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Karl Lagerfeld kept the designs themed after volcanic landscapes for this season featuring apocalyptic look.

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Drawbridges were raised at either end of the vast, 120-metre catwalk and the 65 models appeared in opposing waves, in a volcanic interpretation of 21st century ready-to-wear.

The look was tough and strong and as black as coal. The Chanel “cardigan” jacket was layered over loose black shirts, hanging out, over baggy man’s style trousers tucked into tweedy gaiters and sturdy workboots.

Hooded, floor-length, “magician’s” capes glistened with fiery-red or onyx-like crystals. A cream tweed cardigan-suit was worn over faded, skinny black jeans.

Mechanics’ boiler-suits came in industrial silver, and knitted maxi-dresses, with a hint of colour, had criss-cross braces at the back.

The evening wear, although occasionally offering a softer mood, with organza, tulle and metallic blue in evidence, generally followed the rebellious, tough-school theme.


Yves Saint Laurent presented a very strictly French, artfully poised, balancing a mix of sexual allure and top of all a very beautiful collection at Paris fashion week on March 8.

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Starting off with the Prince of Wales suits, he moved on to fur and feathers ideas with capes and wool jackets and concluded with the parade of white silk, crepe, ostrich and satin – in halter gowns and pleated palazzo pants with white chiffon shirts. The last bit updated Saint Laurent’s eclectic exoticism for a new generation.

His Black and white tweed tailoring evoked a mood of elegance mixed with laid-back chic, especially in cocoon coats and swing-back jackets detailed with gold chains to match the handbags.

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Date: 24 – 27 May, 2011

Venue: Frankfurt | Germany

Leading International Trade Fair for Processing Textile and Flexible Materials

The top event for the garment-manufacturing and textile-processing industry will make its debut in Frankfurt am Main from 24 to 27 May 2011.

Leading international manufacturers will present their latest machines, plant, processing, IT systems and services for making up textiles and other flexible materials.

Attend the première in Frankfurt am Main and see the unmatched range at Texprocess for yourself!


For Questions, Contact:

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1
60327 Frankfurt a. M.
Telefon +49 69 75 75 – 0
Telefax +49 69 75 75 – 67 88

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John Galliano’s work is proof that he is anything but a racist, his fellow couturier Jean Paul Gaultier said Saturday in defence of the disgraced former chief designer at Christian Dior.

“It’s sad, because he was an enormous talent,” Gaultier told a small group of journalists after he presented his fall-winter pret-a-porter collection as part of the ongoing Paris fashion week.

“Everything he has done has not revealed someone who is racist — quite to the contrary,” he said, alluding to the many Galliano collections that drew inspiration from the four corners of the world.

Dior fired Galliano, 50, its chief designer for 15 years, on Tuesday amid allegations that he made racist and anti-Semitic remarks while apparently drunk at a chic cafe in a historically Jewish corner of Paris.

With the catwalk show cancelled, John Galliano's latest collection was shown via a presentation format during Paris Fashion Week.

Galliano, whose theatrical flair informed both his designs and his life, apologised through his lawyers for his conduct, but denied being anti-Semitic, as he reportedly sought help at a substance abuse clinic in the United States.

Prosecutors have meanwhile charged Galliano with making racist insults. He is to appear in court in Paris by the end of June.

Referring to a mobile phone video in which Galliano is heard saying “I love Hitler,” Gaultier, 57, said: “With recordings, people can be made to say things that they did not say.”

“They pronounce some words, but what is the context?” he asked. “The person (speaking to Galliano) seems very assured, knowing very well what she is doing.”

“It is very sad” for the Gibralter-born and London-bred Galliano in that he was the one who had hurt himself, added Gaultier. He expressed hope that his counterpart would return to fashion and “find an inner peace”.

On the huge pressure that top-name designers can be subject to, Gaultier — famous for his youthful energy — said it was important not to spend time only with people in fashion circles.

