The Parsigara, in a nutshell, is three things. Indian embroidery with a Persian heritage and a Chinese origin. The Parsi embroidery can be traced back to 650AD where Persian women undertook the Indian style of clothing. Parsi men travelled to China and brought yards of silk fabric for their women. The gara was a result of inter-cultural amalgamation where the fabric was China’s and the embroidery was heavily influenced by India’s Hindu and Iran’s Zoroastrian cultures.
The main stitches that are all intricately entwined are satin stitch, crewel stitch, stem stitch and French knot. Geometric designs are rarely used and most patterns are influenced by scenes and stories of Chinese origin, such as the bridges, pagodas, boatmen and shrines. The colours comprise of two shades. The base fabric is generally darker with ivory thread work or a pastel coloured textile is embroidered with multicoloured threads.
Parsi embroidery has been a part of India’s diverse textile heritage. During the bronze age, this art form took birth in Iran and with time it drew influences from European, Chinese, Persian and Indian culture. The saris that depict Parsi embroidery are known as ParsiGara Saris and take about 9 months to complete. But now, you’ll find very few of these in the market. The reason is the declining Parsi community and mass production of clothes that are readily available.
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