Embroidery in India comprises hundreds of regional embroidery patterns that differ by region on the varied Indian clothing types. The shape and pattern of the thread, as well as the stitch, are used to create designs in Indian embroidery. Rajasthan, as its name means, was a conglomeration of princely states. They came in all shapes and sizes, wielding different levels of authority and money. Skirt borders in Rajasthan's Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts are embroidered with a number of birds, goats, plants, and flowers. The art has a satisfying sense of naiveté to it. Simple Rajasthani embroidery stitches are used for filling and shading, but a three-dimensional look is achieved by using a thick thread in a variety of colors. The ralli is a patchwork spread rendered in Rajasthan's Jaiselmer district. The top of the spread is made up of small pieces of material stitched together in a decorative pattern. The padding is made up of layers of old material tied together with running stitches, much as in other parts of the world. Jaiselmer and Jodhpur are also known for their silk thread embroidery on leather, which is particularly common on shoes.
Traditional animal or flower patches are cut and used to create exquisite items such as pillow covers, wall hangings, bedcovers, and gudaris. All of the patches are influenced by one or more aspects of the setting. If you have a look at the range of products then you will see the patches or elements of nature like animals, flowers, trees, birds in their designs and patterns. The tree of life is a well-known and distinctive pattern that can be found on everything from bedcovers to cushion covers to curtains, and it represents positive energy, good health, and a bright future.
Every rilli quilt has a story. Each quilt illustrates the strength of tradition. Every rilli tells of natural creativity and love of color and design by the women who create them. Examining a rilli gives clues to the life and community of the woman who made it. A specific old shawl as the back fabric indicates she was from an agricultural group, certain colors identify a specific community and new cloth, sequins, beads and tassels indicate a rilli made for an important occasion such as a wedding. For those not from the culture of rilli makers, rillis are a way to help us understand more of their lives, thoughts and creativity. In addition to creating beautiful designs with colors and shapes, they have developed a textile craft with universal appeal touching the senses of those far beyond their community and culture.
Rilli quilts are a visual feast of color, pattern and energy. Rillis are made extensively in Pakistan in Sindh, Baluchistan, southern Punjab and in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat bordering Sindh. The quilts are called "rilli" (or ralli, rilly, rallee and rehli) derived from the local word ralanna meaning to mix or connect. Rillis are made by women of rural villages, nomadic tribes and settled towns. These areas are filled with hundreds of different groups and castes differentiated by religion, mainly Muslim and Hindu, and occupation. The occupations include farmers, herders, various craftsmen, businessmen and landowners.