We have always seen different types of Indian embroidery in our day to day life. Let’s pause for a minute and see who made them and how. Let’s take a look at these important five Indian embroideries you would love to know about.
Embroidery has always been a splendid medium to explore individual interests and talents and showcase them on garments. India has outshone its pride of Hand Embroideries for years
Needlework and embroidery have touched the hearts of millions for the outstanding excellence and beauty it beholds. The ornamentation on the fabrics melts the heart of millions. There are numerous techniques to embroider a garment. The embroideries of India are an important part of our cultural heritage.
INDIAN EMBROIDERY – A PART OF CULTURE
India is a country abundantly rich for its culture and heritage, where each place has its unique richness. India is a dynamic combination of various religious beliefs, talents, and many more held together throughout history and until now.
The abundance of the availability of raw materials and different mediums has always been a great privilege for us.
One of them is Indian traditional embroideries. Embroidery also is known as needle painting has always been a versatile platform for art. India excels for its traditional fabric decoration techniques. Indian embroidery depicts the variety in Indian culture. We are magnified globally for remarkable excellence in this field and are widely accepted for it.
Taking inspirations from nature to architecture, Indian embroideries has proved its excellence globally. Skilled artisans and craftsmen of India are real blessings who patiently had endowed the art. Indian embroidery beautifies the fabric or garment onto a significant level. There are our types of decorations that we can do on garments; painting, printing, resist dyeing, and embroidery, and no doubt, we excel in all these four techniques.
Hand embroidery was subdued by machines over time, but yes, there is still a lot of scope for the traditional practices. When it comes to Indian embroideries, the use of different colors, threads, embellishments are all pure and make it look extraordinary, the quality of the product is also just tremendous.
Let us have a glance at the top 5 Indian embroideries.
Out of the many popular stories emerged, one of them says that the traditional technique was introduced to India by Mughal Empress Noor Jahan, wife of Emperor Jahangir. This internationally admired textile decoration style owned by one of the top cities of India, famous for rich cultural heritage, also known as The City of Nawabs or The City of Tehzeeb.
Yes, Lucknow, also the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Chikankari is very much known for the delicate and intricate shadow works. It is developed by doing the embroidery on the wrong side of the fabric, and the shadow of the work can see on the right side, which makes it very beautiful and elegant.
A place prosperous for skilled artisans and craftsmen, the heritage of this hand embroidery has passed onto generations, the art of embroidery done using untwisted yarns with the help of a needle on the fabric. At the initial times, chikankari was done only in muslin, but, nowadays georgette, chiffon, cotton, and other fabrics are also used. It began as a white-on-white embroidery but, now, various colored threads and fabrics used according to the market.
Chikankari consists of 6 basic stitches with some 35 other types too. These stitches are used in combinations to bring varieties in the stitches. The whole steps involved in finishing a chikankari fabric are: –
Different design is engraved on wooden blocks by workers and dipped in Indigo. The design is then block printed on the fabric. Embroidery has to produced once the design obtained on the materials. The materials is then washed off thoroughly to leave no marks of the prints.
Florals and creepers are the dominating motifs. Jasmine, rose, vines and flowering stems are the most common inspirations. It takes an average of 15-20 days to complete one ensemble. Chikankari mostly used on kurtas, sarees, and even in-home decors.
The word zardozi is a Persian term, where Zar means gold and, Dozi means sewing or embroidery. The history has its earliest mentions in Rig Vedic literature.
Zardosi is a traditional hand embroidery technique that requires skilled artisans. The industrialization has demolished the popularity of the craft, and therefore machines empowered the laborers. Zardosi is a kind of metal embroidery where the silk threads encased in gold or silver wires. Zardosi is known to adorn the attire of Gods. Due to the royalty, it holds it was in the attires of Kings and Queens of that era.
Pure silver and gold wires used in ancient times, today replaced by copper and pseudo gold and silver wires. Pure silk threads replaced gold metal since the increase in the rate of the raw materials and affordability of the product. These threads are used along with beads, pearls, stones, sequins, etc., depending on the material they are working with.
