Saturday, 7 May 2011

Toda Embroidery- A Tango of Needles



Toda Embroidery

Toda_embroidery

 

Toda people have a unique way of dressing. Both men and women cover themselves with a unique shawl  called Puthukuli which is designed and embroidered by themselves. It is intricately embroidered with red and blue or black threads at the borders. It is worn like a Roman Toga.  On one end of the cloth three stripes- two of red and one of black are woven into it. It is in these stripes that the embroidery is worked.  The darning stitch is used for embroidering motifs and patterns.  The base fabric is  bleached white cotton with a balanced weave structure. It enables the artisan to count and embroider the pattern.  No embroidery  frame is used  but instead they use their fingers to see, count and pick up threads by stretching the fabric. At each turn little tufts of threads are left protruding body. This technique ensures that each pattern created has a rich texture.  Patterns used for embroidery are similar to the ones used for tattoo marks.

Sources of Images and Text

1. http://www.cohands.in/handmadepages/pdf/331.pdf

2. http://www.parikramaholidays.com/pdf/Poothukuly-A-Toda-Ceremonial-Shawl.pdf

3.  A very nice story for children depicting Toda Culture http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/22nbt-%20The%20Toda%20&%20The%20Tahr%20by%20E.R.C.%20Davidar.pdf

Toda_caricature

 

 

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