“I am a workaholic,” he said. “It protects me. I started with nothing and my preoccupation is only to make, to put out collections.”

The leading Seamless knitting machine builder Santoni, showed a highly innovative range of sportswear at the recent Ispo show in Munich, the leading sportswear event in Europe.  Here, the Italian company’s marketing manager Patrick Silva explains the Brescia based company’s strategy with regard to outerwear and in particularl sportswear.

“While Seamless underwear has grown formidably, especially in China – both in its domestic and export markets, establishing itself on the world market as a solid and ever expanding classic, we were very pleased to see at the recent ISPO Show in Munich this February 2011 that our market forecasts, our continuous R&D and our commercial strategies towards expanding Seamless to the Outerwear sector are beginning to make important strides not only in China, but all over the world.

We received a very positive sign of this at the Munich ISPO by seeing the presence of an abundance of Seamless items in the booths of many of the most important sports brands.  These items were not only of the athletic type but also of the casual type. Moreover this trend was reflected in both Western and Chinese exhibitors’ garments.

On our Santoni booth, where we had a very conspicuous and constant flow of specialised and professional visitors from all over the world, we were able to show products made on our seamless machines, both of the Circular Seamless line and of the Compact Warp Seamless line (with an important addition of our Garment Length line in the traditional cut and sew systems).  We especially brought to the Munich ISPO a collection of these various sportswear ranges to illustrate what we believe to be the inherent advantageous features that the Santoni machines bring to this very important field of sports-specific clothing.

Circular seamless program

As everyone is aware, the Worldwide trends for apparel are increasingly requiring clothes that combine comfort with hygiene and well-being both in one’s leisurewear, daily workwear, and in the field of active sports and fitness exercise.

The old myth about seamless being only associated with synthetic yarns has been undoubtedly quashed by Santoni seamless circular technology successfully using all types of yarn – both natural and man-made.

Also the necessary technical targets, so simple and particularly suitable for sportswear, are now being achieved by meeting the modern and specific needs of the sporting fraternity, made in the Santoni Seamless Way.

In the collection of sportswear items we presented, we concentrated on showing not only the use of natural yarns as well as synthetic ones (including uncovered elasticated yarns) but also those for obtaining those required technical targets.  This demonstrated that Seamless is the ideal way to construct the garment including any of these following characteristics:

  • moisture management for evaporation of perspiration
  • compression areas that offer both body support and better temperature management
  • padding thicknesses for greater body protection while still maintaining the all important moisture and temperature management requirements
  • venting to remove heat from specific areas
  • thermal pockets strategically placed to trap body heat, again in specific areas

These products shown, made on our latest Outerwear models of seamless circular machines, received a tremendous amount of interest from the visitors to our booth. They can be detailed as follows:

SM8 -TR1 products


Of particular interest were our very fine and light garments made on this machine in natural yarns, especially in wool and cotton.  These are first layer items that have a soft handle, very pleasant in contact with the skin, have all the inherent technology typical of this machine in order to make openwork fabric to permit the effective control and management of perspiration, whilst maintaining an attractive garment appearance.

Excitingly, we also showed products knitted on this same model called second layer that were heavier items which incorporated body mapping technology.  Our collection showed these heavier items having all those technical characteristics mentioned above with special attention to mock felts and specific transparent areas.

SM6-Rib 2 products

Here our products emphasised the casual or leisurewear side of sport clothes.

We exhibited some polos and sweaters made in natural fibres of wool and cotton as well as in plated fabrics combined with synthetic yarns like polyester. These sweaters were of great interest because they were in the finest gauges and produced at a very high productivity rate with the possibility of fabric knit structures in the latest fashion trends.  In fact this machine was specifically designed for producing fine quality high production casual or sport knitwear in the most fashionable styles.

SM8 TOP 2, 40 gauge products

Part of the collection displayed at Ispo Munich was made with the brand new range of seamless fine gauge machines. This fine gauge possibility represents a technological breakthrough for a new dimension of seamless garment. The surface of the garment is smoother and lighter offering an incomparable feeling of comfort like a second skin.

