If you head out a few kilometres from Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, you will reach a village where all the houses and shops along the boast of beautiful and colourful embroidery work, either finished or in progress. Welcome to the village of Pipli, in the district of Puri. Pipli art has gained fame worldwide owing to its bright colours, exquisite embroidery patterns and intricate weaving representing aspects of life in an Indian village.
The Pipli art form emerged as a temple art in the 11th century, under the patronage of kings and nobility. Now used to create a large number of ceremonial and decorative products, the handicrafts are unparalleled in flexibility and versatility, permitting experimentation and encouraging innovation. A community of professional tailors, colloquially known as ‘Darjis’, traditionally practices the craft. They consider the craft as a service or ‘seva’ for the Lord of the temple.
The classically trained and skilled artisans create the art in an intricate technique known as ‘Applique’. Originating from the French word, ‘appliquer’, meaning ‘to put on’, one piece of fabric is placed over a base layer and is sewn in place. The skilled artisans express their creativity in combining different coloured pieces of cloth in order to create bright and vibrant designs, perfect for umbrellas, tents, lamp shades among others. Flat motifs are first cut from cloth and then superposed on the base cloth in a predetermined layout and sequence. The edges of the motifs are turned in and skillfully stitched onto the base cloth or stitched by embroidery or without turning as necessary. Craftsmen use various techniques including straight stitch, blind stitch, satin stitch or buttonhole stitch for attaching the pieces of cloth. They also make use of decorative stitches and mirror work for more elaborate pieces.
A key characteristic of the Pipli art style involves three-dimensional patterns, made by the folding of the upper piece of cloth into triangles and attaching them to the base.
Artisanscrest brings the vibrant and colourful designs straight from the town of Pipli into the homes of art lovers everywhere. With intricate work and delicate embroidery serving as a testimony to the skills and abilities of the master craftsmen of Pipli, Artisanscrest offers you the chance to buy into a little piece of history and the chance to ensure that this beautiful craft carries on for at least one more generation.
The Artisanscrest network includes a vast community of expert artisans, master craftsmen and visionaries who work in close collaboration with our art curators and connoisseurs to create exquisite works of art for the sole purpose of adorning the homes of our customers from across the globe. Each piece of Pipli Art is created exclusively by the artisans from the town of Pipli based on your choice and specific needs so that you can own a piece of tradition made especially for you.