CHAPTER I . EMBROIDERY
Patchwork & Appliqué
Old colourful museum patterns: from mother to daughter...
Patchwork & Appliqué are very ancient techniques and exist among most communities of India. In Patchwork small pieces of fabric are stitched together creating a larger whole, while in Appliqué smaller pieces of fabric are sewed onto a larger background fabric forming a single pattern.
For many embroidery styles, master craftwork depends on keen eyesight. By middle age, women can no longer see as well and they naturally turn their skills and repertoire of patterns to Patchwork, a tradition that was originally devised to make use of old fabrics.
A CRAFT FOR THEIR OWN LIVES
Festive Patchwork textiles created for special occasions are found in many places throughout India. Nomadic people of the desert have long pieced together their tents and even decorated them with elaborate Appliqué.
Patchwork & Appliqué household items are made by women as heritage, and can include decorative bags, pillows and sitting mats.
Appliqué serves economical and decorative purposes: once most clothes are used until they are worn out, the old clothing is then reused to create beautiful patterns out of the worn fabric, to make larger pieces or for repairing damaged fabrics.
ONE REGION, ONE STYLE
Patchwork & Appliqué are done in many different geographical regions of India, each one having its own particular local aesthetic. Each region uses their distinct styles and colour palettes to create decorative designs.
These old patterns can be found in museums although there are a few pieces that are still remaining with the craftspeople, who still use their traditional motifs and unique colours when making products for their own use.
THE CRAFT TRIBES / THE MATERIALS
In the Gujarat state of India many tribes practice Appliqué embroidered work, as the Mutva, Hingorjah and Harijan, within others. In Rajasthan the main communities practicing this craft are Rajput, Yadav, Acharya, Muslim, Lohar and Soni.
Apart from voile cloth, used for more classy and delicate looks, cotton cloth is the basic and the traditional material for Appliqué, and it is still used today.