The embroidery works of Madhya Pradesh are exemplary as the nomadic people of this state, called Banjaras, are adept at creating a particular type of embroidery work. The embroidery work created by this community has become the identity of this state. Malwa and Nimar districts of Madhya Pradesh, where the Banjaras reside, follow a distinct style of embroidery that has a rural and ethnic touch in the creations.
Embroidery of Madhya Pradesh by the Banjaras is done keeping in mind the weave of the cloth. The items embroidered are ghagras (a type of long decorative skirt), borders for blouses, handkerchiefs, small purses and dupattas (stoles used to cover heads). The artisans of this community create designs on the hankies with stem stitch embroidery that is done horizontally instead of vertically. This gives a typical quality and substance to the embroidered items.
The embroidery works of Madhya Pradesh is rich in its creations. The artisans keep an eye on the textured effect which is enhanced by the intelligent use of bright and vibrant coloured yarn. The designs are basically of geometric patterns. Motifs are generally highlighted by the cross-stitch style of embroidery. The artisans involved in the embroidery of Madhya Pradesh stitch the border along the edges of the hankie without following a continuous pattern. Instead of following continuous patterns the artisans create designs by varying the count of the threads and the angular designs are achieved by vertical stitches.
Zari embroidery of Madhya Pradesh is also an area where the people showcase their talent. This traditional craft is done with metallic threads. It is specially practiced in places like Bhopal, Gwalior and Indore. Zari embroidery of Madhya Pradesh can be observed in purses, bags, cushions, jutties (shoes) and dresses.
Thus, the intricate yet elegant embroidery of Madhya Pradesh is not flaunted by the people of this state only. The designs have succeeded in wooing the buyers of other Indian states as well.
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