Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port. Textile Society of America's 15th Biennial Symposium. Savannah. GA. October 19-23. 2016.


Copyright by Anu H. Gupta and Shalina Mehta.


Hand woven fabrics and embroidery are known to be some of the most ancient form of handicraft nurtured in almost every corner of Indian subcontinent. Embroidery is often an expression of the maker especially women depicting their emotions on fabric and their lived histories. Usefulness of this form of decoration is reflected in the fabrics used in clothing for humans as well as domesticated animals, household articles and decorations in temples. Besides being practical, these ethnic embroideries have symbolic and traditional purposes.1 It expresses several cultural metaphors of a community. It is also one of most distinct forms to study flora and fauna of the period in which the craft is created. In rural tradition, embroidery is featured as dowry goods, wedding paraphernalia, for rituals and as symbolic of ethnic identity.