EMBROIDERIES OF INDIA / PARSI WORK / EVOLVEMENT
The evolvement of Gara
- Traditional garas were always in silk, which gave the sari a certain density and movement which was its character. Shades of red, maroon and purple were most popular as bases with off-white embroidery on borders using the aari needle, besides, of course, the evergreen pastels.
- Today, however, it is more in vogue on lighter materials like crepe and georgette that can be even worn in summers, as opposed to silk.
- Over time, the Gara has become one of the the most recognizabl e facets of Parsi identity. It is the most distinctive symbol for the Parsis and its significance cannot be ignored. It has undergone adaptations and transformations according to the circumstances at different points of time.
- In any Parsi wedding one can find older ladies opting for pastels with thin, delicate borders and the younger generation experimenting with brighter colours and bolder patterns.
- Also, this embroidery is no longer restricted to sarees alone. It is being used by designers across India in dupattas, salwar kameez and dresses.
- The embroidery in dupattas and dresses has been done by a designer with Oriental birds, lilies, chrysanthemums and hundred-petal roses. Using the motifs rather interestingly — and sparingly — he has created a spate of striking designs.
- Concerns about the machine-made garas flooding the market are genuine. While a new authentic gara could fetch a price between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000, the older versions naturally should command a price much higher, because of the antiquity. On the other hand, machine-embroidered garas can be procured for less than one-fifth the price, which, though cheaper, are no match to the workmanship of the original.
A genuine gara, for a Parsi woman is a heirloom that tells a story, a linkage between several generations as it is passed down over the ages.