An appliqué is ornamental needlework done on pieces of fabric which are together sewn or stuck on to a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. This technique is very common in some kinds of textiles. In this, patterns are created on pieces of fabric and then these smaller coloured patches are attached on to a larger base fabric mostly of contrasting colour or texture. The attaching could be by stitching, or gluing the patch on the larger fabric.The edges of the patch may have the ends folded under or left as they are. The technique is accomplished either by hand or machine.
Appliqué work in India was once mainly practised in Pipli, Odisha, especially for banners during the Lord Jagannatha Rath Yatra. But today it also finds use as adornment on large canvas fabrics like the saree. The same principle of affixing patches is followed as was earlier but with designs that are modern, abstract and trendy that appeal to the market.
The applique or attaching is done by straight stitch, satin stitch or reverse Applique. Embroidery machines have taken over what earlier used to be done by hand. Its application is best suited for any work that has to be viewed from a distance such as banners.