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EMBROIDERIES OF INDIA / APPLIQUE WORK / PROCESS -2
APPLIQUE WORK
The applique process

- The craft consists of cutting intricate floral, animal and geometrical patterns in fabric that are then sewn together by hand. Muslin is generally used as the base material.

- Thick count fabric for a strong and durable base and a thinner count for the upper layer, which is to be cut and stitched together are chosen. These are cut in the size of 16” x 16” panels for work ease.

- Desired patterns are either individually cut on the thinner fabric (in case it is a new design) or they are stacked together, starched and ironed to make them crisp and then cut together in a stack, running a rolling blade tool over the entire stack.

- These layers are then separated and sandwiched with the thick count muslin at the base and distributed amongst the women.

- These individual square panels are then joined together to make bed sheets, cushion covers, curtains, table runners, dress material etc.

- More than a hundred designs, are available to form as many patterns. Mirror work with tiny round mirrors embedded in the white applique work gives it a special breath taking appeal.

- Working since 50 years in the craft of applique work, a major turn in the way they were combining fabrics to create applique masterpieces came when a buyer insisted on turning it all white. Their white on white applique were much appreciated all over the world and appealed to a large sector of people with taste for subtlety.

- ‘Godadi’, thick covers for winters out of all other products made originally are the most popular ones.

- Flaunting the dexterity of a pair of skilled hands, small abstract patterns of applique adorning a garment or animal motifs with trees enhancing home furnishings have remained popular.

Attaching the applique

Applied pieces usually have their edges folded under, and are then attached by any of the following:

• Straight stitch, typically 20-30 mm in from the edge.

• Satin stitch, all around, overlapping the edge. The patch may be glued or straight stitched on first to ensure positional stability and a neat edge.

• Reverse appliqué: the attached materials are sewn together, then cut away where another material covers it on top, before being sewn down onto the edges of the original material.