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Crewel or Hook embroidery is locally known as
Zalakdozi. It is one of the specialized styles of
embroidery practiced in Kashmir. It is chain stitch
embroidery done with hook locally known as ari. It
is a special work on carpet known as crewel for which
chain stitch is the base supplement with satin and
whip stitches.

Zalakdozi is hook embroidery, named after a hook
resembled a crochet. John Irwin state that, Zalakdozi was
probably introduced in Kashmir by Damascus craftsmen
during sultan Zain-ul-Abidinis rule. Various articles are
prepared by hook embroidery and one of them is Namada,
a felt carpet. It is an important textile of Kashmir. Namada
is either in white or various colours that is richly
embroidery by wool with chain stitch. It is a special work on
carpet known as crewed for which chain stitch is the base
supplement with satin and whip stitches.

Motifs of Zalakdozi are mostly taken from nature. Animal and
human figures are usually not seen due to Muslim influence.
They are: Chinar leaf,
Birds , etc.

The base colour of the fabric is generally cream or white or
similar pastel shades. A wide range of colours are used by the
Kashmiri embroiders for the embroidery yarns including :
White -sufed


Crimson- gulmor

Green -zingari


Dark- green


Blue- ferozi

these are died exclusively in vegetable dyestuff.

Light blue
Yellow- zard


Fabrics:- used are silk, wool, cotton, and threads used are wool,
silk and art silk.

Used in this embroidery are satin stitch, chain stitch, long and
short. Herring bone stitch and darning stitches are used
Other stitches used are known as: 1)Vata Chickan-Button Hole
2)Doria-Open Work
3)Talaibar-Gold Work
4)Zalakdozi-Chain Stitch
5)Rafooqani Or Darning Stitch


The Chamba Rumal , is a form of embroidery that flourished in
the eighteenth and early twentieth century in the mountain
region of north India.
Running through Chamba, Kulu, Kangra, Guler, Mandi and
Suket, the craft witnessed explicit distinctions between 'elite'
and 'folk art'.
The languishing craft of the 'Chamba Rumal' refers only to the
delicately embroidered rumals created by royal and elite
women who had access to the professional services of trained
miniature artists.
These miniature artists not only drew the theme to be
embroidered on the rumal in charcoal, but also provided the
women who would be embroidering the rumal with a

Location of Chamba
Chamba is the northwestern district of
Himachal Pradesh.
Founded during the
6th century, it is one
of the oldest princely
states in India.
Chamba has a rich
history of crafts
including metal
crafts, miniature
paintings, weaving,
leather work, wood
carving, basketry
and jewellery


It was customary to gift embroidered

rumals in a girls marriage.
Subjects like wedding scenes were
popular and were repeatedly embroidered.
This handicraft , being an important item
of the dowry, was dependent for its
existence almost on the social custom i.e.
No marriage ceremony would be reckoned
complete with out the gift of Chamba
rumal by the relatives of the brides.

Raw material
Traditionally, the fabric
used to make the
Chamba Rumal was
hand-spun or handwoven unbleached thin
muslin or malmal. The
most popular fabric ,
employed inChamba
rumals, was khaddar
because of its
availability, lowcost and

The thread used for the
embroidery was
untwisted silk yarn,
which, in the do - rukha
stitch used in Chamba
embroidery. This
untwisted silk thread usually made in Sialkot,
Amritsar, and Ludhiana was the same as that
used in the Phulkari
embroidery of the

Untwisted silken thread


The stitch used in embroidering the Chamba Rumal was
the do rukha, double satin stitch which, as its name
implies, can be viewed from two (do) sides or aspects
(rukh). The stitch is carried both backward and forward
and covers both sides of the cloth, effecting a smooth
finish that is flat and looks like colours filled into a
miniature painting. No knots are visible, and the
embroidered rumal can be viewed from both sides. It
thus becomes reversible.

Dandi Tanka - the

stem stitch
The outline in black thread is a marked characteristic,
which is a conspicuous characteristic of the Chamba
rumal. After filling the colourful threads in the figures
and floral designs , these are finally enclose with a fine
line worked out in black thread , which apparently lends
the powerful affect as seen
in pahari miniature painting

Criss - Cross stitch

The use of criss cross stitches , which comprise a simple
technique of crossing two stitches of equal size in the
shape of a cross (X) can be discerned in several rumals.
This stitch as a unit comprises a running band mostly in
red colour , arrayed usually in straight or circular line
identically visible
on the both sides of the fabric. This criss cross stitch is
no longer practiced by any contemporary embroider in
Chamba .