Lightweight fit and seamless technology offer an increased feeling of well being to the final customer and new performance benefits for the sportswear market. A strong content of elastane in such products offer a new performance features in the field of functional activewear.

SM-DJ2T products

This machine is literally universal and can produce both classic casual wear as well as technical structured wear with floats and perspiration management zones as shown in some of our sample collections. It uses all types of yarn and has the added flexibility of being able to produce also underwear that can be worn indoors like outerwear, for example loungewear.

Seamless Warp Knits Program

We also demonstrated at the Munich ISPO one of our latest Seamless targets that we have been studying in the world of warp knitting, namely our compact warp knitting machine, model SWD 6/2J.


The major sportswear brands are always interested in warp knitted fabrics due to their two inherent fabric characteristics – breathability and non-run fabric structures.

Having now produced on our machine Seamless items with these fabric structures, visitors were especially interested to see these warp garments ‘free of any seams’ and produced in the futuristic ‘entire garment’ way with the least possible post-knitting finishing operations required.

Another feature of great interest in our sportswear warp collection was combination of mesh areas, body mapping with compression and support areas. All these features give a very promising potential especially in the specific Athletic and Active type of sport clothing.

In conclusion, this month’s Munich ISPO, has greatly encouraged our belief that Seamless and Sportswear go hand in hand and in many ways seem to be made for one another.  The presence of seamless items in so many booths of so many well-known brands and the keen interest of the large numbers of visitors on our booth make us confident that Seamless in sportswear is going to be an ever growing concern with beneficial results for all concerned.  So much so that we are also participating this month at ISPO China, which is Asia’s most important sportswear show, as ISPO Germany is the most important world venue for this field.

We were very grateful to the fine organisers of this exhibition and to all those visitors from all over the world that came to see Santoni Seamless Sportswear in our booth.”

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Its pity for Christian Dior as John Galliano gets arrested in Paris this Thursday, February 24th.

The fashion icon was taken into arrest when he got involved in an argument with a couple at a bar in the Marais district, Paris. A strict action was taken after he took racial aside against the couple.

According to few sources, he was later released but as an outcome, the incident have permanently cost him his position at legendary fashion house Dior.

Christian Dior’s autumn/winter 2011 fashion show as planned for March 4 now hangs in dilemma with this occurrence.


With testing for resistance to dust mites, compression testing for performance, and comfort tests that simulate what actually occurs during sleep – the peaceful, easy going times are surely well and truly over for the bedding sector. Well-thought-out systems for mattresses create both a pleasant, comfortable climate under the covers and allow a healthy posture when lying down, to enable the body to recover completely over a period of at least eight hours. Leading textile machinery manufacturer Karl Mayer has some solutions..

Warp-knit spacer fabric by Karl Mayer

According to the German warp knitting machine manufacturer, what might sound like a daydreamer’s wish list, can be met easily but effectively by warp-knitted spacer fabrics. The voluminous fabrics are specifically designed to be compression-resistant, breathable and effective in dealing with moisture. In addition, perspiration and water vapour can be consistently wicked away through the 3D construction and the structure of the fabrics’ cover faces.

Karl Mayer says the potential offered by the production process to incorporate zones of different hardness also make spacer textiles the preferred choice for combining with other materials – a development which it as a manufacturer of machines for producing spacer textiles, has taken into account.

The company’s efficient, double-bar HighDistance HD 6 EL 20-65 and HD 6/20-35 machines are now available to the mattress industry for producing high-quality, functional, three-dimensional cushioning and padding materials. On the other hand, Karl Mayer says, the RD 6/1-12 and RDPJ 7/1 are both perfect for producing entire mattress covers or sections of mattress covers. They are also equipped with two needle bars and can therefore make 3D constructions. In addition, the company’s TM 2 tricot machine, which operates at a high productivity rate, is available for producing two-dimensional cover fabrics.

