Since the earliest fabric samples of 3000 B.C. we realise that human
beings have wanted to enliven their surroundings clothing, toiletries
and linens by adding hand work of some kind over the woven fabrics.
Different areas of the devised their own peculiar styles. The type of
thread, colors, motifs and presentation of each area and style are
unique. Each region had a few stitches unique to their style. The motifs
were related to nature and religion and everyday life of people.
Religious embroideries spanned the breadth of the age of the many
religious organizations and royal courts. Hand Embroidery art had
patrons just like other art forms. These embroideries include gold
threads or zardosi, chikankari, kasuti and kashmiri.
Chikankari is said to have a Turkish impression though it is mentioned
in the records of Megasthenes in 3rd century B.C. Kashmiri embroidery is
colorful with symbols like chinar leaf, apple blossom, lily, the saffron
flower and the fauna of the region. Phulkari has brightly colored
flowers on coarse cotton. Beadwork and Zardosi are Mughal introductions
where as mirror work is typical to Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kantha'
Embroidery of Bengal makes imaginative use of waste rugs and Kasuti is
famous for religious themes.
Machine Embroidery may have become common these days and perhaps more
economical but theuniqueness, variety, intricacy, art and fineness of
hand embroidery is unmatched and as yet unchallenged.