Traditional Bags: Let The Colourful Embroidery Decide Your Mood

How many colours can you think of that can come together in a space? And even with the varieties of shades of colour, blend together to stand out as one? I often wonder how the traditional embroideries bring all these colours in one plate and create a beautiful piece of embroidery hand bags, sling bags, clutches, pouches and so on.

The sight of such bright and colourful little pouches brings a smile on your face. Every strand of the thread is knit in a particular pattern. It looks as if the circular shaped mirrors are cosily sitting inside their different coloured rooms and are peeping out in the world. The strands appear and disappear at regular intervals; or overlap on each other; or inter twins with each other as if they were small kids playing around with each other with strings tied to them. As they continue to play the pattern becomes more evident and clearer.


The hand bags vary in terms of the embroidery done on it. Some are simple and sober as one would like to carry for a normal walk down the lane. Some are heavily decorated with mirror pieces, shells, stones, pearls and other decorative materials of various shapes and sizes.

One does not have to think if the hand bag will match the dress or our attire. It will go nicely with any traditional wear, be it a saree or a kurta. Nowadays, people in western attire tend to give themselves a traditional look by carrying a hand made embroidered sling bag, hand bag or clutches.  For instance, even with a pair of jeans and t-shirt the traditional embroidered jhola looks pretty good and it goes with the trend.

Since the cloth is used as the material, the possibilities of different shapes are even more. They may be round, square, rectangle, oval, triangle or u-shaped. They are handy and durable. And they are never out of fashion. Other possible materials that can be used are raw silk, embossed leather, brocade and canvas.

Jhola Bags




Every single piece is a unique piece of art as the embroidery done in each one of them is different. The layers, the patterns and the designs vary from one to another.  Even the smallest patch of embroidery reflects the rich cultural pattern or design. Every minute detail counts for the larger picture of the design. Therefore, it requires immense skill to bring together all the isolated structures and put them together in a way that reflects the importance of every strand.

What’s really amazing is that even after the number of colors coming together different shades of bags are still possible. They have darker shades which consist of colors like khaki, dark green, dark blue and so on. They do not look very bright but give very ethnic look. The lighter shades consists of colours like orange, yellow, pink, blue, white and so on. They look lively and bright. Many other shades are used to enhance the beauty of embroidery.

One major thing that no can miss about traditional bags are the figures that are imprinted or drawn on it. There are many figures of elephants, people playing drums, and camels. The animals usually have a patch of embroidery to cover their back. The embroidery of a flower is the most common patterns that are seen. The flowers vary in their colour, shapes and sizes and every flower looks different from each other.

Every state has different kind of speciality, even in bags. For instance, block printing is a famous art of Rajasthan. It is basically the block prints of, usually colourful, birds, animals, human beings, gods and goddesses. The most crucial factor is the accuracy of printing. Ahir embroidery of Kutch is another such example where the curvilinear style motifs such as peacock, parrot, scorpions, elephants, flowers and milk maid. There are many such artisans who have dedicated their life in keeping this traditional art of embroidery alive.

Some pieces of art never goes out of trend. The traditional bags are one of them. Whether you use it daily or occasionally, the exquisite colours and patterns will surely make your day.

Anupa Sagar Kujur



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