Indian Embroidery-Chamba Rumal


Chamba is a part of Himachal Pradesh, noted for its exquisite style of Phahari and Kaugra school of painting. The stlye of painting influenced the emboidery of the place and maybe considered as needle painting.

Fabric- used is Tussai or fine cotton faric, it is white or cream in colour. The cloth is generally unleached and thus appears off- white in colour. Material used is hand spun thin fabric like Malmal or hand spun hand woven khaddar. Machine made cloth is also used which remains unbleached.

Thread- used is untwisted silken floss in a variety of colours. It makes the pattern appear smooth and glossy.

Colors: colors used are many and vary. No chumba rumal is found in one color. Blue was predominant in earlier samples. Other colors are green orange and yellow. If a motif of the figure of Lord Krishna was used, the body was embriodered in blue and the hands and feet were embroidered in crimson or mauve. Colors were chosen based on variety rather than appropriateness.

Stitches used were- double satin stitch, carried forward and backward alternately, done on both sides of the fabric simultaneously. The embroidery appears same on both sides. The intricacy of the work on both sides of the fabric is such that you cannot tell the right side from the wrong. Stem Stitch is used when necessary and buttonhole stitch is used to finish the edges.

Motifs Used: animal and bird motifs along with human figures are used. Bird motifs include parrots, peacock, duck and swan. Animal motifs include leaping tigers, horses, rams, running boars. Tree Motifs include the cypress and the plaintain tress bent, laden with flowers and fruits. the motifs were usually stylised in nature.

The themes are mostly inspired by paintings and depict scenes from indain mythology, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Ras lila, Krishna lila, Pahari paintings, hunting, marriage scenes, and game of dice.

Sample of a chumba rumal depicting a couple of dancing ladies around a plaintain tree
Sample of a chumba rumal depicting a couple of dancing ladies around a plaintain tree

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Comments 13 comments

hubber-2009 profile image

hubber-2009 8 years ago from India

Most Chamba 'rumal' patterns include a border of flowers or buttis

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Simple and pretty. I like embroidery, but really need to try it again.

Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 8 years ago from India Author

Thanks for that bit of information hubber-2009.

Thanks SweetiePie, for stopping by and reading the hub. I too love embroidery. It is a form of creative expression and can give you tremendous satisfaction. I am just taking up embroidery again after a long break from it.



elogo UK 6 years ago

All parts of these designs would make a very interesting quilt label. That way it does enriches the simpler and impressive label..

Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 6 years ago from India Author

Thank you for you feedback sachin and elogo UK.

SONU'STYLE 6 years ago

I love the fashion

Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 6 years ago from India Author

Hi SONU'STYLE, thank u for your feedback.

devarshi  6 years ago

I loved the information.

Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 6 years ago from India Author

Thank you devarshi.

sudha 5 years ago

good explain....i like it.....

Zarna 5 years ago

Nice explanation .... Its really helpful especially when I m starting to design n embroider it.. Thanx

suchitra 5 years ago

all state emb designs are just superb bt if tre r some more designs to see.if gven a chance would like to become a part of thsis.

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