Kashidakari – Kashmiri Emboidery (Kashmir , Jammu And Kashmir)

  • zariboxes
  • May 24, 2014 7:47 am

A ri a n d C r e we l wor k Ari embroidery is widely practiced throughout India with different stylistic variations that serve to distinguish the workmanship of one region from that of another. Irrespective of whether it be the ari work of the cobblers of Kachchh in Gujarat or the textile embroiderers of southern Tamil Nadu, the thread is passed through the ari, hooked needle, and is always held under the fabric to be embroidered and the hook is used to pull a series of loops, each emerging from within the previous, to the surface of the fabric. There are two versions of this technique; the first is used to embroider on thin fabrics such as silk and fine cotton cloth, used as stoles and shawls or made into pheran, which is a loose over-garment, kurta and capes. Crewel work, although similar, uses a thicker ari and is normally done on unbleached fabric; its stitches are bolder and it is used for embellishing yardages used as upholstery and drapery. In both cases, the patterns are usually linear abstractions of the local flora, with the outlines worked first and the forms filled in later. The production is largely commercial and the embroiderers are usually men from the Sunni Muslim community. Sozn i Sozni is a form of extremely fine and delicate needlework done primarily on shawls-mainly pashmina and high quality raffal. Designs are created as close as possible against the ground, and individual threads of the warp are taken up in the stitching and reinforced with smaller stitches. The stitch employed is not unlike stem stitch, and only the outline of the design is embroidered. Only a single strand is used and consequently, in skillfully executed sozni, the motif appears on both sides of the shawl. Each side displays a different colourway in an embroidered imitation of the woven kani shawls. Tilla and dori work Th e se e m b r o i d e ry te ch n i q u e s are executed with gold or silver zari (tilla) or silk (dori) thread, and are used to embellish pherans, saris and shawls. The decorative wire remains only on the surface while an additional thin cotton thread of yellow or white is stitched on top of it, thereby securing it by couching. Of the needlework in silver and metallic thread there are two variations-moraskar (knot stitch), zalakadosi (chain stitch executed in silver or metallic thread)-which are used on the borders of shawls and choga, royal gown to create a raised or braided effect. The most commonly used motifs are the pamposh (lotus), chinar, badam (almond); dacch gurn (grape leaf) and duin (the flower of the chinar tree). This is a form of needle embroidery similar in technique to sozni; the difference lies in its longer stitches and in that these are not reinforced with additional stitches. Three or four strands of staple yarn are employed and the fabric used for this ranges from raffal to cotton cloth. Rezkar is done on products such as shawls, garments, table covers, and household linen.

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