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Heer Bharat embroidery done in Rajasthan in India is widely acclaimed for its beautiful mirror work along with beads using red, yellow and pink as the predominant colors. It is also known as Banni embroidery in Gujarat, where it got its roots. Though there exists many forms of embroidery work in the state of Rajasthan, Heer Bharat embroidery gets a prominent place. Premium designs, richness of the fabric and the intricacies involved makes it stand out from the crowd. This embroidery got its name from the silk floss used for it, which is locally called as “Heer”. Hence, the name Heer Bharat Embroidery evolved.
The mirror work in these fabrics and dress materials make the heads turn, especially when they come in contact with the sun rays or lights. It starts to sparkle and gleam making all wonder for a minute at least looking at its preparation and design patterns. This mirror work is known as “Shisha”. Usually the different shapes and sizes of mirror are surrounded by the embroidery in the fabric. Even there are different types of mirror works, for very small and minute mirror works, Jats community people are expert for stitching colorful and shady threads around small pieces of mirrors. Not only has the Jats community practiced this, but also the Lohanas, Mutwas and Harijans communities too.
Heer Bharat is embroidery where design is filled with thread work. This filling is done either by button-hole stitch or long and short (double satin) stitch. It is being done on hand woven and hand spun cotton and woolen garments. Motifs of geometrical shapes, animals, flora and fauna can also be seen.
Heer Bharat embroidery is spreading to length and breadth across the country and people are starting to apply their own innovative thoughts in the stitching work and design patters to make it look more vivid. In ancient days, this artwork is confined only to certain garments, but as time passed by, it is being worked on bridal and groom wears sherwanis and decorative household items.
This art has resemblance to the embroidery works done in the Kutch and Kathiawar. Thread work is done to create designs in the fabric. The threads are filled and stitched using button hole and satin double stitch method.
Selling these Heer Bharat embroideries and improving the economy of that region where this kind of embroidery works is predominant is a normal course. But, it is not done only for money, but also looked up on seriously as a traditional art imbibed in the heart of those artists. The women of the Jats and Banni community take up these kinds of garments worked in Heer Bharat embroidery along with them, when they get married.
There are still people who like these kinds of traditional art works and buy them without minding about the cost which may look little high compared to the modern dress. The devotion and the time they spend on creating this beautiful masterpiece should be taken into account. But what has to be seen underline is the hard work of the art community people which should be appreciated suitably.