Breathable Cushioning Elements

Conventional mattresses are as diverse as the body shapes of their users. Some are made from spring interiors, latexes or foams, and then there are the unconventional types, such as waterbeds, air core mattresses, futons and, of course, mattresses that are a combination of these. Combining different materials is said to be becoming more and more important.

Mattress manufacturers are said to be increasingly using warp-knitted spacer fabrics combined with other materials to ensure that their products meet ergonomic requirements. However, Karl Mayer says, they are usually only used as the cushioning/padding element, which does not fully utilise their ability to optimise the sleeping climate. The functional 3D fabrics are usually located in a foam frame or used as a continuous layer between layers of foam, and are only rarely used as the surface against which the person lies, according to Karl Mayer. Nevertheless, Karl Mayer says, 3D warp-knitted fabrics are making inroads into the actual mattresses themselves. Some manufacturers are already making their mattresses entirely out of spacer textiles and the Southern European and Asian manufacturers are leading the way in this.

Karl Mayer launched a new double-bar raschel machine designated the HD 6/20-35, aimed at this segment of the market specialising in thicker, warp-knitted spacer textiles to coincide with the opening of this year’s ITMA ASIA+CITME trade fair. The company says it can now react quicker to growing demands by supplying efficient machines. The HD 6/20-35 is the basic version of the HD 6 EL 20-65, which is already said to be well established in the market, and completes the range of HighDistance machines. Whereas the full-size HD machine, which has a distance between the knock-over comb bars of 20-65 mm, can produce fabrics with a final thickness of 50-55 mm, the new machine produces spacer fabrics with a thickness of 18-30 mm and has a distance between the knock-over comb bars of 20-35 mm.

According to Karl Mayer, regardless of their format, all 3D warp-knitted textiles produced on the HighDistance machines have extremely reliable performance characteristics. As far as mattresses are concerned, this means that they must have stable compression values, specific spot elasticity and exceptional ventilation characteristics – functional characteristics that can be produced economically by using efficient production machines.

At a working width of 110 inches and a gauge of E 12, the HD 6/20-35 can achieve a maximum production speed of 300 rpm or 600 courses/min. The thicker spacer fabrics can be produced at a maximum speed of 200 rpm, which is 400 courses/min.

Side borders And Entire Mattress Covers

“The mattress cover has a pronounced influence on the initial perception of comfort when the person first lies down, and should therefore be very soft – a requirement that is usually met by conventional mattresses having multilayer constructions,” Karl Mayer explains.

“In this case, the conventional combinations usually consist of a smooth surface combined with nonwoven waddings or foams. The main disadvantage of joining them together by laminating or quilting processes is that the removable covers are difficult to clean and their elasticity is poor. Furthermore, the exchange of air with the surrounding environment is hampered by the high density of the material. The only breathable areas in the mattresses are usually those with side borders made from thin, warp-knitted spacer textiles having mesh constructions.”

“Modern designs are becoming increasingly popular for patterning the outer sides of the textile. In this case, the RD 6/1-12 and the RDPJ 7/1 double-bar raschel machines offer numerous possibilities. The RD 6/1-12 produces thin, 3D warp-knitted textiles with a distance between the knock-over comb bars of 1-12 mm; it can therefore work a wide range of different lappings, and is also extremely productive. This high-speed machine can reach a maximum operating speed of 475 rpm or 950 courses/min,” Karl Mayer says.

Even Wider Pattern Range

According to Karl Mayer, the RDPJ 7/1 can produce an even wider range of patterns. The creative, double-bar raschel machine is said to combine maximum efficiency and flexibility, and the distance between the knock-over comb bars can be varied from 2 to 8 mm. It can also process a wide range of different materials and produces jacquard patterns.

