Introduction to Fabric tradition of India




Crafts in India are not limited to creation of fabrics or weaving. After the process of weaving is over the craftsmen often decorated the fabric with embroidery of appliqué work. Embroidery and appliqué work is done on garments, utilitarian items like, curtains, cushions etc.


The art of decorating woven fabric with various kinds of stitches is known as embroidery. Embroidery is done on cotton, wool and silk. Embroidery is also done on traditional footwear in some parts of the country. Indian embroidery comprises of a variety of stitches and different parts of the country have their own needlecraft traditions.


Appliqué is decorative work in which one piece of cloth is sewn or fixed onto another, or the activity of decorating cloth using, glass pieces, metals, wood or metal wire.

Appliqué work in India is popular amongst the various tribal societies of our country. It is an integral part of the rich and varied decorative needlework of Gujarat.

Pieces of cloth having different colours and patterns are first cut and then sewn together. Sewing these pieces on a plain cloth creates a composite piece of fabric. Garments created through this process have bright colours and are decorated with rich tribal and folk motifs.

Appliqué work is also popular in Orissa. The Pipili village in Puri district of Orissa is the main center of appliqué work. In the past the craftsmen only catered to the needs of the local temples and the aristocracy. Pieces of clothes are cut into geometric as well as figures and motifs inspired by nature. These pieces are then sewn together over plain cloth.