Indian embroideries- threads that weave the fabric of India

The handmade magnificence of embroidery that goes into creating a garment is absolutely incredible. It is these fine detailing and variance in the treatment of designing clothes that gives a distinguished look to the Indian fashion statement. Even a little of embroidery can transform a basic silhouette into a work of art. Most of the Indian designers incorporate embroidered patterns on their clothing line to turn an ordinary into extraordinary. The art of embroidery in India goes back to several centuries. Every part and region of our country boasts of an exclusive art that is inherent of that place. Let us see a few of these-
1- Kantha work–What started as an attempt to sew and put together old clothes by rural women of Bengal is now an exquisite craft that is coveted by all fashion enthusiasts. It is basically a kind of running stitch done by multi coloured threads that beautifies traditional themes in a delicate way. Done on sarees, salwar suits, dupattas, stoles and blouses, Kantha work is an intricate style of embroidery. The designs and motifs which include animal, flowers and geometric pattern are equally visible on both sides.


2- Zardosi art- One of the most opulent forms of Indian embroidery, Zardosi involves use of metallic threads to create patterns on fabric. Brought in India by the Mughals, the word zardozi is a combination of two Persian words,’ Zar’ meaning gold and ‘Dozi’ meaning embroidery. In olden days the embroidery was crafted using only gold and silver threads and was reserved for the royalty. Even today, zardozi art brings alive the aristocracy of the elite and is generally used on wedding dresses and those worn on special occasions.

3- Aari work- The fine and delicate Aari work that uses resham threads to create patterns on clothing is an exemplary statement of beauty. The fabric is first tightened over a wooden frame and then fine patterns are sewn on it to form intricate patterns. Often these are further embellished by sequins and stone work to add dimensions to its stately appeal. The colourful appeal of the embroidery is quite eye-catching and perfect for occasion wear.

4- Chikankari–The finesse and delicacy of chikankari art is a tale of beauty in simplicity.Associated with the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, it is a style of embroidery that suits all occasions and seasons. Depending on the motifs and butis you can wear a chikankari for office purpose and another to a wedding; such is the versatility of the embroidery.
Introduced by Nur Jahan, Chikankari involves the use of white thread on sheer fabrics which showcases shadow work in all its magnificence. The motifs are usually of animals, flowers and creepers.

5- Phulkari work-‘ Phul ‘meaning flower and ‘kari’ meaning work sums up the essence of this embroidery which originated in the state of Punjab. The floral motifs in exuberant style mixed with a scheme of vibrant hues invoke a feeling of jubilation and happiness. It was originally done by the women folk who embroidered dupattas for their daughters to be given to them at their time of marriage. Over the years this form of embroidery developed a cult status and is now being used generously by fashion designers to adorn ethnic outfits.

6- Parsi work- Parsi work dates back to Bronze Age Persia which makes it one of the oldest forms of embroidery known in fashion fraternity. The striking beauty of this work is a symbol of Parsi culture and tradition. The superior craftsmanship is so delicate and elegant that they are now pieces of valuable heritage. Earlier gold and silver threads were used in this embroidery which has now been replaced by satin threads and artificial zaris. The motifs include flora and fauna and human figurines.