The rich and diverse culture of India is the highlight of our country. From food to fashion, our country has a unique creativity in both of them. Wherever we go, we can find a different sort of speciality in the kind of art, craft and clothing found there. If we dig deeper into them and seek to find their history, we will surely be amazed and inspired. The kind of magic created by the people of India will leave us in awe. Since these crafts have been practiced from a very long time ago, it is safe to say that this magic of creation is inherent in us. One of the countless craft works of India is the Aari Embroidery.
First known to be started in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, Aari embroidery was first only limited to footwear done by the Mochi (shoemaker) community. After the arrival of Mughals in the 12th century, this craft expanded and started to be done on silk and cotton. It spread across other areas of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Lucknow and Delhi. South India also embraced this craft and started to be called Maggam embroidery. Especially in the holy town of Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh which is known for this beautiful craft. We can see Maggam work done on Kanjeevaram pattu sarees, lehengas and their blouses in a huge variety of designs and motifs.
Crafts like Aari-Maggam embroidery are the pride of India and that’s why it is considered as a symbol of richness and grandeur. It is considered sacred and highly valued by the people of India. Women of South India have a special place in their hearts for Maggam embroidered attires for important occasions such as wedding, engagement and festivals. And this legacy will be continued forever undoubtedly. New age designers come up with unique and innovative designs each year and force us to own them. And that’s why we have come up with 5 convincing reasons why each Indian woman should absolutely own Maggam embroidery blouses for their sarees and lehengas!
No matter how much we Indian ladies love wearing those western gowns and dresses, but when it comes to occasions and festivals that are close to our hearts, we just can’t ignore our customs and traditions. The pure silk and cotton strands woven to make eye-dazzling sarees, lehengas and blouses and the intricate embroideries done on them has a very positive vibe in them. The whole process of creating these crafts by hand is done with such intense focus and accuracy that every machine lies loose in front of this human effort. So whenever Maggam embroidered blouses with sarees and lehengas are worn by Indian brides or women in any traditional occasion, it is a symbol of gratification and pride.
True maggam work is done by hand. It requires years of practise, long hours of sitting, intense focus, precision, design sense and patience to get the best work out. One can’t even imagine the kind of effort that goes into creating a single piece of aari-maggam work. That is also the reason why it is highly valued as well as respected as a craft. The kind of beauty that reflects through the accurate handwork has a uniqueness that can’t be achieved otherwise. So wearing a true authentic piece of aari-maggam work will put you in the limelight!
This work requires a whole set-up of different instruments rather than just a needle and fabric, and it has a lengthy process too. At first the design is drawn on tracing paper. Then the paper is pinned by needle to create perforations on the lines of design. By using a mixture of kerosene and robin blue, the design is traced onto the fabric on which the embroidery has to be done. The fabric is now attached taut on a cot-like frame so that the embroidery can be done easily. In this setting, the fabric is embroidered with a special embroidery needle called ‘aar’ which has a hook on one side. With the thread, aar is punched into the fabric, and on the other side of the fabric the thread looped with the tucking thread creating a chain stitch. By stitches like herringbone, chain, cross stitch done in different maneuvers all the embroidery is done, with added embellishments. Fabric gum is applied on the other side of the embroidery to ensure that the stitches don't come out. This entire process enhances the beauty and increases the life of this timeless craft.
For the embroidery of rhythmic designs and patterns on pattu fabrics, metallic threads are used called the zari thread. To attach the beads, sequins, cutdana, pipes and other embellishments, normal threads are used. The motifs and design themes include inspiration from flora and fauna such as peacocks, elephants, lotus, paisley, leaves, mango motif (ambi) and many more. Also geometric patterns like check or jaali patterns, diamond, circles are seen on silk or cotton maggam blouses, sarees and lehengas. Katori (semi-sphere) and sitara (star) are also some of the prominently found motifs. For bridal blouses, we have Goddess Lakshmi or motifs of bride and groom embroidered on them. Go to www.stitchmydress.com and you’ll get many more such options.
When it comes to glamorous occasion wear, every girl’s dream is to own that one perfect piece which suits them and is the only unique one in the market that is not there with anyone else. And coincidently, one of the specialities of aari-maggam work is its uniqueness in every piece because of it being done by hand. No two craftspeople can create similar pieces nor do they try to. They try to keep the exclusivity in each and every piece. So craftspersons and designers come up with different designs and colour combinations, which keeps their work going and also keeps the customers happy. Now that you know so much about the special Aari-Maggam embroidery of our country, there shouldn’t be any reason to not have them for your traditional wear. And if you are confused about where to get these embroidered pieces from, then www.stitchmydress.com is where you need to contact!