Gara Embroidery A study of textile or craft form becomes doubly rewarding when it amalgamates history and culture, not just from one geography but across nations and histories. Nothing exemplifies this maxim more than the Parsi Gara. Its intricately embroidered yards of the fabric brings together Persia, Europe, India, and China.
Chikankari Embroidery from India – As a child growing up in Lucknow in the 1960s, I recall being dragged along to the stores when my mother and aunts shopped. Much to my boredom. Except when we went to the chikankari shops. Even as a child, I found the gossamer tenderness and transparency of the craft fascinating, and I’m not alone in this. In 1903, George Watt described it as “the most artistic and delicate form of the indigenous needlework of India.” Laila Tyabji compares it to a dragonfly wing.
Zardozi Embroidery: There is something about embroidery that has held the world in thrall in all of recorded history. Is it the human urge to beautify and improve? Is it a stress buster? Whatever the reasons, India probably stands at the forefront of the world in terms of both the variety and the complexity of its embroidery traditions. Many of the embroideries found on garments on the international catwalks are developed in India, though this may not be known or acknowledged.