Embroidery is the art of using stitches as a decorative feature in their own right. There are many styles of embroidery and countless stitches in use by embroiderers around the world, but they are all variations of three basic kinds – flat, knotted and linked & looped.
In January 2011 I was lucky enough to take part in an Indian Embroidery workshop based at the Anokhi factory in Jaipur, Rajasthan as part of the Jaipur Heritage Foundation’s annual festival in celebration of traditional arts, crafts and culture. Here I learned a lot more about styles of Indian embroidery using combinations of the above types of stitch, alongside shisha mirror work. My fellow stitchers & I completed some beautiful projects there. I have since travelled through Rajasthan and Gujarat learning even more, including the devilishly difficult Kacchi Interlace stitch, from some extremely experienced Rabari tribeswomen whom we met through Kala Raksha
I’m planning (and saving for!) a trip to Peru which will include a visit to the Centre for Traditional textiles in Cuzco, but some of my current musings on stitch centre on Japanese Sashiko work which uses small running stitches to form geometric patterns. A workshop in this technique is planned for the Autumn when we’ve all had our holidays and want a new project to work on in the winter evenings. Let’s not think about that yet!!