Embroideries of Gujarat: ARI work Printing and embroidery in Gujarat reveals a cultural tradition that has evolved through centuries. Most of the best and earliest textiles were created in Gujarat. Printing and embroidery in Gujarat has a huge world market. Varieties of embroidery in Gujarat include: * Toran, the embroidered doorway decoration with hanging flaps, which is said to ventilate good luck. * Pachhitpatis, hanged from the corners as a welcome symbol to the visitors. * Chaklas, used as furniture covers. * Bhitiya, a wall hanging. Abhala, where small mirror discs are fixed with closely worked silken thread. Printing and embroidery in Gujarat is an inherent talent that passes through generations. They excel in making the following: * cholis (bodices) * gaghras (skirts) * odhnis (shawls) * bed spreads * bags * wall hanging * Variety of ornamental pieces for home decor. Source: http://www. blog. gaatha. com/? p=1467#content Ari work and its origin Once adorned by the royalties of the country, on the sheen of silk and the softness of velvet, the designs always would stand out like a peacock on a rainy day.
Of Persian motifs enthralling the costumes and wares creating a luster of luxury and elegance, the art of aari embroidery, zari and zardosi has come a long way, since its royalty days. Ari embroidery is very old and known for its heavy work. It is done with a cobbler’s stitch, which needs much skill and practice. The royal ladies of Kutch who were moved by the Persian motifs like peacock and flowers became great patrons of Ari embroidery. Rabari Embroidery is the most conspicuous work and available easily.
The Kutchi Rabaris employ mirrors of different shapes and sizes. Applique or Katab is another form of decorative needlework, more pronounced in Saurashtra, it is done with pieces of colored and patterned fabric, which are nicely cut to make the motif and then stitched on to a plain background to make quilts, curtains and wall hangings. Another very important aspect of the printing and embroidery in Gujarat are the fabrics with Block Prints. They especially fascinate the foreign tourists. It is the printing of cloth with carved wooden blocks. Needles used for aari work
Looking at each of these distinct patterns of work, they are created with precision and a method best known to their artisans. The Aari embroidery, a celebrated and muchadored work of Gujarat, requires not just the perfect stitch but also the understanding of the innate technique by which it is created. The thread is held with a finger at the reverse of the fabric and the aari, an awl-like needle with a sharp point, is held on the top. How it is made: The aari is pierced through the cloth and the thread is brought to the upper side and used to secure the previous stitch.
This unique stitch, similar to the cobbler’s stitch, is repeated until the desired form is created on the surface of the fabric. The best pieces of fabrics used for this embroidery are often silk or a locally made satin called Gajji. Atlash, a special silk-satin is also used for the purpose. Ari work being done on fabric Threads used Dotted with bootis of various shapes and sizes, motifs and designs of peacocks, flowers, these embroidered sarees, suits, dupattas and traditional Gujarati ghagra-cholis find themselves to be the centre of attention for the women across the world.
Whereas, the roots of this art in India go as deep as the time of the Rig Veda , it prospered during the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. And with this, came the Persian influence, which we see in the motifs, materials and the nomenclature today. Zari Zari, a special gold/silver thread, is often used for aari embroidery. A fine hook needle is used to make quick chain stitches with the zari. The artisan needs to not only manoeuver the needle with a rapid hand but also make sure that this pace is withheld and is kept standard for picking the material and meshing with the fabric. NAKSHA
Patterns cannot be directly created on to the fabrics. First, a complete and clear pattern has to be drawn on a butter paper, designing the same is done by a naksha naviz, who only helps in creating a unique pattern. The paper is then perforated along the lines of the pattern and placed on top of the fabric. Next, the artisans, using chalk, rub the pattern over the fabric, imprinting the required design. Once this has been done, around six to seven craftsmen take a portion of the fabric and start the process of embroidering the zari, using a wooden frame called the “Hadda”, “karchop” or “Khatli”- in Gujarati.
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