(Last Updated on : 11/11/2014)
Embroidery of Bihar is best displayed in the artworks that are the exclusive creations of adept artisans of the state. The state has a tradition of craftsmanship since the Mughal era and the craftsmen of this state have carried on this tradition with great perseverance.
The uniqueness in the embroidery of Bihar lies in the field of textile as the craftsmen are adept at sujni work. The chain-stitch embroidery has flourished in Monghyr District of Bihar. The artisans of this state show dexterity in creating items using a very indigenous style of embroidery work which is called 'kantha' embroidery. This embroidery work is simple in its style and appearance. This simple stitch involves tracing simple running stitches with short gaps. The artisans create floral, animal and bird motifs on both cotton and silk that have immense popularity in the local market. The tradition of practicing Sujni kanthas craft originated from the Rajput women and since then the artisans of Bihar have been creating articles using this embroidery work. The local people create small quilt for newly-born babies where patches of different coloured cloth are sewn together and then covered in designs. The local people prefer to create beautiful embroidery of gods and goddesses that are hung on walls. Sujni embroidery is done on a fabric that is implemented with fine muslin. The base fabric is generally red or white. The outlines of the main motifs are highlighted with thick chain stitch. The inner spaces of the motifs are filled with threads of vibrant colours. Other motifs are filled with red colour or the colour of the base fabric.
Another widely practised Embroidery of Bihar is Kasida. The artisans create geometrical patterns that resemble the kasuti embroidery of Mysore and have a wide range of variations and styles. Apart from these embroidery works, the artisans of Bihar are well known for creating designs with Zari work. This is done in both silver and gold metallic threads to make the motifs of birds, leaf etc. Taganua embroidery is also done with great artistry in different regions of Bihar. Khatwa or the appliqué patchwork of Bihar is used on tents and personal garments.
The embroidery of Bihar include making blouses, saris or shawls, sashes, babies' caps and pillow-covers etc that are famous among the local people. In Muzaffarpur, the women folk of the area create exclusive items employing excellent embroidery work on bedspreads, wall hangings, and cushion and bolster covers, as well as clothing items like saris, dupattas. They use cream markeen fabric for this type of embroidery work that needs a combination of a fine running stitch with the chain stitch. Brown and black casement fabric is sometimes used. Coloured mull or handloom is used for saris, kurtas, and dupattas. Tussar silk is predominantly used for creating attractive garments and sarees. The Mithila region of Bihar is the centre for embroidery with mirror work. The women folk of this area create garments and items that suit the purpose of home décor. The designs usually mirror folk or religious motifs along with stripes, lines and animal motifs. Mirror work is done on many fabrics and these mirrors are supported with the chain stitch using the cotton, silk and synthetic threads. Keeping in mind the demand in the present market scenario, the artisans of Bihar are incorporating different modern motifs and designs along with the traditional ones.
The embroidery of Bihar has been traced as one of the distinct art form of India because of its unique country-style that reflects the charm and simplicity.