Banjara Embroidery and needle works are made extensively by the nomads of Telangana. The colourful and rural lifestyle of Banjaras are displayed in the form of high-spirited clothes. The embroidery work by Banjaras of Telangana, is unique when compared to similar works by the Kutch Banjaras and Gujarat Banjaras.
The nomadic tribe or the Banjaras are believed to be the descendants of the gypsies from Europe who subsequently settled in the desert areas of Rajasthan thousands of years ago. Originated from the Northern part of India, the popular tribe of Banjaras moved towards the Deccan Plateau in South India in medieval times during the reign of Aurangzeb, a Mughal Emperor. They are considered to be among the most colourful tribes in India owing to their colourful dresses and jewelry. This nomadic group of Banjara practice the craft of Banjara tribal embroidery as well as mirror work.
Fine clothes and tribal jewellery are the elements of beauty for the Banjara women who wear their cherished jewellery in all its finery. Banjara women wear colourful ghaghras, cholis, and odnis with bold mirrors and appliqué work. The embroidery is truly unique in its style and the matchless quality is achieved with a combination of brightness and originality.
The intricate embroidery done through this art form is marked by many geometrical combinations like diamonds, squares, and triangles. The colorful threads used in the embroidery are largely symbolic of the vibrant life style of Banjaras. For embellishing an article, they also employ beads, shells, and mirrors. The sunlight which is reflected through the colourful mirror accentuates the splendid beauty of this work. A wonderful array of designs and figures are created with the help of simple stitches such as herringbone, chain stitch, as well as short and long stitch.
Banjara Embroidery is known for its exclusive vibrancy in terms of the colors and the use of other articles like coins, woolen tassels, cowrie shells, beads, mirror and cotton for embellishments. Mirrors are used widely in Banjara Embroidery marking a distinctive feature. The embroidery is done mostly on blue or a brown colored cloth, which is quilted. The cotton or woolen thread is used for creating intricate embroidery. This ensures that the color contrast looks prominent. Some of the quilting stitches are used for the purpose of patterning while the cotton threads are used for creating unusual yet attractive geometric patterns. The embroidery also makes use of silver, cowries, brass, animal bones and gold.
The products created by them are popular, appealing to customers all over the world for its rural charm and aesthetics. Banjara embroidery is considered delightful and the products made by them are sold widely in the art and craft market. The beautiful fabrics made by the Banjaras is characterized by vibrant colours, elaborate embroidery and exquisite mirror work. The different products made with Banjara embroidery includes bags, purses, belts, cushion and pillow covers, quilts and bed spread, and also skirts, salwar suits, blouses etc.