Man is spoiled for choices when it comes to choosing between different material, colors, and dress patterns. Designers find patrons for their outfits, some of which are interspersed with different beautiful styles of embroidery done on fabric.
Embroidery refers to the stitching of intricate designs on material with needle and different colored threads. These patterns are most often done by hand. Hand embroidery finds its way back to the time of the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and you will also see embroidery done by the Chinese in that age. In ancient times, embroidery done by hand was usually seen on clothes of the wealthy who were patrons of this art form. As centuries passed, so also, hand embroidery saw a growth in intricacies and types of stitches.
Hand embroidered saris like the Benarasi silk saris, Zari Embroidered Sarees, Bandhani Sarees, Zari Weaved Sarees, cotton saris that have embroidery work on it etc requires a lot of labor. People who are well versed with this art form and do it for a living have to invest a great deal of time and concentration while stitching intricate and minute details onto fabric. When it comes to hand embroidery, there are a wide range of designs to choose from, each separate and distinct from the other.
Hand Embroidery finds a very important place in Indian society with embroidery like Phulkari work of Punjab, Chikankari work native to Lucknow, Ari work, Zardozi, Kashmiri embroidery, etc with patterns and style of stitches different from each other.
Earlier hand embroidery was restricted to using different colored threads to stitch patterns on material, but in recent times this trend has changed and given way to more modern trends of using stones, pearls, sequins, beads along with contrasting or similar colored threads to embellish outfits to make them look more pleasing to the eye.
It was not possible to keep up with the increasing demand for this art, as the demand for this beautiful eye-catching work increased with exposure to new markets. This increased demand was met with the creation of the machine work, which would do the same embroidery in half the time. Introduced during the Industrial Revolution machine embroidery imitates hand embroidery wherein stitches, which are done by, machine look exactly like those done by hand. Gradually machine embroidery has taken the place of hand embroidery when it comes to getting work done on a large scale in a short time.
However, hand embroidered saris, dress materials etc are always preferred when it comes to getting exclusive patterns and designs on material because hand embroidery is not confined to certain designs and patterns. Vast varieties of designs are available depending on the expertise of the artisan. There is no worry of duplicity of designs because each hand-embroidered piece will always be one of its kind, which boosts the exclusivity factor. Although costly, it is acceptable because the quality of work on a hand-embroidered product is not compromised and therefore a hand-embroidered article will last longer than a machine-embroidered product.
This is absent in machine embroidery because a machine can churn out many pieces with the same design, which does not go down well with many people. Even though machine embroidery has taken over the market in a big way, hand embroidered sari has found its own niche and has its own patrons, which make it a thriving art, which is here to stay.