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Home > About Nomads > Embroidery on Cotton
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Embroidery on Cotton

Embroidery on Cotton

The history of embroidery dates back several centuries. In India this style of needlework has had a distinctive look due to natural colours used for dying.

The history of embroidery dates back several centuries and in India this style of needlework has had a distinctive look due to natural colours used for dying and their diversity of culture.

Each area specializes in a unique and beautiful style of using threads to decorate the fabric. Nature and religion play a key role to inspire the patterns and colours used.

The women of Rajasthan and Gujarat often carry embroidered toran (wall hangings), dowry bags, shawls, cholis (blouses) and dupattas (trouser suits) as part of their dowry. The style of embroidery used on these items uses many tiny mirrors and lots of colourful threads in the shapes of figures and flowers. You can find suggestions of this work in some of our more elaborately hand crafted bags in rich earth tones with touches of sparkle. Another style of embroidery practiced in Rajasthan is zardozi using zari (which means gold). Giving a glittering effect to the fabric, today real gold is substituted with a glittering material which still gives a shimmering effect.

Our most popular style of embroidery is the Aree style or chain stitch. This is one of the oldest decorative designs and has the basic elements which have led to a much larger group of embroidery techniques known today. Aree embroidery began in India and Persia using a fine hook known as an “Ari”. The chain stitch is a simple yet beautiful style of embroidery which shows individual stitches and forms solid patterns by starting from the centre and sewing around to create an embossed effect to the textile. You can find this type of embroidery on some of our coats, skirts and tunic dresses. The motifs used are usually floral, trees, birds, and geometrical designs.

Using traditional hand embroidery keeps these crafts alive as they are passed down through the generations. For us this also gives life and a true uniqueness to our garments. In fact they are all works of art!

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