Schiffli Embroidery: History and contemporary twists with Saadgi

Done on schiffli machine, it is a type of lace work done on fabrics. The word schiffli itself is a swiss dialect of german word that means “Little boat” describing exactly the shape of shuttle used to design it. This type of machine work embroidery is also treated with a chemical bath which will be discussed later.

The history lane of schiffli embroidery:

Initially when all the embroidery was done through hand work and manually by artisans since then hand embroidery was a part of fashion culture globally. On the advent of industrial revolution, more machines were introduced and used in embroidery. In 1860, the idea of machine embroidery was first thought by Isaac Groebli which was then executed successfully in 1873 when he introduced the first machine for schiffli.

Making of schiffli:

The process involved in  the making of this embroidery is as unique and attractive as the resulting masterpiece. When thousands of needles placed horizontally.The fabric is held against the entire width of the loom and the needles, like the sewing machine, move back and forth through it. The embroidery creates an interlocked series of thread which in essence becomes the lace pattern and a beautiful piece of embroidered lace.

More into the process:

The fabric used for this embroidery is sacrificial fabric. Once the embroidery is done completely, it is went through a chemical bath which is mostly enzyme based. The embroidered fabric gets dissolved andthe parrt with intricacy and beauty of embroidery is left behind.

Styles and patterns:

As long as, Schiffli is noticed in a lot of different styles. Different unique embroideries are done on fabrics with designs and patterns. Few of them are borer holes, net work, applique with two layers , with different colors, also with metal threads. The world to machine work gets deep as you dive in it due to the vast variations and options introduced in contemporary time 

Contemporary moves with schiffli:

Evolution in machinery has resulted in the creation of modern Schiffli machines that can produce lace that is 15 yards long and 60 inches wide, in one go.Schiffli embroidery is often seen on modern salwar kameez as embellishments. Also used in lingeries, home decor, cushion covers etc.

 In India, It is mostly created and exported from Gujarat.

Schiffli and Saadgi:

Niki Mehra's bottle green rayon schiffli chikan with sequence work 


Niki Mehra's rayon schiffly sequence work Black Gharara set & Dupatta

Niki Mehra's rayon schiffly sequin work embellished Red Gharara set & Dupatta

This Saadgi  designer set is crafted from high-quality  rayon sequin chikankari, giving it a beautiful shimmer with rainbow sequin. Lined with pure crape and featuring a dupatta with Gotta Patti and mukaish work all over, this elegant set will make you stand out. The Gharara comes with a kurta with front and back all-over work.