The machine’s EL control facility enables an even wider variety of spacer textiles to be produced. The machine’s electronic facilities permit alternating 2D and 3D zones as well as different lappings to be worked, which influences the characteristics of the fabric. The modifications mainly relate to the pile strength and the elongation values in the lengthwise and crosswise directions. The RDPJ 7/1 can be used to produce attractive, all over patterns, mattress borders whose contours match those of the end product in the appropriate widths, lettering, different lappings, and functional elements, such as buttonholes and pockets.

As well as being used in the side borders, the soft, low-dimensioned, attractive, warp-knitted spacer fabrics produced on Karl Mayer’s double-bar raschel machines can also be made into entire mattress covers. These functional cover fabrics, with their airy construction, are said to optimise the sleeping climate and they can be washed and dried easily, and then put back onto the mattress again with no problems. Karl Mayer says, the thin, 3D warp-knitted fabrics can also be quilted easily in the designs typically used for padding or cushioning materials.

According to Karl Mayer, in addition to voluminous mattress covers, flat covering materials with printed designs are also an up-and-coming trend. Karl Mayer’s TM 2 machine is said to be ideal for producing these stable, dense fabrics; the TM 2 is a two-bar tricot machine which is fast and flexible and produces top-quality products. Depending on the lapping and yarn used, the TM 2 can operate at speeds of up to 2500 rpm.

“ With their exceptional breathability and cushioning that corresponds to the shape of the body, warp-knitted spacer textiles provide a high level of comfort and enable the sleeper to rest and recover by guaranteeing deep, sound and healthy sleep – the perfect solution for getting a good night’s sleep!” says Karl Mayer.

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Geotextiles offer flexible, cost-effective solutions for civil engineering applications requiring reinforcement, erosion control, barrier and other functions.

Geotextiles were one of the first textile products in human history. Excavations of ancient Egyptian sites show the use of mats made of grass and linen. Geotextiles are ideal materials for infrastructural works such as roads, harbors and many others. They have a bright future, thanks to their multifunctional characteristics.


Application Areas of Geotextiles

Geotextiles today are highly developed products that must comply with numerous standards. To produce tailor-made industrial fabrics, appropriate machinery is needed.

Every textile product applied under the soil is a geotextile. The products are used for reinforcement of streets, embankments, ponds, pipelines, and similar applications. Depending on the required function, they are used in open-mesh versions, such as a woven or, rarely, warp-knitted structure, or with a closed fabric surface, such as a nonwoven. The basic geotextile functions include erosion control; protection; filtration; armoring; drainage; and separation, or barrier function.


Laying Geotextiles

Geotextiles with their built-in functions are virtually tailor-made based on end-use or application. Major requirements include: tensile strength; permeability to air, fluids and/or light; mesh size suited to end-use, such as filtration, sieve or separation; chemical, mechanical or thermal resistance; and durability.

Most woven geotextiles are made of filament polyester (PET), polypropylene (PP), glass, basalt, aramid or carbon fibers; with the fiber chosen based on the required functions, mainly tensile strength and a very long product life. Typical end-use applications are roads, levees and railroad embankments, among other applications. Nonwovens, usually made of PP and PET, are mainly applied for barrier function end-uses such as filtration and separation. In addition, nonwovens made of natural fibers, for example, are suitable for covering grass slopes. It is possible to incorporate different kinds of seeds, such as grass, and the nonwoven cover will eventually decompose as a green and natural surface grows on the construction.


Geogrid Calculation Table

Bast fibers, with their non-uniform fiber qualities, are beginning to be used in certain nonwoven products. The same applies for recycled fibers. Currently, very few recycled fibers are used. Also, recycled fibers do not always have the uniform properties required to form an even product. When PET bottles are recycled in a way that produces uniform fibers, then recycled PET fibers could be processed using needlepunch technology, Dilo mentions.

Coating materials play a very important role in enhancing geotextile properties and functions. Primary coating materials used include polyvinyl chloride, bitumen, latex, plastisol, silicone and other similar materials.

