Meghwal Embroidery


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Due to its location on the migratory routes from Central Asia,Africa,Afghanistan and Pakistan to India, the Thar Desert has been subject to a variety of cultural influences that have shaped its crafts-notably embroidery, bandhej, (tiedye),block printing and pottery. Despite the later division of the Thar region through the creation of political boundaries, the crafts of the Thar continue to share a common vocabulary and sensibility, a phenomenon perhaps best exemplified by the embroidery and applique of the Meghwal,an artisan community who practice weaving,leather tanning and wood work. The Meghwal migrated from Pakistan to Katch and Rajasthan;a significant number have settled in the villages of the Bajju region of Bikaner district.Embroidery forms a key component of their visual culture as it is executed onproducts that are worn or given during marriage and on dowry objects.Consequently, the embroidery make use of mirrors and is characterized by its refined craftsmanship,dense coverage, rich colors,and elaborated motifs and finished edges. Meghwal embroidery may be broadly classified as pako,or solid and permanent, and kacho,or temporary.

Women of the Meghwal community wearing a kanchali,blouse,that has been embroidered by them. The pako tradition utilizes geometrical forms,densely coveredembroidery of chain stitch variations and herringbone stitch,and block printed outlines for the embroidery.Kacho embroidery is distinguished by its use of counted thread work techniques such as suf,kharek,kambhiri and mucca.Suf has triangular forms executed in darning stitch;aggregates of triangles are used to create a variety of motifs such as the peacocks,tree of life,temple and hill. Khareka technique named after the date fruit,uses satin stitch filled in areas outlined by double running stitch. Kambhiri has double running stitch,which is linear and grows in geometric progession.Mucca, a technique borrowed from Muslim embroidery,refers to the use of gold and silver thread, which is couched on the fabric. Fabric embroidered for making a kanchali,blouse.The Sleeves are to be attached on either side.