Banjara Needle Crafts

Telangana region has witnessed the influx of migrants from various parts of India over many centuries. One of the most prominent tribes among them are Banjaras, who migrated from the present day Rajasthan.

The Banjaras in Telangana are considered gypsies for many centuries, since they lead a nomadic life. They travel from one place to another and in the process; they indulge in vocation related to their tribe. Banjara needle crafts are exclusive handmade fabrics made by the Banjaras. The process of embroidery is believed to have originated among the woman folk of the travelling tribe. For people of this tribe, Embroidery is associated with every facet of life and also expresses their passion for creativity.

Banjara needle craft is therefore a prominent needle craft embroidery practiced in the state of Telangana. The craft has evolved through centuries through generations. It is an embroidery and mirror work on tapestry.

The work pieces are bright-colored. Banjara needle craft is unique to the region of Telangana and involves the use of simple needles, embroidery thread, original fabrics (cotton or woolen). It requires high proficiency in the craft. Combined together, they create splendid pieces of art.

Needle work is considered the mainstay of this craft and a combination of certain patterns like geometric shapes - squares, tracings and diamonds are widely used. The colourful threads used on cloth as well as the tiny mirrors, beads and cowrie shells impart a vibrant and attractive look to the piece of cloth used in this craft. The mirrors, beads and shells are used in diverse style of stitching styles namely herringbone, simple chain stitching, long and short stitch.

In this form of tribal needle craft, coloured cloth like pink, white, yellow and blue are used. In few instances, even brown cloth is used to ensure that there is good contrast to enhance the overall beauty of the embroidery. Banjara needle craft is used for making bags, kurtas, cushions, garments, fabric, bed sheets, gift articles, as well as other home furnishings.

Due to its aesthetic appeal and creative finesse, the several craft items made of Banjara Needle Craft are widely popular among the middle class and also the elite sections of the society. The tribal element makes its appealing and one can find these craft pieces adorning the walls, living rooms and are even used as women accessories.