Hanging Thread Gallery

Hanging Thread is a rotating gallery space at San Francisco School of Needlework & Design. The gallery exhibits the work of Contemporary stitching, needlework, fiber and textile artists from across the US. Exhibitions change bi-monthly. If you are interested in exhibiting your work, please contact Lisa Coscino.

Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am – 4:30 pm

Upcoming Exhibit  
RESURGENCE: Revival of Indian Handcrafted Textiles and Embroideries
Asif Shaikh
July – November 2022

An exhibition of Asif‘s work titled, ‘resurgence’, will open in the Hanging Thread Gallery with a Members Only Reception on Saturday, July 23rd from 1-3 pm. Please use the hyper link to register – you will not want to miss this unique opportunity to meet Asif, see his work, and to have an intimate chat with him about culture, inspiration and creating a bridge between the East and West.

Many thanks to Shelley Wells for helping to organize this wonderful exhibit!

Here is just a little bit about Asif:
Asif is the grandchild of a hand loom weaver and the son of a tailor. Born in Ahmedabad – a city renowned for its rich culture and textile heritage – Asif took up embroidery when he was about ten years old. At an age when embroidery was rarely pursued by young boys, Asif choose needle, thread and fabric over other interests. As he perfected stitches he would try to recreate the motifs and stitches of different embroideries in all their fineness, detail and lavishness. Gradually, with passing years, his encounter with the beautiful world of embroidery became stronger and his insight grew deeper.

He explored a spectrum of traditional Indian embroidery techniques from different regions of India by learning the stitch himself. His sound technical foundation coupled with a fundamental understanding of stitch and its practice led him to create exquisite embroideries.

Photo: Lotus Pond, Couture Festive collection by Rahul Mishra (©Rahul Mishra)

Asif‘s training combined with a deeply held aesthetic awareness and meticulous attention to detail gradually led him to fuse fabric and embroidery into unique garments akin to art pieces infused with timeless elegance. He is meticulous about quality – a word synonymous with his work and his identity; his studio employs artisans who, under Asif‘s astute guidance, produce a range of embroidered yardage which is transformed into garments and textiles.

Asif‘s technical expertise of scores of stitches is invaluable in recreating the effect of old embroideries as well as in creating his own signature designs. Showcasing a sophisticated juxtaposition of traditional textile techniques in stitch, motif, composition and colour palette, these textiles recreate the grandeur and fineness of India’s fabled royal textiles and attire even as they revive and preserve the tradition of Indian embroideries and support local artisans and their textiles.


Black georgette panel embroidered with parsi border using aari embroidery 

In 2013 ‘resurgence’ was launched at the IGNCA-New Delhi and thereafter went around the world. This collection of textiles was created under Asif‘s guidance by master crafts people bringing together the best that India has to offer. It showcases the great Indian textile that had caught the imagination of the west and brought them east centuries ago. Asif‘s endeavor has been not to copy the old pieces but to develop them further making them contemporary pieces of beauty and to prove that aesthetics, quality, techniques, craftsmanship have not been lost post industrialization, liberalization and production on large scale. The story does not end here, it was a start and the endeavor continues to develop and re-invent. Every ‘resurgence’ has something new to offer.

Asif is also the founder of CDS Art Foundation, Ahmedabad, an initiative that believes nurturing textile crafts through master artisan and designer collaborations. The CDS Foundation has worked with many master artisans and designers, and has successfully held five collaborative fashion shows showcasing exquisite handcrafted textiles and garments graced with the highest level of craftsmanship. He spares no effort or occasion to work with and encourage textile artisans to create beautiful textiles and assist them to show their work on a global platform. In fact, he believes it is his purpose in life!