Book Navigation Return to Content

The Stages for Creating Exquisite Aari Embroidery

Traditionally, the fabric would be embroidered free hand with no deadlines or creative boundaries for artisans. With the introduction of the tambour, in India known as ‘Khatla’, the frame would speed up production, also giving them base to draw out the designs beforehand.

Fabric Stretched on to Khatla

The much celebrated aari embroidery requires prefect stitches and the understanding of the innate technique by which it is created.  In one hand the thread is held at the reverse of the fabric, in the other, the aari needle is held. The needle is pierced through the fabric, bringing the thread up as the needle twists and comes back up. The needle is pierced into the cloth at a further distance and the steps are repeated again.

Artisan Doing Thread Aari Embroidery  Thread Aari Embroidery

Silk is the best type of thread and fabric to work with because it gives a fine, clean finish. Zari, a gold/silver thread, is usually used to give the embroidery a rich texture.

Modern designs and the introduction of tambour embroidery in Europe brought beadwork into this work. The fineness of the aari needle meant that the needle could load up more than one bead at a time. With tambour, the thread is loaded with the beads all at once, reducing the starting and stopping of the chain stitch.

Bead Aari Work  Tambour Beading


Image Sources: D'source, thesewingroom