Monday, 25 May 2009

Shisha Embroidery

This is one of the pieces I've been working on. I still need to put a border around it and maybe some more beading and a design on the border. I'm thinking of also mounting it on a canvas. I showed this background in the post that I did on Indian Inspiration. I haven't named it yet, I'll wait till its finished.

I love the look of Shisha Embroidery. There is a good tutorial on the Joyful Abode blog.
These are some books on Shisha Embroidery that I have.

This is a great book. It is quite detailed. It shows 10 different methods of doing Shisha as well as lots of design ideas. It is packed full of photos - the only disappointment is that they aren't all in colour.
Nearly half of this book is made up of Transfer patterns to be used for Shisha Embroidery. This initially put me off this book as I don't really like using patterns but these are good as a starting point and useful to inspire your own designs. In the introduction it links Shisha Embroidery to Mumtaz Mahal, whose husband the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan, built the Taj Mahal. It states that she, "Is credited by some with having originated the idea and techniques for Shisha embroidery." There is an interesting section on Regional Styles of Shisha Embroidery. It also has diagrams on how to do Shisha and other stitches. This book doesn't have alot of photos. Once again most of the photos are in black and white. This is a shame as the patterns and embroideries are so colourful, it would be good to see them in their full splendour.
I love the picture on the front of this book. Surjeet Husain, who wrote this book, was born in India and intially learnt embroidery from her Aunt. She is now a Lecturer in Textiles in London and teaches the art of Indian and English embroidery. The book has sections on General Information, Stitches, A Project - a Bushkiri Bag and Design inspiration. It has some good designs at the back and shows how you can develop a pattern. Surjeet has two other workbooks on Indian styles of Embroidery.
Some links that show Shisha Embroidery are:

Shisha Embroidery Flickr Group

Stitch Magazine Article


Anonymous said...

This looks beautiful Barbara! I love all the stitching.

Art4Sol said...

I keep getting tempted to try some shisha embroidery. Just last night before I went to bed I copied instructions from a book I have on loan from the library. I also have the first book you listed, I have mirrors and good god, enough thread to stitch the Bayeux Tapestry! You've inspired me to go for it. I'm just a little concerned if wool as a background will be too stretchy to hold the mirrors.

Barbara said...

Thanks Jan.

Darlene, I think it would be okay, but if not maybe you could attach the wool background to a piece of cotton or other fabric to make it abit more stable. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. The book that you said you have is a great book isn't it. I like how they have used lots of photos and lots of ideas for designs.

Mary said...

Wow, this is really beautiful.
I have cross stitched and did complete the top of a quilt once, but nothing like this. This looks complicated. It would look great on canvas - it is such a work of art!!


Barbara said...

Thanks Mary for your lovely comments.

Its not that complicated, the stitches I've used are all basic stitches. This type of embroidery is alot easier than following a pattern such as in cross stitch as anything goes. There are no real rules apart from what you think looks good and it is a matter of just adding more embroidery to different parts as you go to build up the design.