A Sneak Peek at Ek Taar Embroidery

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‘Ek Taar’ is one wire in Hindi and a form of embroidery that is primarily done on the garments of both men and women. It was traditionally done using a single strand of thin metal in sync with crystal work on the clothes. While in many other stitching techniques, the thread remains hidden, the threadwork is intentionally kept on display in the case of Ek Taar embroidery. Due to this feature of the embroidery, it is used in more on bridal wear, groom wear, and party attires.

Background of Ek Taar

Background of Ek Taar

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Though the origin of the Ek Taar technique is not clear, it is a well-known fact that it became popular somewhere in the Mughal Era. The embroidery became prominent because only the royals and nobles of that era could afford garments adorned with Ek Taar Embroidery of precious metals such as silver and gold. Apart from apparel, the Ek Taar technique was used on juttis, gloves, headdresses and turbans.

However, when Mughal rule ended and British rule started, Ek Taar technique found it quite hard to survive, as now the population consisted of working individuals. But when British Rule came to an end, Ek Taar was revived again owing to the government policies and emphasis on raising the status of local artisans. This time round, the embroidery marked its presence on wedding apparels and other formal wear.

Ek Taar in Making

The fine form of threadwork, Ek Taar demands precision and experience. It is commonly combined with crystals and/or precious stones, decorative elements such as rhinestone, sequins, beads, etc.

Ek Taar in Making

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A single metal wire is threaded through the stone and further, it is worked delicately through the garment. Interestingly, attempts have been made to mechanize the process but results turned out to be not as fine as the original work done by hand.

Variety and Style of Ek Taar

Ek Taar is usually seen on wedding apparel i.e. Groom or Bride Dresses. But owing to its elegance and immense popularity, it is now used to ornament lehengas, sherwanis, kurtas, sarees, etc. The technique is also used on turbans worn by Hindu and Sikh grooms.

Though the technique and process used is very much the same till date, the material has undergone a severe change. The use of metallic thread is not as common as it was previously. These days, resham, cotton threads, and silk threads have replaced the metal wire for Ek Taar embroidery.

With artistic freedom and creativity of the artisans, the Ek Taar is now used on home decor items and fashion accessories as well. They are tablecloths, handbags, stoles, clutches, etc.

A Versatile Art

What began as the fashion statement of the noble families went on to become a versatile art that is now not just limited to garments but goes well beyond the boundaries of opulent attires and luxurious costumes. With the freedom of using oodles of materials for the thread work of Ek Taar, the art form is revolutionizing the way one looks at embroidery.