(Last Updated on : 25/11/2008)
Needle work is very old art whose wide prevalence in Mithila is attested by Vidyapati in his Kirttilata. Recent works on Indian hand embroidery make no mention of embroidery traditions of Mithila or Bihar without the influence of the outside world. Embroidery was created out of the womens love of decoration in Bihar. According to age-old tradition in Mithila the bride has to carry, at the time of her dviragamana or gauna, different varieties of embroidered clothes (called bhara) along with some other articles designed by her or her mother and grandmother to her husbands house, in a wooden box. This wedding gift, supposed to be an aide - memoire, is a symbolic representation of maternal love, pride, care and devotion. This pursuit of art, generally done in leisure hours, satisfies the women folks inner urge for artistic expression.
Fine Art of Needle craft Embroidery
The Kasida of Bihar closely resembles the kasuti of Mysore in appearance, having a large variety of geometrical patterns. It also abounds in folk - figures and designs. It seems to have a wider range in designs as well as colours. It is universally practised by most women in North Bihar (Mithila) for their personal garments, and household linen is generally embellished with embroidery. Articles of everyday use such as blouses, babys cap, kamarabanda (sash), the front border of the odhani or sari, gerua or takia (pillow covers), masanada - covers, bed covers and gautakia (bolsters) are embroidered.
Procedure of Needle Craft Embroidery
Embroidery has been aptly termed as painting with the needle which, in other words is an embellishment of any material shaped and designed by needle and thread.The Kasida of Bihar has different styles. The chain stitch is known as jhinkana, so called because of the light sound the needle makes when it is pulled through the cloth to work out a design. As this embroidery is done on personal garments the women improvise and give fullest play to inner urges and responses to their environment, filling in the colours with attainting long and short satin stitches. Another variety is all over embroidery, where the embroidery follows the warp and the weft of the woven material which is usually in red. The embroidery is in white, yellow and green thread, where the background is white, blue, black or steel blue is used both with charming effect.
The designs are mostly rectangles, squares, wavy lines and diamonds. Bold patterns are also made with the use of tapes, which are stitched down, in linear patterns. In garments like caps and blouses, the embroidery stitch is combined with applique. Here the overall effect is created by the use of a variety of textures.