Indian Embroidery Designs
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Indian Embroidery Designs - Deepavali Special!
"Hand Embroidered Lehenga Choli" is an example of Indian embroidery design.
These are the happy days of Deepavali, a festival in India, which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. It is called the Festival of Lights. Indians generally dress themselves in elegant splendour and with sweets and savouries to feast on, this festival is indeed a time to look forward to.
On Indian embroidered dresses, the resplendent Indian saree has stood the test of time. It symbolizes the adorn and beauty of the Indian women. The various categories of Indian sarees are cotton sarees, pure silk saree, wedding embroidered sarees, crepe sarees, chiffon sarees, georgette sarees to name a few.
But today, I draw special attention to the lehengas - one is next to this post - which are unique to this country. You must see some good examples of the hand embroidered lehenga cholis made by tribes of Gujarat, India and is handloom woven cotton fabric with thread and mirror embroidery designs. What is unique in this technique of hand embroidery is the use of glass, mica, herring bone, mirror woven around with the embroidery design to give the entire pattern a stunning look! The silver glass used are produced by blowing glass into spheres and then breaking them into pieces of the required size. This is an art in itself.
Some Unique Indian Embroidery Designs For You!
"Umbrella" is an example of an Indian applique embroidery design
Check out these Indian applique patterns on parasols beautifully handcrafted on handloom cotton fabric.
Some of the unique points to note are that these applique embroidery designs are made of colorful and multi pattern cotton fabric and are handmade by artisans from Pipilli (meaning Papillion) in Orissa in India.
I found this interesting product description which I am reproducing verbatim:
"Applique in Orissa, India is an old temple art, which has been refined to a perfection. A fine example of the craft is the enormous applique canopies above the reigning deity of Puri, Lordjagannath. Applique art is the process of cutting coloured cloth into shapes of animals, birds, flowers, leaves and other decorative motifs and stitching them on to a piece of cloth that can ultimately be used as a lamp shade, a hand bag or even a garden umbrella. The village of Pipli, close to Bhubaneswar, is the site of beautiful applique work, created by artists, quite a few of whom have won national awards for their crafts.
Applique', which is a French term, is a technique by which the decorative effect is obtained by superposing patches of coloured fabrics on a basic fabric, the edges of the patches being sewn in some form of stitchery. It is distinct from what is known as patch work in which small pieces of cut fabrics are usually joined side by side to make a large piece of fabric or for repairing a damaged fabric. Though the form is not unknown in other parts of India, it is Orissa and specially in Pipli that the craft has a living and active tradition continuing over centuries."
This Embroidery Is Chikan, Not Chicken!
Rare Art: Lady stitching a chikan embroidered dressAmong many Indian embroidery designs, Chikan always has a special place in my heart. Not because of its beauty, but more so because of its history! The legend says that there was a particular king who had many wives and the youngest of wives found it difficult to draw his attention towards her. Somebody advised her to make an article in such a manner that it would be difficult to emulate. She made a cap with a peculiar stitch form of embroidery design. This had never been done before and the king was very happy. Tradition has it that the teaching was percolated down to the masses and this became famous as a form of hand embroidery art that would never leave a person penniless, since it appeared to sell easily. Even today, we have specialised workers who have mastered this art.
Chikan embroidery designing is a very laborious and time consuming task. (The craftsmen are trained for 15 to 20 years and sometimes it takes 10 to 15 days to make an outfit with hand embroidery as they fill in the designs with threads with detail work). This is why Chikan is so expensive as compared to machine embroidery. But it is worth it as you really do feel like a queen when you wear it - a Chikan suit is a regal treasure in any fashion connoisseur's wardrobe! Really, the great thing about this form of embroidery is that it never goes out of fashion and it suits women of all ages. If you are going to invest in a few pairs of elegant wear, try adding chikan to your wardrobe. And before the men (in your heart and home) start feeling left out, they too can wear this form of embroidery - get a Chikan shirt for them!
Some excellent chikan embroidery designs can be viewed at Lucknow Chikan House.
I was surprised and happy to see an organisation called Self Eployed Womens Association (SEWA, which means "service" in hindi). Its only objective is to improve the living standards of 5000 poverty stricken crafts women. This organisation has become internationally known for the famous Chikan products that it exports to various parts of the world.
In case you want to hear about the history of Lucknow and Lucknowi chikan, please see City Details.
I used to personally sell this through word of mouth a few years ago (when I had some time in my hands) and the sales were very quite exciting due to the unique touch that each particular form of embroidery had. The famous works of chikan are shadow, murri and taipchi.
I would be delighted to have your views on chikan and hand embroidery art and also maybe share some of your views on other unique forms of hand embroidery designs.
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