Animal and birds motifs
are used along with
human figures
Bird motifs - parrot,
peacock, duck and swan

Animal motifs tigers,

horses, rams

Tree motifs cypress

and the plantain trees
bent, laden with flowers
and fruits.



STEP 2 :

Outlining of drawing with charcoal by

the artist.

STEP 3 :

Do-rukha embroidery done by the women folks.


Dice board



Krishna Ras Leela

Krishna Ras Leela

Current designs, fabrics and tread

Chamba Rumal on silk fabric
with traditional motifs

Currently, raw materials being used are cotton, malmal, silk, terricot and
polyester fabrics. Both twisted and untwisted yarn is being used to do the
embroidery. The affect and the beauty of the Chamba Rumal are clearly
visible on the malmal or cotton. Other fabrics are mostly being used to bring
down the costs of the rumal and sell it in the local market

Pahari painting in Chamba

There is a strong link between pahari paintings and the embroidery on

the rumals. The subject of the embroideries ranged from religious
themes, embodying the strong Vaishnava fervour in the pahari regions,
to themes from the great epics, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata.
Krishna surrounded by his gopis , godhuli(the hour of cow dust, with
Krishna and his cow-herd friends bringing home the cows); the RadhaKrishna alliance are among the popular themes.


Famous as shadow work, Chikankari embroidery is a very delicate and
intricate work from the city of Lucknow. A skill more than 200 years
old, the embroidery is famous for its timeless grace and gossamer
delicacy. Also known asChikan, the embroidery is traditionally done
using a white untwisted cotton thread on colourless muslin popularly
knownas tanzeb(the muslim from Dacca).
This form of embroidery came to India from Persia with Noor Jehan,
the queen of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir. It is also said that the
wordchikanis a derivative from the Persian word chikaan meaning
drapery. The craft flourished under the benign nawabi influence and
later with the British influence designs became more formal resulting
in an export market in Europe and England.

Chikankari, primarily refers to an embroidery variety done originally
with pristine white cotton thread on fine mulls and muslins. The
word chikan derives its name from the Persian word, Chakeen,
meaning rendering of delicate patterns on fabric.
Thechikankariembroidery garmentis believed to be introduced
in seventeenth century by Noorjehan (wife of Mughal emperor
Jehangir) who was inspired by Turkish embroidery. Some designs
and patterns still exist that are believed to be queen's personal

Originally, chikan embroidery was done with the untwisted white cotton
thread on soft, white cotton fabric like muslin or cambric. It was
sometimes done on net to produce a kind of lace. Today chikan work is
not only done with coloured threads but on all kinds of fabrics like silk,
crepe, georgette, organdie chiffon, and tassar.

InChikankari, the design to be embroidered is printed on the
fabric using wooden blocks dipped in fugitive colours, which are
commonly made by mixing a glue and indigo with water. For
extra fine designs, brass-blocks are used sometimes.

The design is decided upon on the chosen fabric. The stitches are decided according to the
design to be used in the embroidery.

The pattern is then engraved on a wooden block or at times sketching it manually.

Block Printing
Once the block is ready then the printing is done on the fabric. Printing is carried out by the
use of wooden blocks dipped in dyes like neel and safeda to make a pattern.

The printed fabric then reaches the craftsmen who get to work with the cloth stretched by a
wooden frame or Karchop. They do the enriching embroidery using a variety of stitches.

Washing & finishing

After the embroidery, the fabric reaches the laundry and is thoroughly washed and given the
finishing touches. This includes bleaching, acid treatment, stiffening or starching and ironing.

Chikankari knotted,
Chikankari flat stitches with embossed stitches with their
their traditional names are: traditional names are:

Besides there are two

other important forms
of embellishments:













Chikankari flat stitches with

their traditional names are:
1.Bukhia: Most common chikan stitch
to get the effect of shadow work.
Bukhia is very similar to the
herringbone stitch done on backside
and front side to give a shadow effect.
It is done in two ways
a) From back side (ulta bakhia), the
floats lie on the reverse of the fabric
underneath the motif. The transparent
muslin becomes opaque and provides
a beautiful effect of light and shade.
b) From front side (sidha bakhia), it is
the satin stitch with criss-crossing of
individual threads. The floats of thread
lie on the surface of the fabric. This is
used to fill the forms and there is no
light or shade effect.

