Vivid and vibrant would be an inadequate term to describe this lovely embroidery technique . Bold and colourful motifs blend with each other in harmony , complementing and decorating the plain and simple abodes of the Kathi community of Gujarat. A hardworking and industrious community , the kathis are landowners. Having a natural inclination towards art , these creative people churn out one of the most popular ( to the world ) and beautiful Indian embroideries.
Believing in beautifying their surroundings , the women toil lovingly over the threads and needle and embroider unique pieces of art like door panels , door hangings , seat covers ,baby crib covers , canopies , and not to be forgotten even decorations for their domestic cattle like camels , cows , bullocks and carts, to personal clothes like the women`s skirtcommonly known as ghagra
Taking inspiration from the surrounding ,the themes in embroidery are based on everyday life. Hindu God Ganesha , Sun , Radha Krishna , Hanuman are all depicted in their embroidery . Popular motifs like peacock , parrots , elephants , camels , flowering plants ,etc are used , and , sometimes women filling water , women churning butter , wedding processions , Raas lila , hunting scenes are used.
The embroidery is done with Silk floss called Heer ( untwisted and lustrous thread ) in bold colours. . Purple , magenta , electric blue , parrot green , lemon yellow , golden yellow and red. fill the large areas while white or black are sometimes used to add an outline in motifs . Stitches used are predominantly herringbone - open as well as closed , Fishbone stitch occassionally used and open chain stitch for outline . Mirrors are sometimes added to enhance the look of the embroidery. Most embroideries are done on a dark and thick handwoven cotton fabric and the bright color luster of heer threads makes the embroidery come alive .
There are two predominant type of design formations in these embroideries - one where geometric patterns are used such as the eight pointed star and boxed panels are filled with the embroidery - or- the second style where the motifs are drawn free-hand and usually have flora and fauna with animal and human figures. The arrangement of all these motifs is so well , that it makes the embroidered article a masterpiece - an inspiration to embroidery enthusiasts and a collectors item to all art lovers .
And here`s my project inspired by the art loving Kathi community that I have done on my dress a few years ago .
Hope you found this article interesting . Do write in you comments and keep dropping by to read the continuation of this article : Motifs in Kathi embroidery !