Embroidery is the ornamentation of fabric with needlework. It is the most interesting and pleasing art. It was most widely practiced by homemakers as a domestic craft. But with the fast development and technological advancement most of ancient arts of India are fast disappearing as nobody has the time and patience to embroider the designs on fabric. The young generation love to spend rather waste time on gadgets rather than creating something innovative with their hands. Moreover, the machine embroidery is becoming popular because of its low cost. Hence, traditional embroideries done by hand are dying a slow death.

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Let us have a sneak peek into the vast varieties of Indian embroideries. You must have heard about Pulkari. What is so unique about Pulkari done by hand? It has invisible stitches on its backside. Have not noticed it? Pulkari done by machines lack this feature. Traditionally Pulkari was done by mothers on khaddar kesmant fabric (hand spun and hand woven) to gift their daughter at the time of their wedding in Punjab when Haryana constituted a part. The geometrical patterns were created with long and short darning stitch by untwisted silken floss of golden yellow, green, crimson red or orange colour. Chaddar, dupatta, shawl and kurta were decorated.

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Manipur embroidery was famous for its animal and insects motifs like elephant, butterfly, sheep etc. stitched on khaddar cotton fabric with pat, untwisted silken floss with tiny satin stitches. This embroidery was used to embellish bed cover, cushion cover, tablecloth, wall hanging and shawls.

Dancing peacocks, dolls and human figures were common motifs of Kutch embroidery, which was done on black satin with chain stitch in vibrant colours like red, pink, yellow, brown. It was used to beautify ghagra (skirt), cholis (top) and toran (wall hanging) etc. (Pic – top)

Part -2 is here

Photos – Hand embroidery done by me exclusively for #TheWriteChoice .

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