Friday, November 15, 2013

The Beauty of Indian Embroidery - Kathi embroidery of Gujarat

pair of parrots in kathi embroidery , Indian embroidery ,

Vivid and vibrant would be an inadequate term to  describe  this lovely embroidery technique . Bold and colourful motifs blend with each other in harmony ,  complementing and decorating the  plain and simple abodes of the Kathi community of Gujarat. A hardworking and industrious community , the kathis are landowners. Having a natural inclination  towards art , these creative people churn out one of the most popular ( to the world ) and beautiful  Indian embroideries.


Indian embroidery ,индийские вышивки


      Believing in beautifying their surroundings , the women toil lovingly over the threads and needle and embroider unique pieces of art like door panels , door hangings , seat covers ,baby  crib covers , canopies , and not to be forgotten even decorations for their domestic cattle like camels , cows , bullocks and carts, to personal clothes like the women`s skirtcommonly known as ghagra

embroidery of gujarat , toran

    Taking inspiration from the surrounding ,the themes in  embroidery are based on everyday life. Hindu God Ganesha , Sun  ,  Radha Krishna , Hanuman are all depicted in their embroidery  . Popular   motifs like peacock , parrots , elephants , camels , flowering plants ,etc are used ,  and , sometimes women filling water , women churning butter , wedding processions , Raas lila , hunting scenes are used.

indian embroidery

  The embroidery is done with Silk floss  called Heer ( untwisted and lustrous thread ) in bold colours. .  Purple , magenta , electric blue , parrot green , lemon yellow , golden yellow and  red. fill the large areas while white or black are sometimes used to add an outline in  motifs . Stitches used are predominantly herringbone - open as well as closed ,  Fishbone stitch occassionally used and open chain stitch for outline . Mirrors are sometimes added to enhance the look of the embroidery.  Most embroideries are done on a dark and thick handwoven cotton fabric and the bright color luster of heer threads makes the embroidery come alive .

eight point star motif

 There are two predominant type of design formations in these embroideries - one where geometric patterns are used such as the eight pointed star and boxed panels are filled with the embroidery - or- the second style where the motifs are drawn free-hand and usually have flora and fauna with animal and human figures. The arrangement of all these motifs  is so well  , that it makes the embroidered article a masterpiece - an inspiration to embroidery enthusiasts and a collectors item to all art lovers .

Vintage Indian embroidery, Toran from Gujarat


     And here`s my project inspired by the art loving Kathi community that I have done on my dress  a few years ago .
kathi embroidery motif

 Hope you found this article interesting . Do write in you comments and keep dropping by to read the continuation of this article : Motifs in Kathi embroidery !

motidana.

   

15 comments:

  1. I have always liked this Kiutch thread work. Your design has come out so well.

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    1. Thank you Indrani . This technique of embroidery is my favourite too . !

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  2. I never knew the name of this style of embroidery - there is just so much to explore in gujarat in terms of textiles right?

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    1. Truly said Divya . The styles of Indian embroidery are so vast and varied especially Gujarat embroidery that every time I explore , I learn something different . And it is such a proud feeling to see the admiration for these crafts , specially since it is the state I belong to !
      And it is this passion that I love seeing in the eyes of my students when I teach them about Indian Textiles.

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  3. I cannot even begin to imagine how I can do it myself because I know I won't be able to ! Loved it!

    Richa

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and liking it Richa . And , I think you may want to change your opinion and have a go at creating eye-catchers yourself after you read my next post !( following soon ) . You may be pleasantly surprised :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Yes Nicole it indeed is beautiful .and what is amazing is that these people have been able to create such lovely textiles by handing down the training from generation to generation . Many of them were not even educated till a few years back and neither have they even seen what urbanization looks like !

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    2. Hi do u take orders on Gujarati work sarees ? How do I contact u ?

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    3. No I don`t take orders. But I do teach Indian embroidery. The embroidery you see in this post is from my personal collection.

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  5. Great article, Motidana. I learned a lot from this. I am always so intrigued by Gujrathi embroidery. What came out from your writing is the love of living of these artisans. They create to make everyday living more beautiful. It is some thing that makes living more meaningful and pleasant. Your elaboration on the different stitching styles gave a different dimestion to this article. AND the piece you created is fabulous

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  6. As you rightly say , the love for creative arts is present in the simple folks living in every nook and corner of rural India . And I feel humbled seeing how these simple villagers create wonderful pieces of art that is renowned worldwide . And thanks for liking my embroidery .

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  7. Do you think this item on my Google plus page Is also Gujarat?

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  8. Hi, A very well written post. I wanted to know if you know of any seller selling silk floss online. I tried a lot but couldn't find any.

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