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.
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