A post on Shisha or Abhla bharat, the name given to the mirrorwork embroidery from Gujarat, Pakistan and Afghanistan, today. It’s a style of indigenous embroidery which has been used for generations. Tiny pieces of abhla, or mirrored glass, are sewn into the overall embroidery design, using a sickle stitch, creating a sparkly, jewel-like effect. The use of these mirrors in traditional dress, wall hangings and coverlets isn’t purely a decorative device, it has a practical purpose too. Mirrors were used in Islamic architecture to reflect the light and in the same way mirrors on fabrics within the home are used to reflect sunlight and candlelight at night.
Ceiling detail from the Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace, Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, built in the sixteenth century
Interior of a Bhunga, a traditional mud hut, which I visited in a village near Bhuj, Gujarat. The furniture, constructed from mud, and the storage jars are studded with mirrors in different sizes to reflect the light. In some Bhungas the walls are also adorned with mirrors.
Details from some of the vintage shisha embroidery we have in our store:
Shisha embroidery in geometric designs
Shisha embroidery in floral designs
Check out our range of beautiful,vintage, cushions and wall art containing shisha embroidery, www.maudinteriors.com/product-category/textiles/hand-embroidered-tribal-cushions.