India is blessed with such a rich cultural diversity that few other nations on earth can lay claim to. This rich cultural heritage has given rise to treasures in the arts and crafts that have become global commodities. One of such is the Indian embroidery design.
Created by the skillful artisans of India, the Indian embroidery designs have become a source of aesthetic beauty employed by fashion icons worldwide. Traditionally, these designs were inspired by historical patterns and vary from region to region. This is the reason for the peculiarity of Indian embroidery motifs.
Of these many designs available in India, some have found acceptability globally. Some of these most popular designs include the Chickankari, Kantha, Phulkari, Zardozi, Rajasthani patchwork, Kashidakari, Aari, Gota, Aribharat, and Mirror work.
These designs are used in the making of traditional Indian shawls, Indian ethnic wears, bags,and many more fashion items.
How Desirable is the Indian Embroidery Globally?
These designs have attracted the global market to the work being done by craftsmen and artisans in the hinterlands of India. However, just how desirable is the Indian design globally? Certainly desirable enough for even luxury brands like Hermes, Prada, Gucci and Christian Dior to have all utilized the service of artisans in India to make exquisite handwork for their walkways.
In the Milan runway in 2019, Jennifer Lopez spotted a Versace jungle print shirt which Indian artisans had sewn intricate embellishments on. Other such proofs of the increased acceptance and use of Indian embroidery design globally is the skillfulness of Indian craftsmen on display in several European luxury products.
Some of these products include the embroidered book clutches by Olympia Le-Tan, the beaded Christian Dior saddle bags on display for Autumn/ Winter 2018, the lavender feathered spherical dresses at Jeremy Scott’s Moschino show during the Milan Spring/Summer fashion week in 2018, and several other products for Balmain, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Loewe and Celine.
Why Indian embroidery is desired globally?
– Comparatively lower cost:
The cost of producing luxury embroidery in Europe is estimated by ateliers to be about ten times higher than what it will cost if the same thing is made in India. This means that brands who patronize Indian craftsmen can produce better products for less.
– Superior results:
Owing to the vast level of artisan excellence available in India as a result of centuries of making embroideries, designers are beginning to find that embroidery designs sourced from India seem to be superior even to those from European countries.
– Unique ability:
Indian craftsmen possess a unique ability to sew embroidery on several different materials in a way that is not possible elsewhere. Founder of Les Ateliers, Modesti who works with artisans to produce embroidery designs for several brands speaking on this said,”Embroidery on leather is a specialist technique that Indian artisans have mastered, so there is no other place in the world where you can hand paint with a needle on leather”
– Growing demand for Indian ethnic wear:
The increased demand for Indian ethnic wear, most of which have embroidered motifs which give them an exquisite look has also increased the appeal for Indian embroidery designs globally.
The Indian embroidery tradition is certainly a rich one traceable to ancient Persian influences, centuries of internal migration, trade with China and a multiplicity of local cultural beliefs. With the Indian fashion industry poised to become the focus of the fashion world following the decline in other countries, the Indian embroidery design is only going to gain greater exposure and with desirability already established, many more brands are going to be employing the services of Indian artisans and craftsmen for their skills and knowledge in the embroidery tradition for years to come.