Global Market
According to information provided by Dornier, the global geotextiles market is estimated to have been worth $3 billion in 2009. The nonwovens sector accounts for 74.5 percent of the growth; wovens, 25 percent; and other systems, 0.5 percent. The global growth of geosynthetics alone is estimated at 5 percent annually.

According to GMA, the U.S. and Canadian geosynthetics market has a current estimated value of $2.1 billion, with the U.S. share of that market put at 90 percent and the Canadian share at 10 percent. The sector employs some 12,000 people. Within that market, geotextiles has a 32-percent share; geomembranes, 28 percent; geogrids, 14 percent; and drainage composites, 26 percent.

The nonwoven geosynthetics market has gone up and down in concert with the recent financial market ups and downs. “Geosynthetic nonwovens volume dropped precipitously during 2008 and 2009,” said Ian Butler, INDA’s director of market research and Statistics. “However, there has been considerable growth in 2010.”

INDA estimates that in 2010, the North American nonwoven geotextiles industry had a production volume of some 350 million square meters, with a roll goods value of nearly $300 million. “Most of these products are made from needlepunched PP, but there is some small volume of of spunbonded PET used for asphalt overlay,” Butler said. “What has boosted the sales in 2010 was the Obama administration’s plan to invest in the highway, airport and similar projects to provide work and reinvest in the transportation infrastructure. In discussions with people in the industry, they indicated that the low inventories of geosynthetics nonwovens at the end of 2009 led to many very busy nonwoven needlepunch producers now catching up with demand.”

While there is no specific data related to China’s geotextiles market, that country has major infrastructure and erosion control projects planned, and the Chinese market will account for the largest portion of new geosynthetics demand worldwide in the next few years, according to information posted on the website of Cleveland-based industry research firm Freedonia Group Inc.

Dornier reports the growing Indian geotextiles market has a value of some $49.6 million, but it is expected to grow to nearly $66 million by 2012. Projected annual growth is 12 percent, and long-term, it will increase to 20 percent, thanks to the further development of the country’s infrastructure.

Fleissner, Dilo and Dornier expect much better results for 2010 than they realized in the previous two years. This improvement is primarily thanks to structural adjustments, Dornier reports, but the markets as such are in much better shape than previously. In spite of the falling markets owing to the recent financial crisis, Fleissner reports constant demand for its machinery and expects to report a successful 2010. Dilo also is seeing strong recovery since first-quarter 2010 and is working at full capacity, with delivery times up to seven months.

Dornier’s main markets are Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, China and India. Fleissner’s markets include Germany and Russia as well, but also the United States. Dilo reports demand for complete production lines for geotextiles is at the moment very high around the globe, but particularly in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Important Sector
For each company, the geotextiles sector is an important market. Trützschler Nonwovens is able to deliver lines for man-made fiber production as well as calenders or bonding machines such as its Omega machine. The company reports lines already delivered for geotextile production have a production capacity of more than 1,500 kilograms per hour and even at low fabric weights of 60 to 80 grams per square meter.

Dilo and Fleissner report there is an important upswing for nonwovens in general and geotextiles in particular. The advantage of nonwovens as geotextile products is first of all their high-volume and cost-effective production. A further criterion is their ability to stretch and adapt to bumpy surfaces. Of outstanding importance is the finished product’s fabric width for effective and economical road — or, increasingly, harbor — constructions. Dilo needlepunch machines are constructed to allow a working width of 600 centimeters (cm).

On the other hand, geotextiles, which require high durability and strength, usually are made of woven fabrics. Dornier reports its weaving machines are especially suitable for production of open-mesh fabrics for armoring all kinds of constructions. Several layers of different constructions can be combined. Woven fabrics also need to be produced in a wide width. In general, machines with a nominal width of 540 cm and greater are used, while the hauling equipment for street construction is usually designed to have a 500-cm width. A rapier weaving machine with multiple weft insertion enables production of a defined product specific to the end-use.

