E is for Embellishment
Well I must admit I was stumped when it came to E. Looking all around, I spied a carpet draped on my sofa as an antimacassar and I suddenly got it! EMBELLISHMENT.
Apart from the fabrics that India is famous for, we also have the most beautiful embellishments. The beauty of garments and accessories are enhanced with sequins, silk threads, golden wire work, ribbons , buttons and mirrors too!
Needlecraft and embroidery go hand in hand. Each State of India has a unique style of embroidery. The chain stitch creepers and flowers that embellish a Kashmiri flat wool rug ( the Namda) to the mirror work of the Rabari tribals. Not to mention the fine satin stitches that make up a Gara sari or the Chikankari of Awadh. From the coastal region of Dharwar you have the fine cross stitch of Karnataki Kashida ( Kasuti) while the humble running stitch of Kantha that decorates the fabrics of Bengal. I can never forget the colourful Phulkari spreads on our low seating arrangement in our living room matching their brilliant colours with satin-silk covered cushions.
Mirror work , Sequins, Zardozi , crystal and lace.
Mirror work and sequins are popular too especially among the tribal designs that are bold and colourful.
Zardozi with its rich gold cord makes for stunning embroidery and is very popular with haute couture designers for their bridal collections. Shimmering Mukaish work from Lucknow ( also known as Badla) used to be a popular form of decoration. Nowadays however, the pure silver bits are replaced by a synthetic material that does blacken over time.
Swarovski crystals and lace are popular with modern designers who also use beads and all kinds of accessories to jazz up their creations.
It is no wonder then that people are willing to pay a price for garments that are painstakingly worked on. Each artisan creating a one of a kind garment that is not just a garment but a family heirloom.
Disclaimer : I am neither a textile manufacturer nor a historian . I am just passionate about textiles and fabrics. I have gathered all my information from the Internet. Please excuse any errors and omissions.
Don’t you feel like going out there and owing one of these fabulous creations?
And aren’t you curious what I’m going to write about for F?
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