India is the land of different cultures, customs and religions,.. One of our rich cultural heritage is Indian embroidery
Influenced by the various cultures that India has imbibed, embroidery from every region has a style of its own. So much so that you can name the state an embroidery style is there..Be it the mirror hand work of Gujarat or the subtle and intricate Chikankari from uttar pradesh, each embroidery stands out for its unique style of stitches and use of fabrics and colours. Indian embroideries, today,is world famous. While India boasts of a zillion embroidery styles, we have handpicked some that have been inspiring generations of designers from across the world.
Hand-sewn clothing dates back to primordial times. It is believed that in the early stages of human evolution, people stitched animal skins to cover themselves. However, with the industrial revolution, hand stitched products are found lesser in picture. For the time and perseverance hand embroidery requires, embroidered products are few in number. On the contrary, it still provides livelihood to many. Due to its ‘limited edition’ quality, embroidered clothes/bags/footwear is usually high-priced. Indian outfits, especially, make extensive use of embroideries.
There are various types of embroideries; some ancient, some evolving and some newfound. If you too are a lover of embroideries and wish to know more about the several kinds, scroll through the page
Indian fashion brags of Chikankaari for it requires strenuous effort and creativity to produce a chikan fabric. Chikan work is a famous embroidery work, made popular in the city of Lucknow. It is famous for its intricate details and fine artwork done by white yarns on colorless muslins called tanzeb. Chikankaari, as popularly believed, has been introduced by Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir. Cutting, stitching, printing, embroidery, washing and finishing are the main processes of this art. There are various types of chikan work: Taipchi, Bakhia, Phunda, Murri, Jaali, Hathkati, Pechni, Ghas Patti, and Chaana Patt.
Toda Embroidery:- The Toda embroidery has its origins in Tamil Nadu. The Nilgiri Hills, inhabited by the Todu community have their own style called pugur, means flower. This embroidery, like Kantha, is practiced by women. The embroidery adorns the shawls. The shawl, called poothkuli, has red and black bands between which the embroidery is done. As Todas worship the buffaloes, buffalo becomes an important motif in the Toda embroidery among mettvi kaanpugur, Izhadvinpuguti and others.
A popular Indian art; has roots in Rajasthan. As the name suggests, mirror work is done to accentuate the fabric. It produces kaleidoscopic effect in the fabric, adds vibrancy to it. Though, it is not always mirror that is used as a key component in this artwork. Shiny materials like mica or hand-blown glass or even sequins can be a good substitute. Also, mirrors are not fixed in one shape or design. They could be of any shape; as it appeals on the fabric. Bright threads of cotton or silk are integral to this type of work.
Usually used for furnishings, this is complicated embroidery that produces wonderful patterns. This form belongs to Gujarat. It was known as ‘Sindhi Stitch’ in the earlier times. The long stitches and conspicuous designs cover the entire space of the fabric. The embroidery from Gujarat is not only beautiful but versatile. Abhala, for instance, is an art form that employs round pieces of mirrors fixed in a buttonhole stitching. Another is Kathi that is widely known for romantic motifs. Geometrical motifs are fabricated with multicolored fabric pieces, producing a kind of patch-work. Ari embroidery is also famous Kutch embroidery, with silk threads using a hook.
Kasuthi:- A traditional form of embroidery design practiced in the state of Karnataka. Usually, the embroidery is done over Ilkal and Kanchivaram saris. It includes designing meticulous patterns like palanquin, gopura, chariot, lamps and conch shells. This embroidery work involves hard labor and microscopic eyes, for it requires counting of each thread individually. The patterns are stitched without any knots to make sure that both sides of the cloth looks identical. Different varieties of stitches are employed. Some of them are Ganti, Murgi, Neyge and Menthe. The Kasuti work, however, lacks patronage in the age of machines. It’s nevertheless preferred by the natives of Karnataka.
Kantha is a popular embroidery style from Bangladesh and West Bengal in India. It consists of the simplest stitch in the aspect of embroidery. This is practiced largely by rural women. The Kantha stitch is done on the soft fabric of saris and dhotis. The thread of this craft is drawn from the border threads of the used cloth. The running stitches run through the surface of the entire fabric. It comprises of folk motifs, floral motifs, and animal and bird patterns. Also, themes of day-to-day activities are a popular design. The modern Kantha is not only used on saris or dhotis, but garments such as men’s shirts, skirts, or furnishings like bedding or table-cloth.
As the name suggests, Phulkari associates with the flower motifs on a fabric. Phulkari comes from the 19th century tradition of carrying an odhani or a head-scarf with flower patterns. The art hails from Punjab. In this kind, the embroidery covers up the entire cloth, leaving no gaps and making the fabric invisible. The darn stitch is used for the Phulkari embroidery, while the base is hand-spun or natural dyed khaadi. The embroidery is unique since there is a play between the fabric and the embroidery. The contrasting fabric brings out the beauty of the embroidery.
Also known as Kashida, Kashmiri embroidery is known for its beauty and colorful patterns. The beauty of kashida is derived from the natural surroundings of Kashmir. The popular patterns used in this embroidery are flowers, creepers, mangoes etc. The design is produced by combining one or two stitch styles. The embroidery is often done on a white or a cream base, using colorful threads to create different shades. Sozni embroidery or dorukha is employed carefully o produce the motif on both sides. This way, same designs are produced both sides. Kashmiri shawls are a prized possession for every lady.
Hope now you’ll be able to make better with this embroidered knowledge!