Heritage Indian Arts and Crafts

Heritage Indian Arts and Crafts

Mirror work has been a part of Indian fashion heritage since many centuries, also known as Abhala work, this type of embroidery is one of the most beautiful forms of embroidery. Shisha embroidery traces its origin in the 17th century when pieces of mica were used as the mirrors and the art was practiced extensively by the women in south Asia. The art form was brought in the country during the Mughal era from Iran, but it was mostly found on the traditional folk clothes of the south Asia and central Asia.
It has been truly remarked, “For the peasant women of Gujarat, a needle is her pen with which she gives expression to her creativity and reiterates her relationship with religion and nature.” From the ancient times, Gujarat has been open to influence from other countries owing to its long coastline. In fact, the culture of Gujarat can be linked to the ancient civilizations of Sumer, Babylon and Egypt. The influence of various cultures had its effect on crafts of the state as well.

Of all the crafts, embroidery or kasheedakari was greatly influenced. Movement of pastoral nomads and their settlement in different parts, gave wide variation to the embroidery styles. It is believed that the textiles from Gujarat graced the court of the legendary King Solomon.
Mirror work is used to embellish all kinds of fabric from cotton to pure silk and all the items from sarees, suits, footwear to jewelry boxes. This craft has always been in vogue since so many years and has been the most alluring forms of art in India.The mirrors are tacked on the fabric and with cross stitching technique the mirrors are enclosed in a thread case. The use of brightly hued threads with mirrors enhances the entrance of the fabric. The best thing about mirror embroidery is that it is not tethered to a single type of fabric or silhouette.

Mirror work is used to enhance the general effect of the pattern, embroidered or drawn on textile or other decorative items and accessories. In India, shisha or mirror is available in a variety of shapes including round, square, triangular or polygonal. Sizes of the mirrors vary from large to tiny. Holes are not dug into the mirrors; therefore it has to be held in place with a framework of stitches over which the decorative stitches are done. It is said that earlier mica was used instead of mirror. Later ornamental mirror shapes were cut out of an urn, blown out by a mouth pipe. There are several types of shisha available today.
luxurious craft of India

The handblown glass shisha – the antique shisha or mica is still used in various sizes and irregular shapes. Machine cut glass or embroidery shisha is in large usage. There are also the sequin shisha – the large, flat mirrors with a hole that is covered during stitching. Small mirrors make an ocean of impact when used imaginatively and creatively to embellish fabric or other accessories. Mirror worked garments, bags, bedspreads, wall hangings, cushion covers, etc are in great demand all over the world. They are elegant and gorgeous, and make a big impression on all onlookers. Whether in home or office, party or picnic, in college or with colleagues – shisha work garments, home furnishing and accessories from India are a must for all those who love to look good and feel good.
Some of the major players employing this luxurious craft of India are Indianroots, Fabindia, Upasana, Kala Raksha etc.

Source : Indian roots Indian Crafts

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