EMBROIDERED CHOLIES OF PAHARI REGION: A TECHNICAL STUDY
Pahari embroidery was practised in different parts in undivided Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The surface ornamentation of these articles with respect to design, raw material and technique were beautifully adapted according to their utility. The popular product in embroidery is Chamba rumals locally known as dhaknu or chabbu. In addition, equally fascinating embroidery was seen on household products which were meant for personal use and decoration in single sided stitches. The most startling are cholies from Himachal Pradesh in terms of their construction and designs. The cholies from given museums were studied namely Bhuri Singh Museum, Chamba; Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh National Museum, New Delhi and personal collection. Evidently they are characterized by selective treatment given to them in terms of construction, materials, stitches, adaptation of designs and motifs. Apart from embroidery miniature paintings also indicated the relevance of traditional costumes in socio cultural traditions. Interestingly two different kinds are observed in cholies according to their construction. Likewise on basis of designs and motifs two different styles in embroidery are seen i.e. free hand curved designs and geometrical designs. The documentation of these designs is done by redrawing the traditional motifs with help of miniature artist Shri Prixit Sharma, Chamba. The stitches are also classified as filling, outline and finishing used in single sided embroidery. Conspicuously these minute variations lend special features to choli blouses and distinguish them from other form of embroideries from the pahari region.