Today we travel to the Nilgiris.

Hello Folks:

Hope everyone had a wonderful start to the New Year. Today we travel to South India to look at the distinctive embroidery of the Toda community.

What do you think of this red and black scarf? Beautiful, isn't it? This is a sample of the embroidery done by the Toda women. Todas are a tribal community who live in the breathtaking land of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. Their traditional shawl is a white woven cloth with striking red bands with embroidery on it. This scarf is a miniature version of their traditional shawl.

Here is a closer look at the embroidery. It is done by counted thread work and so the design is the same on both sides. You are looking at the right side of the design. As you can see the designs are geometric. And so, from a distance the entire piece can easily be mistaken to be woven rather than embroidered.

Here is a look at the wrong side. Similar, yet not entirely :) Can you see why?

Take a closer look of the same motif. The stitching is flat on this side.

Now look the right side. What makes this embroidery interesting is the way it is stitched. Notice how the threads are left evenly loose, lifting the entire design a bit and giving the wearer a sense of warmth. I love the colors - bright and stunning.

Here is a look at the long strip of embroidery with a striking red band of woven fabric. The embroidery is done on the right side. I don't think the thread is knotted at the end. The crinkly thread just seem to stay up in its position.

This is the wrong side of the same design.

That's all for today. Next time you take a holiday to Tamil Nadu, be sure to pick a Toda shawl :)
Here is a link to more information about the Toda. http://www.nilgiris.tn.gov.in/

Till next time....