In our experience of teaching a variery of Indian,European and other international hand embroidery for many years, we have come across individuals and professionals who have professed about the therapeutic value of embroidery.
It has helped a many bring forth the hidden artist in them to express ideas and emotions in their minds with their own hands using embroidery as their vehicle which is filled with diverse influences.Such a work not only fosters enriching and enhancing the quality of their lives,but also complements the fastmoving,demanding and stressful environment that they live in.
The aesthetics of embroidery is appreciated throughout the world.We all know that ‘A thing of Beauty is joy for ever’. The essentials of any good embroidery is its design structure,pleasing and harmonious color combination and the many intricate stitch techniques that has evolved around the world for centuries carrying a great diversity.
As we have observed,Colours around us play a crucial role in affecting our psyche.Some colors exude warmth like Red and Yellow.Some ,a feeling of freshness like Green,Some like Sky blue color gives us an expanded conciousness and some of the dark shades gives us a deep focus. The numerous stitch techniques provide intellectual satisfaction by beinging out the perfect texture required for the finish of embroidery.The designs defines the real aesthetics and the root of any embroidery.
If we observe the vast canvas of embroidery ,for instance, Kantha embroidery from west bengal has a painted effect. The techniques of Kutch and Kasuthi embroideries have intricate design structures which are stylised in nature.Chikankari embroidery enables one to embroider nature (floral,creepers etc) in a stylised manner.
Lagartara embroidery from Europe has a stone studded effect.Norweave embroidery has a mosaic texture.Mirror embroidery from India adds glamour to the embroidery. There are innumerable varieties which offer a wealth of opportunities to engage and satisfy the creative,emotional and intellectual needs of a person.
Initially embroidery begins with concentrating and looking only at the needle point to execute the stitches in a perfect manner. If the mind strays, your stitches become imperfect. So the thought space in your mind is reduced to the space of the needle point because of the concentration. As one practices more and more and spends some considerable time to pursue this art which mostly deals with nature and social forms, the experience of peace is communicated and understood in the silence and stillness of our being.
This peace induces a sort of expanded consciousness that cuts across the barriers of time & space.This peaceful silence of the mind reduces the stress of day to day existence. The reduction of stress enables us to gain true health as the mind becomes calm and body becomes relaxed. One can even find the emergence of new capabilities and faculties into oneself which one would not have hitherto imagined.
Thus in this state of creative expanded consciousness a person recovers faster from extreme stress or even illness . And this mental climate is quite crucial in matters of healing & health. This state of the mind widens our awareness of everything we feel & experience. This state of awareness in us liberates us from problems and makes us more capable. It frees us from stress and strain of our activities.
This change in attitude has a positive effect on one’s life bringing health and fitness in the body, quietness in mind, clarity of understanding as well as balance in mind, generating a sense of well being, security and satisfaction. We can get rooted to our present responsibilities with the positive attitude to life.
The task therefore before us as the propagators of embroidery is not just the execution part of embroidery, but to seek deeper into the layers of our psychology where the roots of creativity and an urge to bring out the beautiful lies.There are crisis points in our lives which lead us as if by Nature’s irony, to the doors of our own concealed possibilities. So, let us open the doors to this greater and vaster creative consciousness and allow its influx on us.
We also believe that Business organisations/Corporates may benefit by supporting the women employees through enabling them to take Embroidery as a hobby. In organisations today,Empoyee’s sustained contribution,productivity and retention is key to the success of businesses.Initiatives in supporting and helping them to channelise their energies and augmenting their creativity could help companies immensely especially in today’s stressful times