Shisha or mirror, as it is known in India, – is one of the most attractive characteristic of Indian embroidery traditions. Especially the dry desert sands and sunny areas of India, comprising of parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi, sport strong colors and shisha work in most of their garments, accessories and home furnishing products. The Jats of Banni use shisha of different shapes and sizes to embroider their fabric. Miniscule
is done on heavily embroidered yoke with white thread, mingled with red, orange, blue and green, by the Garari Jat community. In Kathi embroidery of Gujarat, the mirrors are used for eyes of birds and center of flowers. Along with Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and even in Orissa – shisha is used as embellishment with the same passion.
The art of mirror work is supposed to have originated in Persia sometime around 13th century.
Mirror work is used to enhance the general effect of the pattern, embroidered or drawn on textile or other decorative items and accessories. In India, shisha or mirror is available in a variety of shapes including round, square, triangular or polygonal. Sizes of the mirrors vary from large to tiny. Holes are not dug into the mirrors; therefore it has to be held in place with a
framework of stitches
over which the decorative stitches are done. It is said that earlier mica was used instead of mirror. Later ornamental mirror shapes were cut out of an urn, blown out by a mouth pipe. There are several types of shisha available today. The handblown glass shisha – the antique shisha or mica is still used in various sizes and irregular shapes. Machine cut glass or embroidery shisha is in large usage. There are also the sequin shisha – the large, flat mirrors with a hole that is covered during stitching. Small mirrors make an ocean of impact when used imaginatively and creatively to embellish fabric or other accessories.
Mirror worked garments,
bags, bedspreads, wall hangings, cushion covers, etc are in great demand all over the world. They are elegant and gorgeous, and make a big impression on all onlookers. Whether in home or office, party of picnic, in college or with colleagues – shisha work garments, home furnishing and accessories from India are a must for all those who love to look good and feel good.