Crochet Embroidery is a traditional craft which has been practised in India for the last 300 to 400 years. The oldest centre of Crochet Embroidery is Jamnagar in Gujarat where women have been involved in this craft since the time of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This craft is also found around the delta of the Godavari river. The lace industry at Narsapur in Andhra Pradesh has been encouraged due to its links with the outside world. Women from the fishing communities are mainly engaged in the craft; their familiarity with net-making helps them with the crochet work. Both in Tamil Nadu and Kerala crochet embroidery was introduced by the Dutch and Portugese nuns. Crochet has a traditional market in Goa since ages. At the time of marriage, a few pieces of embroidered linen and crochet are given to bride as a part of dowry. It is customary in Goa for the bride to bring these items at the time of marriage. This perhaps, is to demonstrate the skill of the bride in crochet & embroidery work.
Chetipani is the simplest kind of crochet and is usually made by the beginners. The other kind is Athakupani or joint attachment, in which different kinds of flower designs are combined to form the pattern. The combinations are harmonious and require a lot of imagination and dexterity. The designs are inspired from floral, nosegay, almond, and date motifs. The colours used commonly are black and brown with white and ikat weaves. The products dominantly comprise items for household use: curtains, bedspreads, and furniture covers. Dress materials often have crochet pieces as borders. Designs of local nature combined with influence of European style are in vogue. The existing pattern justifies its Christian influence from Portugal and Macao.
Procedure of making Crochet Embroidery
For crochet embroidery, the raw material includes cloth, thread, cotton threads of various colours and counts. The pattern or design to be worked is sketched on the cloth by hand or with the help of tracing paper. The traced lines are embroidered in different colour thread to give the portion a definite shape. This involves stitches of different types like running stitch, hemming stem stitch, chain stitch, cross stitch and fancy stitch etc.