“It is believed that Rajasthani applique work has influence of Egyptions to an extent”
Applique, which is a French term, is a technique by which the decorative effect is obtained by superposing patches of coloured fabrics on a basic fabric, the edges of the patches being sewn in some form of stitchery. It is distinct from what is known as patch work in which small pieces of cut fabrics are usually joined side by side to make a large piece of fabric or for repairing a damaged fabric.
Marwari community of Rajasthan traditionally engaged in Appliqué art. The work is similar to the path work of Kathiawar the ‘Katab’. For this mill made medium weight white cloth forms the base on which Patches of various tints ,shades ,sizes and shapes are arranged in a pictorial pattern later trimmed, slip stitched ,whipped sometimes and finished with running stitch and button hole. Now commercialized the art has been prevalent in Jaipur Udaipur and Barmer district.
The quilts made by patchwork the traditional product of Jaisalmer ,The quilt is made by sewing several layers of old fabrics ,where the upper most layer being made of new cotton cloth. The colors used for patch work are olive green, brown, maroon and black.
The corners are decorated with tassels of either cotton or silk and Sequins called ‘Phuladi’ .Naval cholies, saddle cloth, bed spreads, cushion covers and purses some of the products decorated by Jaisalmer Applique art.
In its broadest sense, an applique is a smaller ornament or device applied to another surface. An applique is usually one piece. In the context of ceramics, for example, an applique is a separate piece of clay added to the primary work, generally for the purpose of decoration. The term is borrowed from French and, in this context, means "applied.
In the context of sewing, an appliqué refers to a needlework technique in which patterns or representational scenes are created by the attachment of smaller pieces of fabric to a larger piece of contrasting colour or texture.
Appliquéd cloth is an important art form in Benin, West Africa, particularly in the area around Abomey, where it has been a tradition since the 18th century and the kingdom of Dan home.
The motifs used are fairly varied yet fixed and cosist of stylised representations of flora and fauna as well as a few mythical figures. Of the more common of these motifs are the elephant, parrot, peacock, ducks, creepers, trees, flowers like lotus, jasmine, half-moon, the Sun and Rahu . Just as there are a few fixed motifs only a limited number of colors are used in the traditional applique craft. These are green, red, blue, ochre and black. The creative urge of the craftsmen however are released in the endlessly various combination of motifs as well in the mixing of these limited colors. While there has been very little change in the use of motifs, there has been a trend towards greater experimentation in colour combinations.