The main fabric pulled out on an embroidery ring or wooden frame. The embroidery completed by a hooked needle called aari. The needle pulls the thread from under the fabric and working the zardosi thread into the design. Zardosi can do on linen for daily uses but, the richness of the embroidery is reflected only on fabrics like velvet, silk, or satin. Any colored cloth can use since it is the luster of the metal going to outstand the beauty of the product.
Some of the main stitches in this traditional Indian embroidery are straight stitch, stem stitch, twisted stem stitch, padded slanting stitch, chain stitches, loops, etc. Mango motif has prevailed over the years. Most used to embellish wedding garments, coats, and other products.
Also known as Heer Bharat, this technique originated from a state famous for many other exclusive embroidery forms, Gujarat. Banni embroidery is practiced by the Lohana community, who live in the Kutch region of Gujarat.
Banni patterns or designs are worked very intricately and are very delicate in their richness. It includes mirror work too. The designs are well known for their work with mirror and beads used in the buttonhole studded with a chain stitch on it. Heer known as silk floss is used to create the embroidery on the fabric.
The most commonly used colors are mauve, yellow, pink, red, and saffron colors. Banni is a traditional Indian embroidery and is a vital part of any brides attire of Gujarat. It is done on home furnishes and other materials too.
KASHIDA INDIAN EMBROIDERY
Kashida or Kasida found its origin in Jammu and Kashmir, way back in the Mughal period, was fostered by the emperors and the royals of that era.
Kashida embroideries were done with thick threads, beads. Leather threads used too. The most astonishing part of the work is that the entire pattern made with one or two embroidery stitches. Besides these, there are many other stitches like satin stitch, herringbone, stem stitch, chain stitch, knot stitch, and many more combined in creative ways to attain new forms.
Their main inspirations for motifs are from nature. Birds, trees, leaves, blossoms, creepers, chinar leaves, mangoes, lotus are some of them. Earlier white, off-white, or cream-colored threads used, but, these days multicolored threads are also used as per the market requirements. The base cloth used for the technique is cotton, wool, and cotton.
Once a famous Bollywood film ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ showcased this artwork on the outfits worn in the movie, and thus it gained much popularity by then.
Kashida looks stunning on shawls and saris. Apart from garments, it also used on home furnishings such as cushion covers, veils, bed covers, curtains, carpets, bags, etc.
AARI INDIAN EMBROIDERY
Aari embroidery known as Khatla work is traced way back in the 12th century and flourished under the aid of the Mughal court.
Aari practiced in many parts of India wherein Hyderabad, Lucknow, Rajasthan, Kutch, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi was one of the main centers for this technique with the influence of different styles and uniqueness of the places.
As any other hand embroideries discussed so far, Aari is also known for the intricacy in decorating the motifs. Excellent workmanship has favored a lot in creating the richness in every single design. Motifs and designs are mainly from the Mughal period and had fascinated the Mughal royals during the era.
Zari, cotton, or silk threads are used. Floral motifs are also a part of the design. Also, beads, sequins, stones are used by the artisans to embellish the garment.
Several workers can work all together on the fabric hang on upon the size of the wooden frame known as ‘adda’, which speeds up the work. The embroidery finished on the fabric stretched by a wooden frame, for which it is also called Khatla work. The design is directly traced to the fabric and drawn over the frame.
Another step is after tracing the design on the tracing sheet, holes made all along with the tracing sheet with a pin. A mixture of kerosene and eggshell blue is made and stroked on all parts of the design on the expected portion of the fabric. This allows it to penetrate onto the cloth liquidate the design on the fabric.
After this, the Aari needle with the thread i.e. zari or any other thread is pushed through the fabric. As a result, loops are created making it a small fine stitch. The process is repeated to complete the design.
After this, the zari threads are beaten down using a wooden hammer with a wooden anvil placed under the fabric. This flattens the thread. Apart from garments, Aari is also found in home furnishings, purses, and wall hangings.
There are many more varieties of Indian embroidery and techniques that are unique to each place. We need to put small efforts and revive all these dying techniques. They can prove excellence globally by practicing, promoting, teaching, and buying and therefore supporting our artisans and their embroidery.