Chandua/Applique Work

One of the most important cottage industries encouraged by temple rituals was the creation of applique work Applique in Odisha is an old temple art , which has been refined to perfection. A fine example of the craft is the enormous applique canopies above the reigning deity of Puri , Lord Jagannath . Applique art is the process of cutting coloured cloth into shapes of animals , birds, flowers, leaves and other decorative motifs and stitching them on to a piece of cloth that can ultimately be used as a lamp shade , a hand bag or even a garden umbrella .

The village of Pipli , 40 kms. from Puri , is the site of beautiful applique work, created by artists, quite a few of whom have won national awards for their crafts.

The lovely wall paintings seen on houses are very much eye-catching, whether painted with colours or powdered rice water. The traditional patta paintings are painted on the traditional treated cloth with a laequered hard surface and original colour combinations. The theme of such paintings mostly revolves around Lord Jagannath.

The sets of 96 circular playing cards with traditional charming paintings called ” Ganjappa ” are much sought after by Connoisseurs. Raghurajpur a road side village about 14 Kms away from Puri towards Bhubaneswar and Chitrakara Sahi in Puri Town houses these artisans The Palm leaf painters are also seen on the job in this village Raghurajpur which is proud of her products-artisans and painters. These paintings are done by the palm-leaf etching technique which are formed by stitching together rows of the leaves. They can be folded into a compact pile, then opened up easily.

Like patachitras, applique work in Odisha also originated as a temple art. Coloured cloth, after being cut and shaped into the forms of birds, animals, flowers, leaves, and other decorative motifs is stitched onto a cloth piece designed as a wall hanging, garden or beach umbrella, a lamp shade and other utility items. Since the past decade or so, saris and household linen in applique work are also being produced in increasing numbers.

Tiny mirrors in a whole range of geometrical shapes and designs are then encapsulated by thread embroidery to create a striking work of art. Four basic traditional colours- red, yellow, white and black are used, while green has been added in comparatively recent times. Besides Puri, appliqué work is also practised to some extent in Chitki, Barpali, and a couple of other places.