Embroidery of Rajasthan brings new character and dimension to any article that it graces. It is an ancient craft, which has changed over time to reflect the prevailing social, material and sometimes even the political mood of the times. The women of Rajasthan are expert in this field and can make very attractive embroidery works on various clothes like in quilts, skirts (gharries), shawls, bed covers and in many more others.
The most particularly ornamented fabrics and articles found in Rajasthan are often those for personal adornment. Some form of embroidery invariably embellishes the three garments worn by women, the kanchli, ghaghra and odhni. Similarly men`s garments like the angarkha, achkan and jama also display certain elements of embroidery. It is also used to beautify the household items, like bedspreads, wall hangings and animal trappings. Embroidery is done for domestic use; it is by custom a feminine occupation. Men, traditionally, were involved in embroideries like zardozi and danka. These crafts receive the patronage of royal families even today. Embroidery of Rajasthan brings new character and dimension to any article that it graces.
As in many traditional societies, women in rural Rajasthan lead somewhat restricted lives. With the exception of a few pastoral and tribal communities, their interactions are usually limited to the confines of their homes and villages. Embroidery, thus, becomes the expression of a woman`s artistic temperament. In fact, activities focused within the household have led to development of a variety of arts and crafts. Often leisure time activities, after the daily chores are done, around the home, in the fields and any other area that falls within their domain. It is then that the needles come out and ply busily until sundown. Thus, embroidery of Rajasthan becomes the expression of girls, who usually never learn to read or write. These young artists begin their training at the early age of seven or eight, thus learning to create exquisite patterns on plain fabric. Initially working on simple designs, they gradually master their skills, acquiring the daintiness and refinement of accomplished needlewomen. They work as apprentices to their mothers and grandmothers, sisters and aunts, who pass on to them designs, patterns and a heritage that has evolved over the centuries. A wide variety of techniques is used in the embroidery of costumes and textiles. Some of the popular styles are, among others, metal embroidery, gota work, and sufbharat.