Banjara Needle Crafts

Banjara needle craft is a needle craft embroidery in the state of Telangana. The craft has evolved through centuries across generations. It is an embroidery and mirror work on tapestry. The work pieces are bright-coloured. Banjara needle craft is unique to the region of Telangana. It involves use of simple needles, embroidery thread, original fabrics (cotton or woolen), and needs high proficiency in the craft. Combined together, they create splendid pieces of art.

Needle work is the mainstay of this craft and the combination of certain patterns such as geometric shapes - squares, tracings and diamonds are widely used.

The colourful threads used on the basic cloth along with tiny mirrors, beads and cowrie shells impart a vibrant look to the piece of cloth. The mirrors, beads and shells diverse style of stitching - herringbone, simple chain stitching, long and short stitch.

Generally diverse colours such as pink, white, yellow and blue coloured clothes are used. In many instances, blue or brown cloth is used to ensure proper amount of contrast to enhance the beauty of the embroidery.

Banjara needle craft presents a range of embroidery such as bags, kurtas, cushions, gift articles, women garment fabric, bed sheets, and other home furnishing cloths.

Banjara needle work is not exotic by itself, but is the cut, craft and the ideas picked from nature that make it so different. Before itsy-bitsy blouses showing d├ęcolletage or open back blouses became fashion statements in urban areas, Banjara women were stitching and wearing them. It was this nifty needle work that incorporated mirrors and shells that drew the attention of the Crafts Council officials to Sepavat Angoori, then a 17-year-old married girl with a daughter, in Yellamma tanda (hamlet), Ibrahimpatnam taluk.

Sepavat Angoori honoured by Crafts Council of Telangana for her role in spreading the needle craft 

The Banjaras in Telangana are gypsies in ancient times who led a nomadic life. They travel from place to place and do a vocation related to their travel. Banjara needle crafts are handmade fabrics made by Banjaras.

Embroidery in general began with woman folk of travelling tribes who did not have the opportunity to go out home in pursuit of any vocation. They began embroidery as a matter of vocation. Embroidery is associated with every facets of life. Embroidery is symbolic of expressing one's passion for creativity.