The Butchered Art of Mirrorwork

For those familiar with an Indian flea market, the sight of a gypsy woman clad from top to bottom in beefy silver jewelry and a bright, ornate costume is probably not a new one. She may be found hard-selling here wares ranging from heavily embroidered shoulder bags, bedspreads or table runners. There’s truly nothing fascinating about the quality or purpose of these knick knacks, but as a tourist it’s all enthralling and desirable.

As an insider, someone who knows what she’s selling, it’s painful to watch her go about her trade. Shamefully, if I may say so myself, you just bought a piece of artless junk. No thought went into it’s design and the fabric on which it was made will bleed into all your laundry if you accidentally dropped it in the washer.

The true origins of this form of art is in the Rajasthan and Kutch regions of India. Vibrant colored silk threads are embroidered around pieces of mirror to make intricate patterns. Embroidery of this kind can be further split into a dozen different kinds based on the communities that practice it or the specific region it is from. Sparing you the details, I can say that what you will find at a flea market is probably, unfortunately, the worst form of this craft.

A quick glimpse at some real representations of this neat and intricate art form –

Usually supported by non profit organisations working towards the upliftment of famine struck villages, these products are made using pure silk fabric and threads.

Traditionally, Parrots and peacocks are common motifs

And now, a rare yet refreshing appearance on the runway..