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Applique Gujarat

Applique has derived its name from the French word appliquer whose meaning is to "put on". Applique Techniques of Gujarat, India has evolved from an ancient needlework practice. This practice uses embroidery, pieces of fabric or some other items that are stitched on a fabric-base to create magnificent designs. Applique is considered a leading name amongst the Handicrafts of Gujarat.

The primary idea of applique techniques is quite easy to understand and apply. You would need to cut a shape out of one fabric and sew that shape on a different fabric. Applique is an easy and effective way of decorating fabric, irrespective of whether it is done by machine or by hand. However, applique doesn't just use fabric. It can even be used with a range of other materials like sequins, beads, etc. It is often used in ombination with other varieties of needlework like embroidery to bring forth the desired effect.

Applique is suitable both for small or large scale work. However, all materials are not suitable for every applique project. For something totally decorative, like a wall hanging, there is a wider range of fabrics from which you may have your pick.

There are two key steps in applique techniques. The first consists of choosing the design and transferring it to the fabric; the second is the applique work itself.

There are two methods for the design of an applique. The first method is to work directly with cutting shapes, materials, arranging and then rearranging the shapes, stitching them to a base either by machine or hand without any planning. The second method is to plan a design on paper at first. Then using cut paper, shapes can be traced out. You can also make use of books for getting several designs. You may even draw simple forms such as butterflies, leaves, fish, etc. The texture as well as the color of the material should be chosen carefully as they are an integral element of the design. Bonding is another way which is much quicker and easier method of stitching.

In reverse applique, a special technique of applique, layers of fabric are initially stitched together. Afterwards, the upper layers are cut away so that the lower layers forming the design remain. San Blas or Mola is a reverse applique technique.

Applique is utilized extensively in quilting. "Sunbonnet Sue" and "Dresden Plate" are two instances of traditional American quilt blocks that are made with both applique and patchwork. Some quilts like Baltimore album quilts, Hawaiian quilts, Broderie perse, Amish and the ralli quilts of Pakistan and India also make use of applique.

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