The handicrafts of Rajasthan are a true reflection of the state’s rich culture and heritage. There are several varieties of crafts manufactured by the talented people of Rajasthan; one among them is mirror embroidery. It’s said that the craft is originally from Persia that made its way to India through the entry of the Mughal Empire.
In Rajasthan, the handicraft is known to have started at Jaisalmer and has been deeply rooted to the Rajasthani culture. Initially, the craftsmen used pieces of mica but since it was too brittle to withstand wear and tear, it was later replaced by mirrors. These pieces of mirrors, usually round in shape, are cut and embroidered into pieces of cloths to render a beautiful look to the fabric.
Not just fabric, but mirror work can also be seen in the walls of the ancient monuments of the state whereby it’s mixed with beautiful paintings and scriptures. Coming to the garments, this style of embroidery is often blended with tie and dye and the end result is quite beautiful.
In Rajasthan, places like Bikaner and Sikar are also known for the works of mirror embroidery. Not just clothes but decorative items and souvenirs are also fitted with mirror work to give them an exquisite look. Right from traditional attire to handmade jewelry and from upholstery to wall hangings, this craft is quite common in the products sold in Rajasthani markets.
Although Rajasthan’s neighboring state Gujarat is also known for mirror work but the craft style of the two states are different in some ways. In Rajasthan, you will find large quilts embroidered with mirror work. This craft can give a blinky look to anything that is plain and simple. It’s also used alongside hand block prints, Bandhej and Lehriya fabrics.