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Appliqué, a variety of embroidery, is supposed to be found as an example that dates back to 980 BC in Egypt which can so be even before. Appliqué as an art is an important part in the life of Benin, West Africa, particularly in the area around Abomey, where it is prevalent since the 18th century and the kingdom of Danhome. In India this art is widely practised in the western states, especially Gujarat and Rajasthan and in eastern coast of Orissa. Appliqué work probably made its way to India through trade contact with Europe or Arabia in the Middle East. Though it is a simple stitching craft yet it is widely popular for its beauty grace and prominence. In Orissa, vibrant red, purple black, yellow, green and white colored fabrics are chosen as base material for the appliqué work. The base fabric is prepared in the shapes of square, rectangle, circle or oval. The motifs for appliqué are then cut out in shapes of birds, animals, flowers, leaves, celestial bodies, geometric pattern in contrasted colours. These pieces are attached to the base cloth with intricate stitches like bakhia, gunta, turpa, chikan and other delicate embroideries. Now days small mirrors, beads, metal pieces and several other accessories are also attached to the Appliqué work to make it much attractive Appliqué work in Orissa is an inseparable part of temple tradition. Its main centre of production is in and around Pipli, a town near Bhubaneswar. It is said that the appliqué work is patronized by the kings and nobility of Orissa. In 1054, Maharaja Birakshore is said to have appointed ‘Darjis’ to serve the temple of Lord Jagannatha. He set up the village of Pipli to accommodate the craftsmen of Orissa. Initially the craftsmen made banners, umbrellas and canopies for the annual chariot festival of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra at Puri. But with the increasing popularity of this art the craftsmen started making other utility and decorative items used for the everyday household. Now...
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