The Future
The future for nonwoven and woven geotextiles is bright. However, for manufacturers to be successful in this market segment, there must be a lot of know-how and communication efforts with existing and potential customers. Comparing the difference between today’s customer and one of 10 years ago, one could note such comments as: “Our old customers are true professionals; our new customers depend very much on our knowledge and experience.” This means knowing exactly the markets, their requirements and possible civil engineering applications. Also, product requirements and the number of innovations are continually increasing, which makes the markets highly competitive and attractive, and creates more business.


Geotextiles As Reinforcement For Road Construction.

Infrastructural programs are being undertaken mainly in emerging markets, but Europe and the United States are seeing increased demand. Especially in emerging countries such as Brazil, India, China and Russia, demand goes along with the rising mobilization and improved public transport facilities — including new airports. The use of geotextiles significantly reduces civil engineering construction costs and drastically extends the life of any road construction. “Textiles instead of concrete” is not only a slogan, but a fact. Geotextiles have flexibility, making them better and more economical than any other building materials.

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Embellishing and ornamenting one own self has been the most attractive and passionate activities practiced for centuries all over the world. With time the same logic and passion got transferred to fabric that was used to cover the body and we were introduced to many new forms of art or handicraft aiming for fabric decoration.


Yes the art of Embroidery it was.

Another way to look at its development long long ago is that when mankind was introduced to cloth; need to tailor, patch, mend and reinforce cloth fostered the development of sewing techniques and the decorative possibilities of sewing led to the art of embroidery.

Using a thread or yarn and a needle, raised surface effects are created on the flat woven fabric surface imparting it a distinctive appearance. Initially basic stitches viz. chain, buttonhole, blanket, running, satin, cross stitch were employed and with time other materials like mirrors, pearls, beads etc. were also incorporated to build unique creations. However, those basic stitches still form the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery in India today.

India boasts a range of traditional embroideries from different states embodying their regional, cultural and social influences. Read further to get more insight on traditional embroideries of India.



Belongs to – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh


Famous as shadow work, Chikankari embroidery is a very delicate and intricate work from the city of Lucknow. A skill more than 200 years old, the embroidery is famous for its timeless grace and gossamer delicacy. Also known as Chikan, the embroidery is traditionally done using a white untwisted cotton thread on colourless muslin popularly known as tanzeb (the muslim from Dacca).

This form of embroidery came to India from Persia with Noor Jehan, the queen of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir. It is also said that the word chikan is a derivative from the Persian word ‘chikaan‘ meaning drapery. The craft flourished under the benign nawabi influence and later with the British influence designs became more formal resulting in an export market in Europe and England.


Originally, chikan embroidery was done with the untwisted white cotton thread on soft, white cotton fabric like muslin or cambric. It was sometimes done on net to produce a kind of lace. Today chikan work is not only done with coloured threads but on all kinds of fabrics like silk, crepe, georgette, organdie chiffon, and tassar.


In Chikankari, the design to be embroidered is printed on the fabric using wooden blocks dipped in fugitive colours, which are commonly made by mixing a glue and indigo with water. For extra fine designs, brass-blocks are used sometimes.


Motifs printed in indigo blue. Once the embroidery is finished the fabric is washed to wash off the blue.

Application of stitches in chikankari holds great importance and demands particular discipline. The embroidery has a repertoire of about 40 stitches which can be broadly divided into 3 heads flat, raised and embossed stitches and the open trellis-like jaali work.


Techinque of Chikankari embroidery


Chikankari flat stitches with their traditional names are:

1. Bukhia: Most common chikan stitch to get the effect of shadow work. Bukhia is very similar to the herringbone stitch done on backside and front side to give a shadow effect.

It is done in two ways

a)  From back side (ulta bakhia), the floats lie on the reverse of the fabric underneath the motif. The transparent muslin becomes opaque and provides a beautiful effect of light and shade.

b)  From front side (sidha bakhia), it is the satin stitch with criss-crossing of individual threads. The floats of thread lie on the surface of the fabric. This is used to fill the forms and there is no light or shade effect.

