It has been described as the art of painting. But with a needle and thread. The fine and painstaking art of hand embroidery is self-expressive, creative – the fruit of which can be likened to a work of art ! The art dates back to pre-historic times as needles have been found in excavations ! And in today’s world of mass production – a touch of embroidery can add grace, charm and style to the most mundane of everyday use articles.
Hand embroidery in India has a very rich and varied tradition. Inspired by nature and religion – colours, themes and styles vary across different states and regions. The base material varies from net, velvet, cotton, silk to leather. Basis patterns and fabric and the desired texture, different embroidery stitches are chosen for a particular finish and effect.
Even though machine embroidery tends to find its place and use – our rich and varied craft tradition of hand embroidery is one that is still sought after and appreciated by global customers looking for ‘ bespoke ‘ products. Back home – we still tend to take hand embroidered products pretty much for granted as they still form such an integral part of our everyday lives. Take for instance – the humble chikankari ‘kurta’ which is a wardrobe staple for most Indian women. Or the dazzling ‘phulkari’ – which is seeing a revival of sorts. Or the traditional and fine art of ‘zardozi’ –crafted with such intense creativity and labour over months – to produce a single one-of-its-kind bridal outfit
Hand Embroidery in India includes dozens of regional styles that vary by region and are applied on varied Indian clothing styles. Designs in Indian embroidery are formed on the basis of the texture and the design of the fabric and the stitch.
The dot and the alternate dot, the circle, the square, the triangle and permutations and combinations of these constitute the design
Other popular Indian embroidery styles include Kantha from Bengal, Kathi from Gujarat, Gota from Rajasthan, Rabari from Rajasthan and Gujarat, Kashida from Kashmir, Chamba Rumal from Himachal Pradesh and Kasuti from Karnataka.
These are only some of the better known hand embroidery traditions that exist as part of our rich and varied heritage. Some lesser known but no less stunning are the art of “ phool-patti” from Aligarh, the tradition of “mukaish “ work from Uttar Pradesh and the exquisite Parsi – style embroidery with its unique motifs which are embroidered on the traditional “ garas”
Our artistic partners at the World Art Community use hand embroidery creatively across not just
apparel but also bags, juttis, jewellery, and decorative home accents. Even a single motif or a basic design – hand embroidered – creates beauty and joy in the most beautifully unexpected way.
Celebrate the season with the fine art of hand-embroidery. Indulge in the art of bespoke. For we are blessed to have this art form in our heritage