The Wonderful World of Pipli
by CHITRA BALASUBRAMANIAM
In India, there is a centuries-old tradition of exquisite, intricate appliqué known as Pipli. The simple definition of appliqué is stitching one piece of cloth onto another, but the craftsmen of Pipli have taken appliqué to a higher level by combining rich, colorful pieces of fabric with beads, zari, sequins, and small mirrors. The needlework draws its name from the village of Pipli, where it is made, which is located 1,745 kilometers from Delhi, the capital of India. Although this type of appliqué was originally used for religious items, it is popular today on commercial products, such as umbrellas and lampshades, that are sold in the marketplace. Religious tradition coexists with modern craftsmanship!
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