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Exploring the world of embroidery


"The uniqueness of the design does not necessarily mean that it is the most expensive. Sometimes, even inexpensive materials can make the most beautiful designs," explains Imraan, a Sion-based embroiderer.


Although a sewing ring, threads, beads, tikkis (sequence), and a needle are all required to create an embroidery piece, the skill and patience of the embroider is what gives the soul to embroidery. Embroidery has been an ancient and respected craft in India for ages. Today, embroidered works that have become synonymous with beauty and taste, cost exorbitant prices and signify class being affordable to a few.

People are aware of only a fixed type of embroidery and are not exposed to the myriad of variations that can be achieved in embroidery," says Bharat, a tailor from Grant road, who charges range from Rs 80 per hour for zardozi embroidery, Rs 60 per hour for pearl embroidery and Rs 70 for wire work. Jute embroidery, Grass embroidery, velvet embroidery and ribbon embroidery are just few of the materials in which embroidery are being done today. While Jute embroidery is done with the help of jute threads woven together in designs, Grass embroidery is done from dried grass in combination with mirror work. On the other hand velvet embroidery gives a three dimensional (embossed) look.

Zardozi in vogue
While most of the traditional embroidery forms have been long forgotten, the zardozi industry has not only kept up with modern machine embroidery but is booming today. Zardozi or simply zari embroidery is one of the most expensive types of embroidery and is indeed the most beautiful. The materials required for doing zardozi work include beads, dabka, coiled wires, sequins, etc. Earlier zardozi work was only done on garments for the members of the royal family but today, it is up for grabs to whoever can afford it. Since it's done only on fabrics like velvet, crepe and satin it is considered royal and expensive. Apart from garments it is also used on cushion covers, curtains, wall hangings and tablecloths. Today, Indian embroidery work is sought after abroad. "I make dozens of purses every week for my employer, who is into the export business" says Adnan, a zardozi worker at worli attesting of the booming zardozi industry.

Undoubtedly traditional hand woven embroidery is in vogue again with amazing varieties on offer. So, those of you who want to give a royal touch to your wardrobe embroidery is here for you to try.


Source: July 24, 2011, Mumbai Mirror