Rajasthan is best known for its cultural heritage and various art forms. The Kings of Rajasthan were patrons of several art forms like Usta art, Aari bharat, Aabhla bharat, etc., their popularity eventually spread across the planet. Various textile arts are associated with the state. The playful threads and needle has a special place in the field of art and craft, hence it is the perfect destination for those who love to wear such items.
The various art forms developed were nurtured and sooner or later absorbed in lifestyle. With the arrival of expert artists the art forms had significant and rapid development.
Mirror work on clothes is referred as Aabhla bharat or Shisheh bharat in Rajasthan. Chaniya choli and broad borders is first thing that lingers in mind as mirror work is thought of. These clothes with mirror works are adorned by females. These days the artists use the modern touch of technology and provide the unique mirror work. A range of other craft products like mobile phone covers, cushion covers and wall decorations are manufactured with mirror work fabric.
There is no exact information available about how this craft has taken shape, but as the artists here are much known for innovation, the Mirror work must have been shaped accordingly only to provide something new to the craft and apparel lovers.
Mirror craft on clothes originated in India in the 17th century. In the era of Mughal kings, this art came into existence. It was a handwork confined to chunk of skilled artisans and considered a luxury during ancient times. When the art originated mica was used for embroidery in common and beetle, tin or silver coins were used depending on the religion one followed. Later on, these things were replaced by mirror pieces, mirror bubbles, and other mirror shapes. The Mirror embroidered clothes were expensive so traditionally, the Kings and royal courtesans of Mughal Durbar used to wear the same. Mirror is known as Sisheh in Persian and the Mirror craft is named Shisheh Bharat.
Later, many artists became expert in Shisheh Bharat and started providing such clothes at much lesser prices. With the fall in price common people adapted the use of mirror embroidered clothes. In the olden days, the surface of mirror used for embroidery was convex, but today flat surface mirror pieces are used. With the use of the convex surface mirror sometimes the cloth used to get stuck with hooks or something else. By using a flat surface mirror, the possibility of clothes getting stuck in hooks is eradicated. These days the trend of mirror embroidered clothes has started again. However, here one must note that the majority of the real mirror work even this age of technology also done manually as machines cannot work to fix the mirrors.
Buying a mirror embroidered clothes is the special attraction during festivals like Navratri, Deepavali, etc. These are weighty so many people don’t prefer to go for mirror worked apparels; hence special material is used to create the look of a mirror. The majority of the Abhla work apparels are made by the local women who are indeed great crafts personality. They charge very reasonable if one goes to buy the same at the artist’s place also. In the interiors of the state, there are many artists who sell the apparels this way to the buyer directly also.
One can buy fine embroidered clothes in Rajasthan at cost effective prices. There are many manufacturer-exporters of mirror work crafts spread across the state; they help the Indians residing in other countries to enjoy the festivals with a great look and charm.