Many days this salwar fabric was lying on my closet without any design ideas. This fabric is kalamkari block printed cotton.

peach kalamkari tunic- salwar

peach kalamkari tunic- salwar

A plain peach mercerized cotton fabric matched with the paisley outlines. A plain tunic gives opportunity for embroidery.

peach kalamkari tunic

peach kalamkari tunic

A simple embroidery pattern for the front of the tunic with an idea of herringbone filling was drawn. The embroidery was worked with cotton skeins. Maroon and shades of green thread were used for herringbone filling stitches. The outlines were done in beige thread [salwar fabric colour] in back stitch. Small wooden beads were used for embellishing the inner border.

peach kalamkari tunic- emb detail

peach kalamkari tunic- emb detail

When I wear this set, the tunic seems to outshine the salwar. The vegetable dyes fabrics tend to look dull, but are really cool [I mean for summer]

The embroidery was worked on cotton fabric. The ideal fabrics for chikan embroidery –transparent cottons, chiffon, crepe. But the fabric I worked was not transparent. So technically it was just an use of chikan embroidery on the tunic and not the authentic chikan work.
The pattern used for the embroidery in the centre-

beige pink chikan centre  pat

beige pink chikan centre pat

The embroidery-

beige pink chikan centre emb

beige pink chikan centre emb

The tunic

beige pink chikan tunic

beige pink chikan tunic

There are many stitches used in Indian ethnic chikan embroidery.
Shadow work [herringbone worked on the reverse]is the most common.
Eyelet stitches are also widely used. Sometimes herringbone, running stitches are also used.
When I started doing embroidery, to learn a stitch, a design would be drawn with that stitch in mind. I’ll learn and practice that embroidery through that project. They were generally on tunics. In this project, raised herringbone was practiced on this tunic.
The other stitches used were back stitch , feather stitch and fly stitch. Separate patterns were drawn for sleeves, corners and centre. The sleeves pattern-

beige pink chikan sleeve pat

beige pink chikan sleeve pat

Embroidery on sleeve

beige pink chikan sleeve emb

beige pink chikan sleeve emb

Pattern for the corners –

beige pink chikan corner pat

beige pink chikan corner pat

Embroidery on the corners. The basic flower was the same for all patterns, the difference was only on the placements, depending on how they were used –either for corner or sleeve or centre.

beige pink chikan corner emb

beige pink chikan corner emb

This is the first time I tried working zardosi embroidery.
This embroidery is quite prevalent in north India and Pakistan. The embroidery is very old. I do not know whether it came during mughal period or before that. In this embroidery , metallic tubes[ I think, Lupions] are used to fill various shapes- flowers, leaves, paisleys etc,.
Sometimes these shapes are outlined with threads , other times they are left as it is. This embroidery is worked on wedding and other festive clothing.Men’s wear also are embellished with zardosi.
The embroidery patterns are generally, florals, geometric shapes.
The embroidery is done in aari work, the metallic tubes are stitched by hand. the work is quite time consuming. So they are costly also.
These days , there are lots of commercially done pieces , which are easily available. The embroidery done on them are not of good quality, especially the work done on sarees and lehengas.the fabric used is also very cheap.
When I wanted to do this embroidery, the lupions were not easy to buy, I got these from Hyderabad, near Charminar.
With the materials in hand I started with a medium sized paisley motif with neck design.
The tunic fabric was mercerized cotton in green colour.
The embroidery was done in light green for leaves and very light green for stem. The flowers I worked in zardosi embroidery. I did not outline the flowers[ at that time I did not know that could be done].
The tunic-

green zardosi

In the close up it is clearly seen that Iam yet to acquire the technique if this art-

green zardosi-closeup

After looking at lots of zardosi embroidery pieces , now I have understood other aspects of this embroidery. Still, Iam in the learning process. And this tunic is also one of my favourites.

After posting the recent tutorial, I am still in the kutchwork embroidery mood.
This white tunic is store bought. I had a striped medium violet salwar[Indian pants] for which I bought this tunic.
The tunic also has woven stripes[ which I didn’t take into account, initially!]
The tunic had white sequins around the neckline and sleeve lines.
The yoke pattern was a simple floral, which had mostly herringbone stitches to be filled.
Instead of using only the violet colour, medium pink and green colours were also added for the embroidery.
I placed the tunic over the drawn pattern, and traced it with a pencil directly on the tunic. The pattern could be seen through the tunic fabric.

white tunic woth yoke-1

Only while working the stitches I noticed that the stripes on the tunic had a different weave pattern[ with holes too], with these holes the filling stitches had a mind of their own! Slowly I worked the whole pattern very carefully, still the herringbone stitches did not come out well at all.  the central cretan stitches suffered the worst! I did not want to take  a closeup picture for this reason,
Another picture-

white tunic with yoke-2

Lesson learnt-It is best to check the fabric before thinking about the design pattern.
After the first wash , the back of the tunic attracted a yellow stain. I tried removing it. It is a lost cause. Surprisingly, I am still wearing the tunic, Hubby loves it.

The completed blue tunic with the pink yoke, with the inspiration of the tailor ofcourse.
I did not give this design . I wanted him to sew a1 inch piece on the sleeves, and an 1 inch piece around the yoke. The neck was never mentioned at all. He followed his idea of design and did this –

bluepink tunic-1

He also said that the embroidery was’ really good’. LOL!

bluepinktunic-2bluepinktunic-3

 

Posting the progress on my embroidery on this pink tunic has made this tunic story very long.
The completed yoke when placed on the tunic along with the brocade material –

bluepinkyoke-on tunic

What I hadn’t anticipated was for the tailor to be so inspired by the brocade material, that he played with the design of the tunic .wait for my next post.