EMBROIDERIES OF INDIA / PARSI WORK / INTRODUCTION
What is Parsi embroidery?
Parsi embroidery is a unique part of India’s diverse textile heritage. This unique artistic tradition has its roots in Iran during the Bronze Age but with time it has drew influences from European, Chinese, Persian and Indian culture.
Special features of Parsi embroidery
- Parsi embroidery sarees are also called Gara embroidery sarees. They come in many colors, are beautifully adorned with delicate embroidery in pastel shades and pale white, and bear testimony to the superior craftsmanship of the Parsi embroiderers.
- Parsi embroidery sarees have been renowned since several centuries for their striking beauty and portray the culture and tradition of the Parsis. Very pictorial, smooth flowing like a composition, aesthetically colorful and delicately presented, is the Parsi Gara embroidery. It is style and elegance personified.
- These sarees are indeed worth a treasure taking more than 6 months to complete, as the embroidery work is crafted on all the four sides of the saree, making it truly tedious and intricate. The khaka stitch is so fine that women who do the needlework start suffering from failing eyesight, which has given it the name of the forbidden stitch.
- Mostly the threads used for embroidery are violet and pink combination. Parsi sarees are quite costly, but their appeal and style are so immensely enchanting that it becomes difficult for avid buyers to avoid buying.
- The rich gara embroidery, originally considered a Parsi family’s heirloom, is slowly becoming rare, and more of a collector’s item because of the intricate work and beauty, which is tedious and time-consuming, leaving few practitioners to uphold the tradition.
- Since it’s not a machine embroidery one of the most prized possessions of Parsi families (read women) is their Gara saree or sarees! Not only are they possessions of pride and joy, these beautifully embroidered sarees are worth every rupee paid for and jealously treasured.