EMBROIDERY

Embroidery techniques outnumber the states themselves. Notable are the run-stitched 'kantha' (named after its original use in recycling old lengths for a child's layette), replete with rural scenes from Bengal; stylized 'Heer' and 'Kutchi' work from Gujarat; Rajasthani mirrorwork; Lucknowi 'chikan', with its delicate tone-on-tone shadow-stitching; Oriya 'pipli' patchwork and the exquisite Punjabi 'phulkari' motifs. Look out for the heavy beaded patterns of the northern states, and particularly for handicrafts where the beads are the very fabric rather than an adornment.


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