2. Taipchi: It is the running stitch worked on the right side of the fabric. It is occasionally done within parallel rows to fill petals and leaves. Sometimes taipchi is used to make the bel buti all over the fabric. This is the simplest chikan stitch and often serves as a basis for further embellishment. It resembles jamdani and is considered the cheapest and the quickest stitch.

Pechni: It is the variation build on Taipchi where the taipchi base is covered by entwining the thread over it in a regular manner thus forming a lever spring.

3.Gitti: A combination of buttonhole and long satin stitch, usually used to make a wheel-like motif with a tiny hole in the center.

4. Jangira: It is the chain stitch usually used as outlines in combination with a line of pechni or thick taipchi.


Chikankari knotted, embossed stitches with their traditional names are:

1. Murri: It is the diagonal satin stitches worked several times with a knot on a basic taipchi stitch to form a grain shape.

2. Phanda: It is a smaller shortened form of murri. The knots made are spherical and very small. It resembles millets, gives a raised effect and is used to fill petals and leaves.

3. Dhum patti: It is the leaf pattern made of cross-stitch.

4. Ghas patti: It is the grass leaves formed by V-shaped line of stitches worked in a graduated series on the right side of the fabric.


Besides there are two other important forms of embellishments:

1. Jali work: The jaalis or trellises that are created in chikankari are a unique speciality of this craft. It gives an effect of open mesh or net created by carefully pushing warps and wefts apart by needle without cutting or drawing of thread. The act thus make neat regular holes or jaalis on the fabric.

2. Khatawa: It is an appliqué work similar to bakhia, which produces a flat effect. It is more of a technique than a stitch.


The source of most of the design motifs in chikankari is Mughal. Noor Jehan’s personal preferences and desire to replicate the Turkish architectural open-work designs is said to have that led to the introduction of jaalis in chikan embroidery. The designs in chikan are graded and used according to the stitches employed – murri ka buta and tepchi ka jaal – though terms like hathi (elephant) and kairi (mango) are also used to signify the shape of the motif. It is however the stitch employed that is the established nomenclature. Other common motifs include mostly paisley, flowers, foliages, creepers, fruits, birds like peacock and parrots.


Typical White on White Chikankari

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Images and information for this article has been sourced.

Textiles from the ancient world has great importance for us as they tell us about the history, styles and forms of textiles that prevailed in ancient times. These clothing pieces also reflect the socio-economic and cultural influences and inform us about various societies, communities and civilizations that emerged and existed.

Throughout the world, preserved ancient textile collection includes a wide range of artifacts viz. tapestries, carpets, quilts, clothing, flags and curtains, as well as objects which ‘’contain’’ textiles, such as upholstered furniture, dolls, and accessories such as fans, parasols, gloves and hats or bonnets. They are largely conserved to be preserved from future damage under teh supervision of professional art conservationists and are stored safely in museums, historic societies/locations, and as private collections.


The Pazyryk Carpet - oldest known knotted carpet, preserved in a Scythe tomb (kurgan) from the 4th -3th century B.C.

Roundel Fragment, 7th Century, Byzantine, Polychrome wool and undyed linen, tapestry weave.                                                                                                                                                   A popular theme of roundels for tunics was the Old Testament story of Joseph. Inspired by silk weavings, the nine events shown here are from Genesis 37:9–36. At the center of this example, Joseph is seen dreaming that the sun, moon, and stars bow down to him. Two horizontally configured faces representing the sun and the moon are placed together with five stars to the left of the sleeping Joseph. The remnants of the imagery represent other episodes from Joseph’s childhood: Joseph’s Departure for Schechem; Joseph’s Arrival to His Brothers; Joseph Removed from the Well; Joseph’s Coat Stained with Blood; Joseph Sold to the Ishmaelite Traders; Reuben’s Lamentation; Joseph Brought to Egypt; and Joseph Sold to Potiphar. These scenes are read counterclockwise, beginning at “11 o’clock.” Source:
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