her.
“My parents have always been very supportive. Without their support, my dreams would have come true,” Nadi said.
Nadi is currently pursuing her masters in Gender Studies from University of Kashmir.