Kashmiri Embroidery

October 24, 2017

Also worth reading: Hand vs Machine Embroidery

In Kashmir, we experience colorful embroidery on all kinds of apparel and fabric - Shawls, Jackets, Sarees, etc. There are many different types of embroideries employed by Kashmiri artisans. Some of them are explained here:

1. Crewel embroidery: This is done using a pointed crochet (locally called "Aari") and is worked on cotton, wool, silk and other fabrics.
Crewel embroidery uses woolen or art-silk thread for embroidery. It is used for embroidery work on cotton, organza, velvet, linen and jute ground fabrics suitable for making drapes and upholsteries. These fabrics also find use in making pillows, throws and bedding.


Crewel embroidery is of two types:
1-ply Embroidery: It uses 1-ply woolen yarn which is cheaper but less durable than 2-ply wool. 1-ply embroidered fabrics are therefore cheaper than 2-ply embroidered fabrics. 1-ply wool embroidery covers larger surface area per stitch when compared to 2-ply embroidery.


comparison of 1-ply and 2-ply embroidery

2-ply Embroidery: Employing 2-ply woolen yarn for embroidery, it is costlier of the two and is more durable. The resulting fabric costs more in comparison to 1-ply embroidered fabrics. Also, 2-ply wool embroidery has a lower surface area per stitch therefore accommodating more colors in a pattern as compared to 1-ply.
A finer form of crewel embroidery using cotton thread instead of wool is worked on apparels like jackets, shawls, sarees, salwar kameez, etc.


2. Needlework embroidery (locally called “Sozni”): Done using a needle, “sozni” is worked on Pashmina shawls, woolen shawls, jackets, salwar kameez and sarees. Work done on pashminas is comparatively much finer (lesser distance between stitches) than other fabrics (cotton, silk and wool).

3. Silver and gold embroidery: Locally called “tilla”, this type of embroidery work is found on ladies cloaks (“pheron”), shawls and salwar kameez. It is done using imitation gold and silver thread.

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