Aari is a delicate form of embroidery done with both coloured and gold thread. It also involves the use of beads and a special needle known as muthia, which is similar to a crochet needle, used to create chain-stitch like impressions.
An appliqué is a device applied to another surface. The technique is very common in some kinds of textiles, but may be applied to many materials. Applied pieces usually have their edges folded under, and are then attached by either a straight stitch, a satin stitch or by reverse appliqué.
Badla, which is what makes up Zardozi needlework, is also a type of embroidery done with metallic threads where slabs of metal are melted and pierced through steel sheets. They are then converted into wires and hammered to the necessary fineness. This beautiful and intricate and beautiful Zardozi work is often found on bridal wear and heavy couture Indian outfits.
Chikankari is an ancient form of white floral embroidery, intricately worked with needle and raw thread on a variety of fabrics like cotton, muslin, silk, organza etc. There are 36 types of stitches used in chikan work, each, which creates delicate, patterns ideal for kurtas and shirts.
Dabka or Dapka is a very detailed type of needle work. At least three to four craftsmen work on a single piece simultaneously. First a thick cotton cord is stitched on the pattern to be embroidered. Then on this cord prefabricated zari thread is looped on with an ordinary stitching needle, creating patterns of flowers, leaves, or birds.
Danke-ka-kaam is a kind of metal embroidery done in Rajasthan, which uses a 400 year old technique to create decorative patterns on fabrics. The cost of the embroidery used to be calculated based on its weight as silver or originally gold strips were used onto create patterns on fabrics like silk, satin or chiffon.
Gota work is a type of metal embroidery that involves a woven gold cloth being placed onto silk or satin to create different surface textures, often complemented by ‘kinari’ or edging border decoration. The overall look and finish is very rich, resembling enameling work done in Meenakari jewellery.
Kantha, a popular style of embroidery that comes from West Bengal, is a type of ‘running’ stitch that is very simple yet unique. Initially Kantha was used on cotton or silk. But now this style of embroidery is used to create unique patterns even on other fabrics like georgette, crepe and chiffon
Karchobi is a form of raised zari metallic thread embroidery. It is created by applying flat stitches on cotton padding. Karchobi is a slightly more elaborate form of embroidery and hence is used for bridal wear and formal costumes.
Machine embroidery is an embroidery process whereby a sewing machine or embroidery machine is used to create patterns on textiles. There are multiple types of machine embroidery including computerized machine embroidery, that uses an embroidery machine that’s controlled with a computer to create beautiful patterns.
Mukesh work is a type of embroidery that involves twisting thin metallic threads to create patterns all over the fabric. Although the most common pattern is dots, other patterns are also created in Mukesh work. Unique to Lucknow, mukesh embroidery is a dying art that is slowly being revived.
The word Shisha means little glass in Hindi and traditional Shisha mirrors are made from blown glass, which are silvered on the back and then broken into various sizes and shapes. Mirrors are attached by securing them within a tight framework of simple stitches forming beautiful, elegant patterns.
Zardozi or Zari work is a type of embroidery that uses either metal or gold threads, spangles, beads, seed pearls, wire, gota and kinari. First, the fabric is mounted on a wooden frame and the design is traced onto it with chalk powder. Then the embroiderer goes over the design painstakingly with the appropriate thread creating one of its kind masterpieces.