A bride’s guide to hand embroidery

Different types of hand embroidery on Indian Bridal wear

Wedding season is around the corner, and if you are the bride-to-be, you must be thinking about shopping. Wedding shopping is a tedious job, especially when you are buying clothing for your trousseau. Above all, there is a lot of confusion about the type of fabric, hand embroidery, color combination etc. To make the situation grave, the salesperson keeps bombarding us with unknown terms of embroidery and all. There are numerous kinds of traditional embroidery designs, and each one is unique in itself.

Also read- Complete Handbag Guide: Everything you need to know

Well! no worries, here I am to explain everything you need to know regarding the types of Indian embroidery.

1.Kashmiri Aari embroidery

Aari embroidery
Kashmiri Aari work on a woolen stole

Aari embroidery is an example of fine artistry that has progressed over centuries taking inspiration from Persian and Turkish traditional embroidery. This is a subtle and delicate work created by colorful threads and the needle called ‘Aar’. 

You will mostly aari work on spun fabric salwar kameez, woolen shawls, and stoles.

2.Zardosi embroidery

Zardosi hand embroidery
Priya sharma’s Zardosi embellished bridal lehenga

The magic of zardosi has been a part of the Indian royal couture for ages. Primarily, zardosi uses dabka (spring-type metallic thread), sequin, pearls, fine metallic wires, etc. Intricate embellishments are carved on the fabric that oozes royalty and old-school charm. Presently, most celebrities designers such as Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Anita Dongre use zardosi in their bridal wear. Thus, it is the most popular lehenga embroidery design you would find in almost all bridal wear.

This kind of embroidery is most widely seen on bridal clothing. Additionally, zardosi juttis, potlis, and bangles are also very popular nowadays.

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3.Gota Patti embroidery

Gota Patti hand embroidery
An enchanting bridal gota patti Lehenga from Priyanka Bhakuni’s wedding day.

This is a distinct kind of textured embroidery and is believed to be originated from Rajasthan. Gota Patti involves the use of silver or golden lace to craft out different designs and patterns. Furthermore, these designs are then stitched on the fabric. The most common motifs are flowers, birds, and leaves. Moreover, bandhani and leheriya are the perfect matches for gota patti work. 

You can find this beautiful Gota Patti work on traditional sarees, dupattas, and suits.

4.Cutdana embroidery

Cutdaana hand embroidery
Photo by Hiren Lad from Pexels

This detailed hand embroidery involves creating different motifs and patterns using small pieces of stones and beads. They are often used in combination with zardosi to make the garment stand out. In conclusion, Cutdana in itself is quite heavy and creates a rich look.

Undoubtedly, cutdana embroidery is highly versatile. You can find it in both Indian and western garments. Besides, it is also quite common in jewelry and purses.

Also read- The refreshing trend of organza saree and draping tips

5.Zari pitta embroidery

Zari pitta is a type of hand embroidery
A classic zari pitta work with little beads and sequins from Anamika Sindhu’s wardrobe.

This hand embroidery involves the use of very fine metallic wires or zari to craft out different designs. The zari work is then beaten up with a small wooden hammer to flatten the embroidery. Thus, giving it a distinct luster and smoothness. Consequently, this rich artistry looks really beautiful and is also lightweight. This work is also used in combination with zardosi and other kinds of hand embroidery. 

Zari pitta work is most common in bridal salwar kameez, lehenga, and sarees.

Also read- Is printed chiffon saree a good choice for a wedding function?

6.Chikankari embroidery

Lucknow is famous for chikankari hand embroidery
A beautiful anarkali suit with chikankari work, yet again from Anamika Sindhu’s wardrobe.

It is one of the finest kinds of hand embroidery that can never go out of fashion. Chikankari looks equally stunning on muslin as well as chiffon and georgette. It involves two steps firstly, block-printing the designs on cloth. Secondly, the thread embroidery on the fabric. This beautiful artwork requires skill and precision. I personally believe that chikankari has a unique aesthetic feel that is timeless. 

Chikankari is indeed the most popular kind of embroidery that mostly compliments pastel and light colors. Chikarnkari Kurtis, suits and saree you can find very easily in the market.

Also read- Ultimate silk guide- Types of silk, how to identify and maintain silk

7.Phulkari embroidery

Phulkari is the hand embroidery originated in Punjab
A Colorful phulkari dupatta.

This vibrant hand embroidery is the identity of the culture of Punjab. Phulkari as the name suggests involves evenly distributed flower and leaf motifs crafted from colorful silken threads all over the fabric. It is exclusively adorned by the brides on their wedding day. 

One can easily find phulkari dupattas in the market that can glam up even the dullest attire.

8.Mukaish embroidery

Mukaish is a type of hand embroidery
A dupatta with mukaish work.

These glittering embellishments on the fabric are made with metallic strips. However, many different patterns and designs can be created with mukaish embroidery, dotted ones are most common. This embroidery when merged with chikankari embroidery creates a glamorous outfit. 

 Mukaish ornated dupattas are very common, along with sarees, salwar suits, and Kurtis.

Also read- Pearl Guide- How to identify real Pearls and more?


French knot

French knot is a type of stitch in hand embroidery
The cluster of french knot a photo by Ifrah Akhter on Unsplash.

They are a kind of stitch that creates pretty three-dimensional nubby flowers and buds using silken threads. French knot adds up to the beauty of the garment when used with other embroidery techniques such as cutdana, pitta, and zardosi. 

You can easily identify these pretty little knots on Indian as well as western attires. 

So, these were the different types of embroidery works. I tried to deliver all the essential information as precisely as I could. Hope you will find it useful. 

Happy shopping!!!

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