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Chamba Embroidery: Stitch Analysis of Traditional Technique

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Fabric and Apparel Science, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, Sikandara Road, New Delhi, INDIA
  • 2Department of Fabric and Apparel Science, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, Sikandara Road, New Delhi, INDIA
  • 3Department of Fabric and Apparel Science, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, Sikandara Road, New Delhi, INDIA

Res. J. Family, Community and Consumer Sci., Volume 2, Issue (7), Pages 1-11, August,27 (2014)


Chamba state of Himachal Pradesh was known for distinctive embroidery in form of coverlets and hangings generically known as ĎChamba rumals. Chamba rumals were usually elaborate compositions on cotton fabrics embroidered with untwisted silk yarns in gay and harmonious colors. The early designs were folk and later with development of pahari miniature paintings, the embroidery in miniature style developed which was widely practiced. The pictorial qualities of these coverlets had been much studied by several scholars. But its technical study, which was the focus of this paper, had not got much attention. The main focus was on different types of stitches used, its variations, stitch direction and outline stitches. Secondary information was obtained through review of literature and a detailed study of old rumals which were sourced from various museums, libraries and government organizations. Primary information was obtained through exploratory field survey of Chamba town and its periphery areas. Several interesting and important aspects of embroidery tradition of Chamba rumal have come out in this study. It was found that most of them were no longer being used by artisans. Intervention with the artisans was carried out by conducting interactive workshops and follow up field visits to Chamba. Interventions through workshops helped in capacity building of the artisans and proved invaluable. They helped the artisans to reorient themselves towards sustenance of the traditional form of craft


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