Comparing Regional Embroidries

Three Types of Embroidery Kashida Kari of Kashmir Kashida has taken it roots from the word Kashmir. KASH means water channel and MIR means mountain. KASHIDA KARI means work of water channel. Kashmiri embroidery has become world renowned, largely through it superb shawls. All the fact Kashmir incomparable beauty seems to be reflected its needle work. The shawl industry flourished during the rule of Sultan Zain-ul-Abiden during 15th century. He brought craftsman from Persia to revive the existing art. The demand for Kashmiri shawls increased during Mughal rule.
Motifs A large variety of flowers of tremendous colors, shape, size, namely lily, tulip, saffron, iris, bunches of grapes, apple, cherries, plums, birds like kingfisher, parrot, wood pecker, magpie, canary all appears in kashida kari. China leaf is the motif most abundantly used along with Cyprus tree. Many beautiful colored butterflies found in sanctuary and valley has occupied an important place in kashida. Animal and human figures are not found in kashida kari of Kashmir. Embroidery Threads Embroidery thread employed earlier was fine quality woolen yarn.
Gradually woolen yarn were replaced by the each and lustrous silk thread. The bright, gorgeous in expensive art silk [rayon] has entered the industry by replacing the expensive silk threads. Colors Used The embroidery is comprised of wide spectrum of colors of light and dark shade such as crimson red, scarlet red, blue, yellow, green, purple, black and brown. Earlier, yarn was locally dyed by embroider himself, with the help of natural ingredients. PHULKARI The art of phulkari has its origin in the early part of the 19th century when the ODHNI or head cloth was highlighted with embodied flowers.

The embroidery is very simple but the color combination, stitches and the patterns makes it spectacular and gorgeous. It is made on all sorts of cloth and is used in various ways. Bright colors are always preferred when it comes to phulkari, because it refers to flowers and gardens. The main colors used are yellow, red, green, orange, pink and blue. The most interesting part of phulkari is that no different shades are used for shading purpose, rather, it is done with the horizontal, diagonal, and vertical stitches . the shiny threads reflect different shades in different directions.
Thread Soft, glossy, untwisted silk thread is employed for the stitching, which is supplied from Kashmir, Afghanistan and Bengal, which is called “PAI”. Phulkari And Its Types This is a red colored cloth that has phulkari on the border and edges and is presented to a bride by her grandmother just before the wedding. Vari-da-Bagh It is a red colored cloth, which has embroidery in small patterns all over in yellow, denoting fertility and happiness. Along the border, patterns are smaller and beautifully designed in different color thread. Ghunghat-Bagh/Sari-Pallu
It is usually used to cover the head as a symbol of respect for elders. There is embroidery on the small borders on all the four sides. A larger triangular motif is embroidered at the center, making it beautiful. Darsha-Dwar It is a gate that gives a view of deity. It is basically embodied to be presented in the temple or gurudwara. Satarangi A seven colored PHULKARI. Kantha of Bengal; Kantha means throat. The origin of kantha traces its history to a period not less than thousand years. In East-Bengal kantha was a personal expression of arts and crafts that was made spontaneously.
A real kantha is able to narrate a story, and is much more compact in design and it is made out of used material. Motif The kantha of individual is unique by itself. Because it is always the craftsman’s creation, ideas, innovation, taste of fancies, and art of executing how fresh form, designs, figures, and motifs. However some basic traditional designs are commonly seen in each piece of their work. Their motifs are composed of heterogeneous objects like various types of lotus flower, mandala, satadala, Padma tree, foilage, floral scrolls, kalkas, animal and human figure, spiral, bird, fish, and boat.
There are different types of kanthas and are named according to its utility. Arshilata It is used as a cover or wrap for mirror, comb, and other accessories. It is a narrow rectangular piece. It has a wide border and central motif. The lotuses, trees, inverted triangles, are some commonly used motifs. Bayton A three feet square piece serves as a wrap for books and similar valuables. It has a central motif usually the lotus with hundred petals called SAFADALA PUDMA. The traditional and folk design of oldest style in bayton is mandala. Durgon Square piece which is used a wallet cover.
It has a central lotus motif, with an elaborated border. The three corners of this piece are drawn together inwards to make the tips to touch at the center and are sewn together like an envelope. Sujani It is used as spread during ceremonial occasions. This rectangular piece is divided into nine equal parts, and the motifs are distributed accordingly. Colors This colorful embroidery is made with yellow, green, blue, red, and black color thread. Mainly traditional colors like black, deep blue and red which symbolizes three basic qualities and also corresponds to the three aspects of nature i. . earth, sky and space. Thread Threads used in kantha are usually pulled out from worn sarees, or cotton thread is used. Comparing Three Types The darn stitch is used in PHULKARI, while the base material for embroidery has traditionally been hand spun, hand woven, and natural dyed khadi. Whereas, the novel-ness of the Kashmiri embroidery is that the whole pattern is created using one or two embroidery stitch style. The base cloth used in Kashmiri embroidery is cotton or wool. Running stitch is used for making simple quilt.
The traditional form of kantha embroidery was done with soft dhotis and saris, with a simple running stitch running along the edges. Motifs used in kantha embroidery are human and animal figures, floral symbols, which cover the surface from the corner. Different patterns like fishes, birds, Kalka, mandola, mythological stories are also figured. Comparatively, motifs used in Kashmiri embroidery do not include animals or human figure, but floral motifs, birds, parrots, canary, green plums, almonds, cherries are commonly used. Whereas in phulkari fauna and flora motifs, peacock, red chilies, ace of diamond are used.
Lotus motif is used in all three types of embroidery. Their source of inspiration is nature. The ways in which motifs are used make the three embroideries completely different from each other. They have their own unique features. The colors used in phulkari are bright like golden yellow, crimson red, bright orange, green, blue and pink. The colors found in kashida kari are white, purple, ferozi, yellow, black and scarlet. In kantha traditional colors are used like blue, green, yellow, red, and black. All three embroideries have many common features, yet they have their own unique style.

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