Blog Archive

Thursday, February 11, 2010

“Mirror, mirror on textile
How beautifully you adorn the fabrics …”

Shisha/Mirror work is a very important part of textile industry in India. Mirror embroidery which is used in saris, dresses, bed-sheets, cushion covers, bags, etc is very much in demand all over the world. It’s one of the inevitable features in Indian fashion industry.

In India, this art work is done in the northern part of the country, in states like Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana. Originally, this art work is done by the people of certain tribes or communities such as the Kathi community or the Jat community of Banni in Kutch, Gujarat. In the Kathi embroidery the mirrors are used mainly as the center of flower motifs and as eyes of animal and bird motifs. The mirrors that are cut into different shapes and sizes are held onto the fabric with bright, decorative stitches stitched all over them. As the demand is so high, now both hand blown and machine cut glass are used in such embroidery.

My hometown is in the southern part of India and during festival seasons many exhibitions are held and craftsmen from all over the country come together and exhibit their beautiful art work and textiles.

This is a salwar kameez [an Indian outfit] embellished with mirror and embroidery work.

This beautiful work that has become an integral part of Indian embroidery is mostly done by the women of certain tribes or communities. The family often sits together and completes the intricate work on fabrics. But often these poor people are given cheap labor charges and the embroidered materials are sold at an exorbitant rate by the retailers via middle men.

At the same time there are some organizations that have come forward to help these people to make a living and to rescue many old Indian art forms and craft from extinction.

If you ever make a visit to the Northern part of India don’t forget to get some of the beautiful mirror worked crafts and fabrics.


Theme Thursday-Mirror.


  1. Susan...I got a complete education from this post. The art work is incredibly beautiful.
    Great TT!

  2. Thank you for this lovely post. I am a huge fan of Indian textiles. When i was a girl, my friend used to lend me her Kameeses and we would have our photo's taken together wearing them. It always reminded me of dresasing up as a fairy princess like in my younger years.

  3. I almost made it to Southern India. I was two weeks from going but then a big layoff came in my company and wiped out the opportunity. I'll get another chance at some point, I'm sure.

  4. Beautiful garment and most interesting lesson! Thank you so much for sharing. ~ Tanna

  5. So beautiful! I would love to be able to wear a dress like that!

  6. These were beautiful...Thanks for a great post.

  7. Lovely art work on the dress!
    I really enjoyed this post and thank you so much for sharing it!


  8. Gorgeous textiles; thanks for sharing these!

    Sometimes, the best mirror I’ve got is the look in my daughter’s eyes.

  9. beautiful pieces...and loved hearing about them as well. wonderful TT post!

  10. Just GORGEOUS! I've always liked the sparkle & beauty of that form of decoration of the tiny mirrors and all that embroidery. I would love to visit India one day! :o) Wishing you & yours a sweet Valentine Weekend, Susan ((HUGS))

  11. Do you consider sequins a type of mirror?

  12. That's a nice churi. From where did you buy it?


About Me

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I am someone who loves almost everything that is related to art-be it writing, painting, crafts, music, dance; Yes,anything that can enliven my spirit. I am originally from Kerala,India. Currently I live in the US.