"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
- Lao Tzu
India is a land of myriad cultures and traditions. The country reflects it all through its art forms. From music and dance to food and articrafts, India has hundreds of forms differing from region to region. In spite of the tremendous variety, it is often observed that beauty is never compromised! Indian embroidery is no exception. Almost every Indian state has its own embroidery tradition. One might fall in love again and again but never have enough of it even in a lifetime.
Let’s have a look at few such amazing Indian embroidery traditions.
Gara embroidery has its roots in the Parsi homes. The wardrobes of Parsi women are filled with clothes decorated with Parsi Gara embroidery designs. The designs are elegant and beautiful which don’t miss making one’s day. The fashion industry is now at a very great height in India and recent research shows that Indian fashion designers have broadly focused on designing Parsi Gara Embroidery sarees and women’s suits. Needless to say, its in the best seller’s list.
Kashida Embroidery designs come from India’s most beautiful place- Kashmir. It is a single-stitch type of embroidery. The Kashida style of embroidery reflects its beauty through beautiful designs containing birds, flowers, leaves, and so on. It is mostly used to design rugs, scarfs, stoles, shawls, etc.
The extended form of Kashida is the Aari embroidery designs. The Aari work designs are fine chain stitches. This form of embroidery is usually used to create floral designs of varied fabrics.
Also called Abhala Bharat Kaam, the mirror work embroidery designs have their roots in the lands of Kutch, Gujrat. The artisans use mirrors of different shapes, colors, and sizes to create wonderful and eye-catchy embroidery designs. Hand mirror work designs have been leading the Indian and international fashion market for more than a few decades due to its outstanding beauty.
Sujini Embroidery originates in the rural areas of Bihar. It is a combination of chain stitches and running stitches that produce jaw-dropping beautiful designs on the Indian outfits. Sujini embroidery work of Bihar is known to express challenges that the women faced in society including dowry and violence. It is a highly respected and well-known form of embroidery in India.
It is the traditional form of embroidery from Rajasthan. Gota work embroidery owns the fabric surfaces of lehengas, traditional suits, men’s turbans, and even odhani and scarfs. Gota embroidery work is originally made out of strips of precious metals like gold and silver. But these days, to make the embroidered fabrics more cost-effective, cheaper metals like copper are also used along with silver. Gota embroidery is known for its floral designs, community life designs, and local elements of nature.
Kasuti Embroidery designs are Karnataka’s traditional form of embroidery. The designs are hand made by using cotton for the artwork. The kasuti stitch embroidery designs comprise of a number of stitch forms namely- cross stitch, simple running stitch, double running stitch, and a zig-zag stitch. The designs are inspired by daily life events, nature, religion, traditions, local art forms, etc. These designs add beauty to women’s sarees and suits and even men’s wear, rugs, bedsheets, and pillow covers.
These are just a few embroidery traditions out of many that India carries with pride. It is next to impossible for anyone to fully express or describe the beauty of these traditions, yet the beauty of it keeps your jaw dropped for a lifetime or two!