The Wonderful Art of Pipli Applique Work

Applique work of Pipli is a traditional art of embroidery that defines Orissa’s presence in the illustrious handicrafts map of India. An enchanting form of fabric-based patchwork, applique of Pipli derives its name from a small village of the same name situated near the beach city of Puri.

Applique work is a technique by which patches of colored fabric cut in various motifs and sizes are superposed on a basic fabric to obtain a decorative whole, with edges of adjacent patches sewn together in some form of stitchery. Color palette for traditional applique items is very basic – red, white, black and yellow fabrics are used to form a vibrant collage, with black preferably forming the base. Glass pieces, metal wires and beads are used for further embellishment. Nowadays, Pipli craftsmen and manufacturers are experimenting with other colors as well to enliven the craft even more.

The roots of applique art of Pipli, like many other handicrafts of Orissa, is intertwined with the rituals of Lord Jagannatha, the presiding deity of the region. Canopies and parasols in brilliant applique once used to form a major part of the Rathayatra in Puri- the world famous Chariot festival of Lord Jagannatha.

Since then, the work of art has come a long way.

Today, applique finds expressions in a wide variety of home decor items. From wall-hangings and awnings to Kundini-worked decorative pieces, the range of appliq items available nowadays is pretty exhaustive. One can even choose from a variety of mirror-worked appliqué dresses and skirts for a perfect evening do. Nothing can match the vibrancy of a applique worked handbag on a private function with sequins sewn on it. Appliqué bags and jholas are also becoming quite a rage these days on campuses.

The choice of applique items of Pipli origin for a prospective buyer does not end here. Manufacturers in Pipli and Puri are nowadays flooded with offers from star-rated hotels and resorts to supply applique made side walls and garden umbrellas. Upcoming designers are also considering it a new way to express their creative visions. Accordingly, the fabric used for this typical patchwork has undergone a refreshing change. It is no more the same thick cotton base that is used to elaborate a certain theme; now experimentation is done with fabrics as varied as velvet, satin and Georgette.

Popularity of applique items of Pipli is clearly on the rise. Rathayatra or no Rathayatra- applique saleables of Pipli are now regarded as a major crowd-puller in Puri. Tourists thronging this beach city from all over India and the world find applique art absolutely entrancing, and they make it point to buy a thing or two of this amazing work of art to add a dash of color either to their wardrobe or to a dull nook back at home. This has been augmenting the demand for applique items of Pipli to a large scale over the years.

Applique work of Pipli is now a much sought after art of embroidery. Decorative items made of it are colorful, yet not jazzy. They help make a statement when put up at the right place or accessorized properly. The most interesting fact about applique items of Pipli are, unlike many other decorative artifacts of daily use, they are not overtly expensive.

Source by Lavanya Gupta

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