Chikankari flat stitches with

their traditional names are:
2.Taipchi: It is the running stitch
worked on the right side of the fabric.
It is occasionally done within parallel
rows to fill petals and leaves.
Sometimes taipchi is used to make
the bel buti all over the fabric. This is
the simplest chikan stitch and often
serves as a basis for further
embellishment. It resembles jamdani
and is considered the cheapest and
the quickest stitch.
Pechni: It is the variation build on
Taipchi where the taipchi base is
covered by entwining the thread over
it in a regular manner thus forming a
lever spring.

Chikankari flat stitches with

their traditional names are:
3.Gitti: A combination of
buttonhole and long satin
stitch, usually used to make
a wheel-like motif with a
tiny hole in the center

Chikankari flat stitches with

their traditional names are:
Jangira: It is the chain stitch
usually used as outlines in
combination with a line of
pechni or thick taipchi

Chikankari knotted, embossed stitches

with their traditional names are:
Murri: It is the diagonal satin
stitches worked several
times with a knot on a basic
taipchi stitch to form a grain

Chikankari knotted, embossed stitches

with their traditional names are:
Phanda: It is a smaller
shortened form of murri.
The knots made are
spherical and very small. It
resembles millets, gives a
raised effect and is used to
fill petals and leaves.

Chikankari knotted, embossed stitches

with their traditional names are:
3.Dhum patti: It is the leaf
pattern made of crossstitch.

Chikankari knotted, embossed stitches

with their traditional names are:
4.Ghas patti: It is the grass
leaves formed by V-shaped
line of stitches worked in a
graduated series on the
right side of the fabric.

Jali work:
The jaalis or trellises that are
created in chikankari are a
unique speciality of this
craft. It gives an effect of
open mesh or net created
by carefully pushing warps
and wefts apart by needle
without cutting or drawing
of thread. The act thus
make neat regular holes or
jaalis on the fabric.

The source of most of the design motifs inchikankariis Mughal.
Noor Jehans personal preferences and desire to replicate the
Turkish architectural open-work designs is said to have that led
to the introduction ofjaalisin chikan embroidery. The designs in
chikan are graded and used according to the stitches employed
murri ka butaandtepchi ka jaal though terms
likehathi(elephant) andkairi(mango) are also used to signify
the shape of the motif. It is however the stitch employed that is
the established nomenclature. Other common motifs include
mostly paisley, flowers, foliages, creepers, fruits, birds like
peacock and parrots.

Brocades of Varanasi,
Uttar Pradesh

Banarasi Brocades as the world knows it is called by the name kinkab in Varanasi.
A high quality weaving is done using gold and silver threads. Silk Threads are also
used as well. The most common motifs include scroll patterns and butidars
designs. The other designs are Jewelry designs, birds, animals, flowers, creepers,
paisley motifs. Hindu religious and Mughal motifs also influenced the brocade
designs. When a Gold embellishment is done on a silver background it is called
ganga-jamuna in the local language.
The designs are first drawn on paper. The person who draws this is called
naqshaband. The main weaver is assisted by a helper. This design is then woven
on a small wooden frame to form a grid of warp and weft. The requisite number of
warp threads and the extra weft threads are woven on the loom. The famous
tissue sari of Varanasi is unbelievably delicate, combining the use of gold and
silver metallic threads.

Banaras is one of the rich weaving craft centre of India, famous

for Brocade Saris and dress material. One unique and intricate
silk brocades and sarees of Banaras has made it world famous.
Among the different varieties of sarees produced in the centres,
some exclusive varieties of the sarees are Jangla, Tanchoi,
Vaskat, Cutwork, Tissue and Butidar which are made of silk warp
and silk weft, on plain/satin ground base, brocaded with extra
weft patterns in different layouts introducing Buties, Bells,
Creepers, Buttas in ground, border and anchal for getting
glamourous appearance. With the change in time and consumer
preference, the weavers of the cluster are also undertaking
changes in the design and pattern of the product alongwith
product diversification. In order to cater to the need of the
oversees and domestic buyers, the weavers of the cluster are
also producing home furnishing, silk dhotis, stole, scarf, muffler,
mats, dress material, wall hanging, made ups like curtain,
cushion cover, table cover, napkins, runners, etc. some of the
items produced in the Banaras are presented below:

