Appliqué is the process of sewing smaller pieces of fabric onto a larger background fabric. It is a technique of forming a single pattern with different pieces of cloth. Pieces of fabric are applied on top of another for decorative or functional purposes.
The basic material for appliqué is cloth. Cotton cloth, which was being used traditionally, continues to be used today. Voile is also used to give it a more classy and delicate look. Multi colored threads as well as fabric swatches are required as per the design. Before the actual appliqué process begins, the background block is cut and
prepared for stitching. Sometimes the background fabric is prepared by joining various shaped fabric swatches (squares, rectangles, various geometric shapes etc) and then on top of this base the appliqué work is done. Once the design is made, an actual-sized drawing of the design is transferred on to a large piece of tracing paper. Tracing paper is placed on top of the design and the design is traced out. Holes are pierced on the tracing paper along the design and water erasable ink is used along the dotted line to transfer the design on to the fabric.
Then the fabric is placed on the background fabric and stuck with glue.
Once the fabric is prepared and the required design is traced on it, 1/2” space is left between design motifs to allow for the seam when cutting out the shapes. The shapes are cut out leaving 1/8”- 1/4″ all around the drawn line for turning under.
Then using a blind stitch or appliqué stitch, the cut fabric is sown with matching thread on to the background fabric. The stitching is started with the background pieces first, working up to foreground pieces. Then the product is given final finishing touches. Any extra threads are cut, and edges smoothened. As per the design required, different colors of fabric are used. Sometimes the cuttings are in contrast to the base fabric. Sometimes the same color is used for base and pattern, as in white on white, which is very much in current demand.