Traditional Textile Motifs of India

The term ‘Motif’ refers to a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colours, as in architecture or decoration. India is a land of diverse culture which also provided ample space for the evolution of diverse traditions of handicraft. They varied according to the place and geographical conditions.

Famous Motif Techniques of India

1. Kashida

In this art form, thread, gold-silver wires are used for embroidery. Kashmiri embroidery is one the famous Kashida work in India. It comprises the chain stitch, the satin stitch, the slanted darn stitch, the stem stitch, and the herringbone stitch.

2. Phulkari of Punjab

It is one of the famous embroidery traditions of Punjab. Its distinctive property is that the base is a dull hand-spun or khaki cloth, with bright coloured threads that cover it completely, leaving no gaps. It is believed to be auspicious, a symbol of happiness, prosperity and Suhag of a married woman.

3. Bagh Kashidakari

It is very famous art form of Punjab region. In this art, garden is prevalent in the square frame.

4. Kutch and Kathiawar Embroidery

It is signature art form of tribal community of Kutch and Kathiawar (Gujarat). This art form is generally done by six styles: Suf, khaarek, paako, Rabari, Garasia Jat, and Mutava.

5. Banni and Heer Bharat

It is practiced by the Lohana community (Master of Swords’ are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group). It is famous for its richness in colour blending, colour pallets and design pattern.

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6. Chamba Handkerchief

It is very popular art form of Himachal Pradesh. This art form consists of combinations, floral design, drums, and other musical instrument and scene of Lord Krishna’s Rasleela.

7. Rajasthani Embroidery

This art form is closely related to the embroidery art form of Gujarat and Sindh. It is an ancient craft, which has transformed over time to reflect the prevailing social, material and sometimes even the political mood of the times.

8. Pipli Applique Work

The ornamental needlework of the Pipli village is popularly known 'Pipli Applique Work'. This art involves embroidering and stitching of small pieces of coloured cloth with flower, village, scenes, animals and traditional design onto a larger base cloth.

9. Kantha of West Bengal

It is a type of embroidery craft. The term Kantha means 'throat'. In this art, needle and thread is used to stitch on sari, kurta/ Panjabi and churidar and many other garments. It is very popular due to its aesthetic value and handmade characteristics.

10. Chikankari of Lucknow

It is a traditional embroidery style of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. In this art form, the French naut open work and Herringbone stitch techniques are used. There are three types of stitching are used- backstitch, chain stitch and hemstitch.

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