Cluny Embroidery Centre
Cluny Embroidery Centre
4.5
Speciality & Gift ShopsArchitectural Buildings
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
A world of stunning hues and delicate shades comes alive as visions of nature are converted into hand-embroidered motifs by women delicately creating inspired masterpieces on a variety of linen. Gentle hands and precise movements bring to life art and poetry. Table cloths, napkins, table runners, bed sheets, pillow covers, hand towels, tray cloths, kitchen towels, curtains, bath towels, baby bed sheets, and wall hangings carry stunning effects and delicate designs - pieces that are perfect as gifts and collectibles. In every stitch of the thread, is a story of pain, a story of survival and a story of triumph. Poor, abused and helpless, many women have found hope and a place where they can live to their potential at the Centre established by the Sisters. Trained in creating exquisite embroidery, these women are enabled to support themselves and their families, thus also providing them hope and happiness. The art of embroidery has opened for these women, the doors of freedom.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles45 reviews
Excellent
27
Very good
14
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Troy M
Brookline29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
I visited this center on my last trip to Pondicherry in 2018 and made a point to visit again this year (April 2023) when staying in Chennai (a 3 hr drive away). The Catholic Sisters at the center are TRULY doing God's work, teaching abused, disadvantaged women the craft of embroidery in a serene, beautiful setting. The pieces available for purchase are simply exquisite (some of the best needlepoint I have ever seen). In addition to embroidered napkins and towels, I bought multiple pieces to have framed, as they are truly works of art. Just remember to bring enough cash as the center does NOT accept credit cards. Also make sure to check their opening hours before planning your visit, as they are closed on some days and have limited hours on the days they are open. My only dilemma was trying to decide which pieces to ultimately purchase - they were ALL so gorgeous! By making a purchase here, you are rewarded with beautiful heirloom quality needlepoint pieces as well as the satisfaction of knowing your purchase is truly making a difference in the lives of these women. A "must visit" when in Pondicherry.
Written April 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paridarshika
New Delhi, India8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
This place has always been one of my favourites in PONDICHERRY and I end up buying small bits of exquisite embroidery even if I do not really need them. My friend recommended this place because she buys all her beautifully embroidered bed sheets here.
Sometimes, I just go and sit quietly in the verandah and just absorb the atmosphere.
It has been closed lately due to COVID but the building is certainly worth a visit.
Written January 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deadman17
Mumbai, India547 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
As the name suggests this is a place where women work on making nice embroidered clothes and materials. There is someone around who can help you have a look around. I just had a quick look around, took some rest in the shade and was on my way.
Written May 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zeepad
Singapore, Singapore130 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Couples
This is an organisation run by missionary sisters specialising in beautifully hand made embroidery. Widows & young orphan girls are taught embroidery skills to support themselves & they produce stunningly beautiful pieces.
These make great gifts to take home & they have pieces in all price ranges & all sizes.

The entrance is just across from the Hotel De L'Orient on Rue Romain Rolland.
Written February 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hkannie27
hong kong157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My Christmas shopping is sorted. Lovely pieces of artwork on towels, napkins and tablecloths. It was lovely to see the ladies working on the exquisite pieces in this beautiful building.
Written October 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fjp4564
Sunshine Coast654 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Solo
This establishment run by the Cluny Sisters are doing a fine job in providing embroidery skills to poor and underpriviledged women in the district. In these days of mechanisation and complex embroidery machines, these unique hand sewing skills are being kept alive for the next generations. The items made here are for sale, and each sale will help these women to earn some money to support their families. Well worth a visit for the Tourist to watch these women doing such fine hand embroidery work.
Written April 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

npk123
Auroville, India159 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Friends
The first attraction here is the building itself - a truly magnificent example of French colonial architecture that is well preserved and beautifully maintained. It is another place that reflects a feeling of peace and serenity. Then there is the embroidery work which is truly magnificent. I have probably taken 50 visitors here and almost everyone buys something and some buy a lot. The Cluny Sisters who run the place are also delightful and with spending a little time to get to know as they have great life stories. This is perhaps my favourite shopping destination in the whole region and I have been many, many times. Please note though it has limited opening hours. It is closed on Sunday and Monday and the rest of the work ie open for a just a few hours in the morning and afternoon.
Written December 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JacMBrisbane
Queensland, Australia275 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
The centre is located a street away from the address listed on TripAdvisor, and it is closed during low season without notice. I tried 3 times to visit.
Written May 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you JacMBrisbane for raising your concerns. We have updated our address which used to be an address put by default by Tripadvisor. We have also published our opening hours during which the sisters will make all the possible efforts to guide you through the women's precious work and life stories.
Written June 6, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SuchetaPotnis
Calangute, India49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015
A beautiful, serene building and gardens, embroidery of highest quality. The building is beautiful and it is almost like meditation, sitting here, enjoying the gardens and the peace of a dozen odd women working calmly. The resulting pieces are of the highest quality. Sister Augsta is a charming, knowledgeable person. I would recommend the places for all who would like to see some genuine work or simply to enjoy one of the most peaceful places in Pondicherry.
Written December 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kowie55
Chennai (Madras), India745 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
There are 2 reasons why Cluny’s would interest you. Firstly, it is a wonderful French heritage building. It was built by Lagrenee de Mezieres, who was a member of the Governor’s council – a big man. In 1829 the owners seem to have handed this building to catholic nuns. This was a good move, not only because they used it for charitable purposes, but also because they looked after the heritage building carefully. The entrance is impressive --- solid columns like a typical colonial building, high roof built over teak-wood beams, fine floors with chessboard-like black & white checks. The main doorway is adorned with 2 lovely ornamental bas-reliefs. This seems to have been done only by plasterwork, so it speaks highly of the craftsmen who did it and the nuns who maintained it!
The second and obvious reason is that this place is famous for embroidery work. The nuns have taught this skill to destitute women, who produce fine art with their needles. But the products are expensive (because of the skill and effort that goes in) and so you may not buy unless you are a keen lover of this art or you have planned purpose/occasion for a piece.
On one side of the building is the show room and the other side is the workshop were the crafts-women focus on their work. We could see the ladies working, but were not allowed inside the workshop where the women were working; a pity really, because we wanted to see how these talented people work!
Sadly, photography is prohibited inside the building. So, we got no pictures of the beautiful productions. We were allowed to take pictures from outside and I have reproduced those pics here.
Written July 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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