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Indian Embroidery Article on Embroidery

Turkish Embroidery

Embroidery in the Past
Embroidery had varied purposes in Turkey's history. As for court embroidery, sharp needle work were incorporated. The stitches prevalent at the time were mainly satin stitch, herringbone, double running, chain, outline, bargello, and shadow work. Much emphasis was laid on the usage of silk threads for classical designs. But with time, under the impact of western influence embroidery took on a more baroque look and the designs became more ornate.

One of the significant motifs in Turkish embroidery history is the extensive use of Tulip. Tulip actually came from Turkey which was later gifted as a token to Holland in the early 16th century during the first ambassadors meeting. From thereon, tulip is more synonymous with Holland. However, till this date, it holds a great religious and cultural significance in Turkey which is prevalent in embroidery, carpets, tiles, and even on gravestones.

Embroidery in the Present
Carpet embroidery is region specific in Turkey, each having its own particular style & color scheme pattern. Western region of Turkey usually have silk carpets with elaborate designs. Due to heavy rainfall in the region, greater variety of plants are produced which gives a wide access to natural dyes. Thus, color variation is well apparent in the embroidery work. Eastern Turkey is comparatively dry & has a desert area as well. Due to this, there is not much variation in the color scheme. Motifs are generally geometrical & tribal in origin.

The traditional women still covers their heads with scarves. These scarves display the beautiful embroidery patterns such as tatted or crocheted edging specific to the region where they live. There may be beaded embellishments meant for the special ‘Friday best’ scarves. The entire look of the woman covered with scarves manifolds.

To retain the age old art of embroidery making, young women are being trained by many cooperatives. Like DOBAG, a particular project is teaching women to use traditional patterns while weaving & knotting carpets or “kilims” with naturally dyed wool. This way, constant efforts are being made for the ethnic & traditional embroidery art to survive the odds in the contemporary Turkey.

Kasooti Embroidery
India has many styles of embroidery making which are region specific as well. One of them is Kasooti embroidery art basically considered as the Lambani (a.k.a. gypsies) tribe's legacy. Here, the traditional costumes are adorned with glittering small pieces of cut mirrors, coins and costume jewelry. These items are fixed on the cloth through intricate Kasooti methods. Thus, items like bags, pillows, wall-hangings, table mats etc. that are crafted using the age old method have a massive demand in the western countries.

Kasooti has its roots in varied parts of India. As in Kashmir, colored threads are used to stitch the chainar leaves and creepers. While in Rajasthan, silver and gold zari threads are used for daily wear & bridal dresses. Kasooti's glass work is quite popular in Gujarat. And in Uttar Pradesh, it is known as Jamadami or Chikkan work when colored threads are used for embroidery work on perforated cloth which imparts a very sober look to the fabric.

The tradition has been continued till date with the hard effort put in by the women folks. They follow a particular pattern where the decorated item is marked with charcoal, pencil or carbon paper. Thereafter, suitable colored thread and needles are used for fine embroidery work.

There are varied stitches frequently used for embroidery designs such as ele, mente, negi, gavanthe, and marige. Motifs such as geometrical designs, the Gopuram, the kalasha, planted Tulasis, cradles, animal & floral images are generally used.

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