Monday, January 12, 2009

Orissa Appliqué

This weekend I went to a crafts show in which artisans from all over India exhibited their wares. Textiles of all sorts – purses, saris, shirts, rugs, and wall hangings – abounded. While many of the colorful textiles did originate from the Rajasthan area, one booth from Orissa caught my eye. Artisans around the town of Pipli are known for their famous brightly-colored appliqué work.

Originally produced to provide intricately-stitched awnings or covers for religious deities and hangings for festivals, the textiles have now expanded. Today’s purchasers can find garden umbrellas, cushion covers, wall hangings, hanging lantern-like objects, and bags. Amongst the designs were some ornate village scenes on wall hangings, reminding me of the Hmong story cloths. Truly a treat for the eyes.

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