Haath ki Safai

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We have spoken about fabrics and prints but the real showstealer has always been embroidery.  Threadwork comes in different styles and on different fabrics. Mostly limited to Indian clothes, but you can always experiment with shirts and dresses. So lets take a look at the different embroidery styles :

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1. Chikankari : exclusive to Lucknow but now you can find this particular threadwork all over India. Traditionally done on cotton or muslin, but now you get excellent work on georgette, crepe,organza, chiffon and silk. Originated from the Mughal era and the most famous style being Jali kaam (lace) and Shadow work. Though its intricate and designs are mostly floral it is a long precise process involving design and embossing as well. Found traditionally in Salwar suits and sarees but chikan kurtis and shirts have caused a stir in the indo-western fashion.

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2. Aari Work : originated from the Mughal era in Barabanki where it was known as Katla work. Floral motifs are the most famous style but done intricately forming a net pattern. A firm trend on churidars and now also cigarette pants can make an interesting option.

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3. Zardozi : famous embroidery done by metal wires and embellishments. Associated with royalty, originally was done with gold and silver wires but now only with copper wires with metallic polish. Done on heavy fabrics and very popular for wedding wear. Sarees and lehengas are its most popular outfits. Try a zardosi blouse or batwa/ clutch  to capture the wedding audience.

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4. Gara Work: parsi gara work or parsi embroidery is one of the most exquisite threadworks in the world. Originated from China, the intricacy makes it hard to differentiate between the wrong and right side. Till date they are considered family heirlooms and are one of the most expensive outfits to own. Traditionally found on sarees, but now even jacket kurtas and salwars are being adorned by this impressive threadwork.

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5. Phulkari : originated in Punjab, phulkari means flower embroidery, scattered flowers are termed as bagh embroidery. Done on flowy fabrics and adorned with sequins its one of the fastest growing trends. Traditionally done for Salwar suits now they are also popular for sarees, jackets and bags.

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6. Kantha Work : originated from Bengal and Orissa this traditional embroidery is done rural areas by women. It has spaced stitches and designs range from floral and fauna to figurines. Popular on cotton and silk fabrics. Shawls, linens and sarees are famous but recently even anarkalis and skirts are catching on in the trend.

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7. Kashmiri embroidery : threadwork done by wollen yarns and exclusive to Kashmir. Their are different types based on needles used and intricacy of embroidery. Popular on wollen shawls and traditional kashmiri outfits and linens. Has been done on bags, sarees and kurtas now as well.

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8. Sindhi Embroidery : originated in Indus civilization specific to the sindh region but popular even in areas of Gujarat. It’s uniqueness lies in the use of the herring bone stitch and interlacing with mirror work. Popular technique used is resist printing so that it is embroidered from both sides. Bed linens, handbags are popular items, but even Salwar suits and sarees are found with this intricate thread work.

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9. Patti ka kaam: founded in aligarh, this applique threadwork is done by creating flowers and leaf in cloth  and stitching them on to a design. Its done with and on organza, cotton, silk and nylon fabrics. It enhances an entire outfit with it’s vibrancy and now even embellishment. It is done on same colours and even contrasts. Popularly found on Salwar suits, duppattas and linens.

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10. Gota Patti : native of Rajasthan, this embroidery is done using metallic ribbons interlaced together. It is a mixture of zardozi and applique  work. It is formal and used for wedding wear.
   Thus, these are just few of the embroideries existing in India. These intricate threadwork not only make the outfit richer but also give you a variety to wear. Gone are the days when embroidery was done on plain fabrics, now prints and embroidery is mixed in to kick up the vibrancy of any outfit.
  Mix and match, experiment instead of going the safe way by plain Kurta and embroidered duppattas. Fusion wear is brimming with options of embroidery  on western wear to perk up the boring office look. So start adding the handiwork and become a show stopper at all your outings.

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