'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. While the largest number of applique craftsmen are concentrated in Pipli, there are quite a few in Puri and very small numbers in Khallikote, Parlakhemundi and Boudh areas also.
A traditional craft of the state, zari work is a specialized form of delicate embroidery done with metallic threads, and practiced in places like Bhopal, Gwalior and Indore. Though the origin of zari work date back to about 300 years, it still preserves its inherent and exquisite charm. Earlier, used to embellish traditional items, zari work today finds a niche in the contemporary market. Richly embroidered purses, bags, cushions, jutties (shoes) & dresses are very popular.
The kasuti embroidery of Karnataka has carved a niche for itself and has been widely acclaimed by the connoisseurs of crafts all over the world. The designs of kasuti embroidery can range from architecture to cradles and animal figures. The designs have a feminine angle and are mostly done in teo stitches namely, the gavanti line or double running stitch and murgi or zigzag stitch. Kasuti is essentially used for decorating sarees and blouses and is best when done on thick materials against dark Indian shades.
The embroidery of Kashmir, called kasida, is world-famous. Varied, rich in colour, elaborate in detail and exquisite in execution, the kasida patterns are freely drawn by the naqqash mostly from memory. The finest kasida work, particularly embroidered on shawls or saris, has no 'wrong' side.
The chain-stitch is also used for the making of a large number of miscellaneous articles such as bags, screens and cushion covers.
Beadwork is another Gujarati specialty. Motifs and patterns are dictated by the technique of putting two and three beads together. Beadwork objects are used in wall decorations, potholders, etc. The best beadwork is produced by the 'kathis' (tribals). Worked mostly on a white background they use colours that are vibrant with very distinct patterns. Beadwork 'torans' (welcoming friezes) are usually suspended over doorways.
KHAMBAT: THE CENTRE FOR BEAD MAKING
Just an hour's drive from Ahmedabad, the artisans of Khambat (Cambay) continue the craft of stone cutting and bead making, which began in ancient times. Agate is mined in the hills along the Gulf of Khambat.
THE PROCESS OF BEAD-MAKING:
Surat in Gujarat is famous for its marquetry called sadeli. It is a kind of a mosaic work on the panels using ebony, ivory, red wood, green bone, tin etc. the designs seem to be originated in Persian because it has a floral touch. Bhavnagar in Saurastra is famous for making large teakwood chests called pataras that is spacious and durable. It is customary to gift a patara to a girl when she moves to her new home after marriage.
The importance of crochet in Goa can be realized by the fact that every bride brings her crochet and embroidery work as dowry which is then displayed to demonstrate her expertise in the craft.
Crochet and embroidery in Goa is inherent to every household where it is passed from one generation to another. Though the craft of crochet and embroidery has been in India since time immemorial but it came to Goa with the arrival of nuns and missionaries in fifteenth century. And thus started this tradition of crochet and embroidery in Goa which has only improved in quality and design since.
Works such as tablecloths, children and ladies garments, pillow and cushion covers, linen, etc.
Zari is gold, and zardozi embroidery is the glitteringly ornate, heavily encrusted gold thread work practised in Delhi and a few other cities of India. Zari threads are used extensively in handloom and powerloom saris, which are manufactured all over India. Either real silver thread, gold-plated thread or an imitation, which has a copper base gilded with gold or silver colour, is used for zari work.
Artistic embroidery and Zari works is very famous in Bihar and is also a livelihood business for many families. Some of the finest Zari works can be found in shamiyanas, kanath, chandwas, pillow-covers, batwas, covers for musical instruments, tablecloth, window curtains, blouse pieces, sari, borders, etc. Patna is very famous for Zari and embroidery works. Zari (metallic thread ) embroidery is done in both silver and gold metallic threads having the motifs of birds, leaf and many other .
A traditional quilt sujini is made with layers of clothes mainly in the rural areas. Old clothes are used for the inner stuffing and cotton or colorful threads are used for the embroidery. The embroidery is done in running stitch in a scale pattern. The sujini depicts village and religious scenes such as bride in palanquin, peacocks dancing, boy flying kite, etc.