From Gujarati Zari To Rajasthani Rebari & Beyond: Mapping India's Embroidery Traditions

A craftsperson poses with their creation and an embroidery map of India
Mapping India's Embroidery TraditionsL: Shrujan via AllEvents R: MeMeraki

Embroidery is a long-standing tradition in India, with roots that date back centuries. Each region of India has its own unique embroidery style, which tells the story of the community and its culture.

One of the oldest forms of Indian embroidery is Kantha stitch, which originated in the state of Bengal. Kantha stitch is a simple running stitch that is used to create beautiful geometric designs.

Another notable embroidery style is crewelwork, which is popular in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Crewelwork is a form of embroidery that uses wool thread and a variety of stitches to create intricate designs.

Indian embroidery is known for its use of vibrant colours and beautiful patterns. At MeMeraki, we have vowed to bring this hidden beauty into the limelight so it doesn't fall into obscurity. If you're interested in learning more about this fascinating art form, be sure to check out some of our amazing workshops on traditional embroideries from India!

A work in progress map of Indian embroidery traditions — from Gujarati Zari To Rajasthani Rebari  & Beyond
Embroidery Map Of IndiaMeMeraki

Here's a list of traditional forms of Indian embroidery:

Gujarat

Zari Craft

Dhadki Embroidery

Amreli Embroidery

Ahir Embroidery

Soof Embroidery

Pakko Embroidery

Jat Embroidery

Gotauvn or Gotany Embroidery

Rabari Embroidery

Neran Embroidery

Kambira embroidery

Khudi Tebha Embroidery

Kharek embroidery

Aari embroidery

Aashavali embroidery (brocade weaving of Gujarat)

Applique and patch work

Crewl embroidered leather

Mukka embroidery

Parsi embroidery

Kathiawar embroidery

Mochi embroidery

Chinai embroidery

Banni or Heer bharat

Rajasthan

Rebari embroidery

Shisha work

Gota Patti or Gota Work

Meghwal Embroidery/Kashidakari

Dabka/Dubka Work/ Coiled Metal Embroidery

Ralli Embroidery

Camel Decoration Embroidery

Appliques of Barmer

Tilonia Applique

Karchobi

Jammu and Kashmir

Sozni embroidery

Crewl embroidery

Gabba Embroidery

Tila/Dori/Metallic Embroidery

Ari work embroidery

Rekzar embroidery

Kashida embroidery

Papier mache embroidery

Amli embroidery

Namda (felting)

Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow Zardozi

Phool Patti ka Kaam (Patti work, Patti ka kaam, Floral and leaf motifs)

Lucknow Chikan Craft

Mukaish work

Jangla (Sikargah) embroidery

Aughi Embroidery

Naqsha brocade weaving

Manipur

Akoybi embroidery

Shamilami Embroidery

Hijay embroidery

Tindogbi Embroidery

Maibung Embroidery

Manipuri embroidery

Karnataka

Kasuti embroidery

Sandur lambani embroidery

Banjara embroidery

Lambani/ Banjara embroidery

Kaudi

Leh Ladhakh

Namda (felting)

Ladhakh embroidery

Punjab

Phulkari

Paranda

Arunachal Pradesh

Banjara embroidery

Bead embroidery

Pachis work

Haryana

Phulkari is practised in Haryana too!

Nagaland

Embroidery of the Angami Naga shawls of Nagaland (Main stitches- Taipchi, Pechni, Pashni, Bakhia, Khatao, khatava or katava is cutwork or appliqué , Gitti, Jangira, Murri, Phanda, Jaalis)

Goa

Crochet

Jute Macrame

Assam

Ari and Net embroidery

Maharashtra

Banjara tribal embroidery and mirror work

Himru (brocade)

Tamil Nadu

Toda embroidery

Himachal Pradesh

Chamba Rumal

Applique Thangkas

Uttarakhand

Embroidery with ornamentation with tikris and beads.

Kerela

Vaalkanadi

Syrian embroidery was also practised in Kerala

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Daman and Diu

Crochet and Lace work

cross stitch work

Lakshadweep

Mundu (tradtional attire) is embroidered

Meghalaya

Khneng Embroidery

Mizoram

Puanchei (a traditional woven dress) was also traditonally embroidered

Tripura

Puanchei

Sikkim

Menchhyo dress (woven) by the Lepcha community is traditionally embroidered also

Puducherry

Crochet

Andhra Pradesh

Kamal kadai

Telangana

Banjara tribal embroidery and mirror work

Odisha

Dongria Kondh

Applique(Pipli)

Bihar

Sujani Embroidery. [Check out Sujani Stoles]

Khatwa applique

Chattisgarh

Marabhai embroidery

Madhya Pradesh

Banjara embroidery

Bengal

Nakshi Kantha

Balaposh

Baluchari

Kantha

Jharkhand

Santha

Each Indian embroidery type has a unique story and history. By understanding the meanings and symbols behind these stitches, you can appreciate the artistry and skill that goes into creating each piece.

We hope this list helped you to understand the beauty and diversity of Indian embroidery traditions and the stories they tell.

About MeMeraki:
MeMeraki (www.memeraki.com) is India’s first ‘culture-tech’ platform using technology to empower and accelerate the artisan creator economy. Their mission is to digitize every heritage art and craft of India to ultimately create sustainable livelihoods for artisans.

MeMeraki's north star is to enable the master artists of India to have a strong digital identity through their work so that these artists can be digital creators for the very first time and have access to a global audience as patrons of their art. Through this process they hope to create new revenue and sustainable income streams for the second biggest employment generator in the country - the craft economy. To do this, they leverage technology scalably while also ensuring that they address United Nation Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 10 and 5.

MeMeraki are reimagining the future of the artisan creator economy with artisans as digital creators.

You can follow MeMeraki on Instagram here.

You can find out more information about their workshops, classes, digital creators, and everything else they have going on here.

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