Behind the clay walls houses, veiled in the most stupefying garments, sit women giving life to this undying craft. Village ladies after completing the household chores, get together and with utmost delicacy,embroider clothes.
Sindh is no longer a part of India, but its relics have served an invaluable gift to country and its natives. Sindhi embroidery is one such remnant that clearly indicates the innate flair of the craftsmen and women who toil all day long creating unimaginable masterpieces. They indulge in various kinds of embroidery and strive to craft distinctive designs and motifs, while men sit together to play cards and watch cockfights.
Long Drawn History
Sindhi embroidery is said to have appeared earlier in Germany and the Middle East. This finest craft was later brought to Sindh by the Arabs who were great in dissemination of culture. As Sindh has geographical proximity with Baluchistan, the influence of Baluchistan can be easily discerned in the stitchery and also in the juxtaposition of colors. After the partition, Sindhis who came to settle India brought their embroidery tradition with them and this way it became a part and parcel of the Indian embroidery.
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This finest of all embroideries is mostly done on printed material or tie-dyed cloth. This way the background and Sindhi embroidery complement each other being used in different proportions to produce the desired effect. The overall effect of this embroidery is heightened by bringing to use silk tassels, tiny mirrors, glass beads, sliver spangles and cowrie shells.
Sindhi embroidery is done using silk and cotton thread on cotton or silk fabric. Various shades and hues or colors are used including red, orange, yellow, violet, green, black, white, indigo, brown, pink, turquoise, and blue.
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The craftswomen who are indulged in Sindhi embroidery use hooked needles to stitch. This particular instrument in the local language is also referred to as ‘aar’. The cloth is fixed tightly over a bamboo frame. Then the embroidery design or pattern is drawn or traced upon it. After this, the actual work begins. The thread is employed inside the needle and it is used to create the entrancing patterns.
Stitches & Its Kinds
The stitches used are straight ,satin, open chain, back, chain, buttonhole, interlacing, couched straight, crossed herringbone , laid threads, couched, over sewing, stem, fly and darning.
Inspired by Mughal and Persian Art
Sindhi embroidery is inspired by Mughal and Persian art. Peacock, elephants, fans, parrots, canopies, arches, flowering shrubs, flowers, leaves, human figures, and butis (polka dots), are the artistic motifs crafted. Large sized polka dots are known as Nadir Shahi butis.
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There more different types of embroideries within this category of artwork. It includes ‘Toran’, which is the name of the artwork done on flaps. Then there is the ‘Chaklas’ style which is done on covers of furniture. Along with that, there is ‘Kathi’, a kind of geometric pattern done on clothes. After that, there is the ‘Ari’ style which includes creating animal-inspired motifs like peacocks etc. Then, lastly, there is the ‘Abhala’ style which employs the use of small mirrors embedded within the threadwork.
There is lot more to this craft & the fascinating place to which is belongs. Brought from the Land Of Sufis, this incredible craft enigmatically unfurls the beauty of & legacy of Sindh.
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