The Rich Tradition of Embroidery

The Rich Tradition of Embroidery

It is that humble needle dancing across fabric in the hands of artisans that creates multifaceted tapestries of visual poetry. This is embroidery. It’s an art; it’s a skill and most of all it is pure magic. The origins of this art form reverts to China in the 5th Century BC, where it travelled across the globe and branched into many forms to adorn the gowns of royalty and bring reverence to religious artefacts. The masterful techniques: buttonhole, chain, running and cross are some of the stitches created in that ancient era that have stood the test of time and are still in use today.

A Celebration of Kantha Embroidery

Traditional Kantha work begins its story in upcycled pre-loved used garments and discarded household textiles. This natural and sustainable practice quickly became a revered artform. Layers of old cloth would be quilted together with a simple running stitch and then creative designs were brought into play; Kantha embroidery made new out of the old. In ancient times, even individual bright-coloured threads were removed from old garments and repurposed using a variety of techniques.

The Masterpiece that is Chikankari

The masters of Chickan work have honed their skills in the heart of Northern India for centuries. Deep in the villages of Lucknow in Northern India, artisans would work together to create a single garment. Each one, in turn, would add to the floral design or motif, selecting from around thirty-five delicate stitches.

The Pure Wonder of Kanchipuram Silk

The material of a Kanchipuram silk sari is revered for its quality and craftsmanship. The preferred choice of South Indian brides, these fabrics were woven from pure mulberry silk thread and matched with undauntedly bold borders. Drawing inspiration from nature and South Indian scriptures, zari gold embroidery is used to bring life to the patterns and designs that nestle glittering jewels.

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