Embroidery updates

Hello everyone,

How have you all been? I've been dilly-dallying about blogging for a long long time..it was more like let me finish some project and then I'll write a post. But the finish seems to taking forever.

It's been a year since we returned to India and life has been busy. Imagine the situation where one has been away from all the hustle and bustle for several months and suddenly you're dropped back into the frying pan :)  But it's been good :)

On the embroidery front, I have multiple projects ongoing but none are finished. I am embroidering a saree right now, but the  progress is rather slow.

This saree is popularly known as "Kerala saree" and is a must have for all Keralites as a festive wear. It is considered suitable for any occasion- from wedding to any celebration.The look and price of sarees vary based on the purity of the gold that's woven into the sari. The basic cream color and the gold border is mandatory , but now a days a lot of new designs are being introduced. Kerala saree is considered so elegant that every sari lover in the country wants one. Infact, I gifted one to our German friends as a farewell gift.

The one pictured above is a very very inexpensive six and half meter unstitched fabric. I was not sure if I had the patience to embroider on the entire 6.5 metres, so I started with the safest option of embroidering on the end that is draped on the shoulder. It is approx half meter wide and I can stop stitching if I want to once I complete that length.

The above pic is of my wedding attire - which is woven in original gold thread - I am posting just to show you the difference between the inexpensive and the real one. History says that the color and the fabric style was inspired from Graeco-Romans, since Kerala being a coastal state conducted business with them. The merchants used to dump a lot of gold in exchange for the spices - hence the gold border ;)

Photo: Prasanth Chandran/ Alamy Stock Photo
Photo: Prasanth Chandran/ Alamy Stock Photo

I guess, I need not give any description for the above pic :)

Another project that I started but stalled in the middle is a Viana do Castelo embroidery piece. The pattern is from a Portuguese magazine which was gifted to me by a dear friend. I am trying to be faithful to the stitches mentioned there and I've managed to stitch the outlines.

But now when it has come to the filling part - I'm stuck. I do not know what is Crivo florentino or crivo Fantasia,crivo Quadriculado, zigue-zague or de Grupo. I tried all my google skills but came to nought. Does anyone of you know the stitches? If you are aware, please let me know how these stitches are executed.

So, that's about it. I'll finish a little more of the saree and come back with an update.

Love, luck and sunshine,


  1. I've had a quick search as well, and the image results are so varied in style it's hard to make any deductions at all. If I think of someone to ask, I will do so!

  2. Welcome back dear Deepa.
    I feel leke have to give you the answer :)
    there several ways to make crivo see here:
    https://avomeri.me/2013/06/30/crivos-portugueses-portuguese-openwork/ they are not easy and I never finished the sampler... But I think you can see the book you have from Luzine Happel and she explain step by step many of these oppen work we, Portuguese, name by Crivo. Hope this help my dear friend xxx

  3. I forget to show you another poor easy way to solve that, as I did here

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Hi Deepa! Glad to hear from you and that you're doing well. Wish I could help you with the stitches you're searching for but I don't suppose my google skills are any better than yours. You might end up having to resort to using different filling stitches - I'm sure the end result will be just as nice as the original.

  6. you have been greatly missed good to see you're back.
    what a gorgeous piece of cloth!

  7. Lovely memories of my honeymoon in Kovalam and my Kerala saree :-) No, I am very much a north Indian, but Love handloom weaves. You've indeed taken up a huge project, but your edging is very pretty and classic. They look like diyas! And herringbone stitch is my favourite filling stitch. Hope to see more of your work after this long hiatus.


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