I’ve recently been inspired to take a closer look at Indian patchwork rugs. The art of Indian embroidery is some of the best worldwide. India offers a variety of styles, each with a unique history and linked to a specific region and culture. Some types of embroideries are associated with customs such as weddings or festivals. Some are known for the special thread employed or method of stitching involved. Appliqué work is a popular style of embroidery that is recognized worldwide and within the design industry for it’s nuances including Karchobi and mirror work.
In appliqué work different pieces of cloth are patched together to make a multi-colored mosaic. The vivid colors, shapes, and patterns in combination stand out when stitched onto a contrasting background. Typically appliqué is attached to padded cotton backing, which itself can be purchased in large rolls. Patchwork of this kind is essential in many Indian tapestries and can be found all over towns in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat in northwestern India.
Patchwork of this kind is essential in many Indian tapestries and can be found in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat in northwestern India. In Nathadwara, a Rajasthani city, the Pichwai style embroidery reveals colorful cloths and wall hangings throughout the village. One aspect of some appliqué artworks is that they can be monochromatic or employ analogous colors. For example, a customer may discover an appliqué cloth in all blues, turquoise, and greens. Others feature rosy pinks and shades of fuchsia. For an interior, they could be used to create a monochromatic color palette within a room.
Common motifs include trees, peacocks, houses stacked into the hillside or the tower pictured above. If you look a bit closer some appliqué work, shiny golden threads and mirrors gleaming within the embroidery can be seen. More on mirror work and the pink city of Jaipur later this week!