Banarasi Brocade Sarri The eleganttraditional costume for Indian women
a common form of clothing for women across south Asia, draped around the
body in different styles to form a garment. It is a seamless rectangular piece
of fabric measuring between four to nine meters decorated with varying
pattern, colour, design, and richness.
Usage of diverse colour, motif, pattern and weave over the untailored length
of a sari make it a representation of rich regional traditions. The Sari is
usually divided into three parts:
An end-piece orpallu
A field orjamin
Border orkinara
Theend-pieceis the loose end of the sari covering the bosom and thrown
over the shoulder. It is usually the most exposed and hence usually the
most embellished part of the sari. Thefieldof a sari may be embellished
with prints, embroidery, etc or left plain as per design may be.
Thebordersof a sari run along the entire lengthgiving it an extraordinary

The Making
Brocade is typically woven on a draw loom in which each thread
can be controlled separately. Brocade is then woven using a
weft technique, Brocade is woven. In spite of its intricate weave,
the final fabric of Brocade resembles an embroidered texture.

Variations in the Brocades:

There are few varieties of Banarasi sarees and they are

Katan, Shattir,

2. Organza (Kora) designed beautifully with zari and silk and

3. Georgette.
When segregated according to design process, Banarasi sarees
can be divided into categories like
4. Jangla,
5. Tanchoi,
6. Cutwork,

Tissue and

8. Butidar.

Katan is a plain fabric with
woven pure silk threads which
are twisted and woven into pure
silk sarees. These pure silk
sarees are now produced using
power looms and rapid looms,
while in ancient times Katan
sarees were woven using
handlooms with beautiful
creation of patterns and motifs.

It is another fabric which is used in creating exclusive and
contemporary designs of Banarasi sarees.

Organza (Kora) with Zari

and silk
Brocades are most beautiful and richly woven fabric where the
patterns are pattered with different designs made by warp and
weft. Silver threads are coated with gold and are then woven
closely around a silk yarn to create zari brocade

It is a finely woven light fabric with a simple and plain weave. This
fabric is made of crepe yarn where two twisted yarns are interwoven with both warp and weft. This fabric is most popular in
modern types are used to produced designer sarees.

These styles of sarees are woven in
colorful silk threads. The name of
this saree derives from the pattern
of design that distinguishes it from
other Banarasi sarees. It has
intricate Jangla patterns in form of
Jangla vegetation motif that scrolls
and spreads across the length of
the saree. These sarees are
believed to be ancient ones among
Banarasi brocades. Unique designs
and intricate detailing with
luxurious fabric make this saree
apt for wedding ceremonies.


Beautiful Jamawar style paisleys or Labyrinth woven by zari adds value

to this silk saree making it appropriate for wedding ceremonies.
Artisans from Benaras weave patterns on these sarees with colorful
weft silk yarns. The pallu of this saree are often decorated with large
motifs of paisleys while the border is beautified with criss-cross

Cut work Saree

These sarees are commonly referred as the less expensive version
ofJamdani sarees. This type of sarees is prepared by cut work
technique on plain texture. Silk Jamdani sari is produced by
placing few warp threads with cotton and weft to produce
traditional design patterns. Most popular motifs which are
featured in cut work sarees are jasmine, marigold flowers,
creepers and leaves. Unique patterns of cut work sarees are
created from selvage to selvage which resembles the design of

Tissue Sarees
Delicately woven sarees with
golden zari weft adds sheen to
these tissue sarees and
therefore it is also known as the
golden cloth. Most popular
designs used in tissue sarees
are golden zari woven lotus
floating in a radiant pond,
where the water drops are
designed with cut-work
technique. The border and pallu
of the sari are patterned with
self woven paisleys.

Butidar Sari
Inimitable feature of Butidar sarees is that it is a richly woven sari
which is brocaded with threads of gold, silver and silk. Gold is
darker in shade as compared to silver threads. Therefore the
weavers of Benaras refer to this variety of brocade patterning
as Ganga-Yamuna. Motifs are locally popularized as Angoor Bail,
Ashraffi Butti, Latiffa Butti, Reshem Butti Jhummar Butti, Jhari
Butta, Patti Butti, Baluchar Butta and many more.