Indian Embroidery – Folk embroidery has always been a form of self-expression for the women. It mirrors their lives, reflects their hidden desires and aspirations, and expresses the cultural traditions and religious beliefs of the society to which they belong.
Indian Embroidery – India had attracted migrations from prehistoric times and people came with their cultural traditions, which were absorbed and formed the rich cultural traditions of the people. Embroidery, which is essentially meant to strengthen the fabric and to decorate it, was an important part of the household tradition. Pastoralists, who need to strengthen their objects of everyday use, and their dresses, as well as to decorate their tent dwellings, create rich embroidery. Gujarat, which had an open land route connecting it to Central Asia, had a large number of settlers from Central Asia. They settled in Kutch and Saurashtra and retained their traditions of embroidery that can be found in these areas.
Indian Embroidery – The women embroiders prepared clothes for their personal use, for their children and even special items for the use of their men. The animal’s decorations with embroidery are also part of the pastoral tradition. They prepared decorations for the horns of the bull, for their forehead and also decorative covers. Horse and camel decorations were also embroidered with great attention to detail and some of the finest embroidered camel decorations are prepared by the Rabaris of Kutch.
The bagh and phulkari embroidery of Punjab is a labour of love. At the birth of a male child, the dadi, paternal grandmother begins to embroider vari da bagh for his wedding, dreaming of the day when she will wrap the boys bride in it, before she enters her new home.
Indian Embroidery – Another variety produced here is the chope. This carries stylized motifs worked richly over the surface on the holbien stitch or a double running stitch.
Applique work of Orissa, which is prepared in Pipli, a village near Puri, comprises special canopies, fans and umbrellas for use in the famous Ratha festival of Puri. These are also used at other ritual celebrations.
Indian Embroidery – In Chikanayakapeta, Tamil Nadu, applique work on cloth is specially prepared for decorating the carved ratha, in which the statues of gods are taken in a procession. They make tubular forms, which is very similar to pillars, or long banners, carrying Ganesha, the lingam, etc. for giving a rich effect the designs are appliqued with thick felt and rich contrasting colors.
The kasuti embroidery of Karnataka is a stylized form with stitches based on the texture of the fabric. The three different stitches are the negi, the gavanti and the menthi. Negi is a long running stitch imitating the weaving technique; gavanti is a double running stitch, which creates a pattern on both sides; and menthi, deriving its name from the seed of methi, fenugreek, is the cross-stitch, which is rarely used. The patterns are geometrical and show the influence of local beliefs. Stylized rathas, Lord Hanuman, lotus flowers and flowing patterns of the shankh, conch-shell, mingle with flowering bushes, birds and animals.
Indian Embroidery – Another important embroidery is that prepared by the Toda women, who live in the nilgiris. They wear a toga like garment, which is embroidered with exquisite patterns. Many people trace their origins to Greece.