Applique , is a French word which means to join or attach . Applique is a surface type of embroidery where a piece of cloth is stitched on to another larger cloth in the form of some pattern. It's early use was to strengthen worn out areas or serve as a patch over holes but soon developed into a creative form and used by many cultures .
An applique kurta with Ikkat fabric used for applique:
In the US the Amish are a group of traditional Christian church people who have still not adopted the modern way of living make beautiful applique quilts .
A white kurta inspired by applique embroidery :
Applique became very popular in the mid 1800's by fashionable ladies !
The ancient Egyptians used applique in their garments. During the middle ages Applique was used in ceremonial garments . In the 18th and 19th century it was part of the decoration on national festival costumes and ethnic folk dress.
Cut out flowers appliqued on to a tunic along with mirrors.
The Poodle skirt , was a felt skirt with Poodle applique which became a rage in the US among teenager girls in the 50's. In the 1960's the Hippies or the flower children customized their apparel with Appliques. Many fashion designers like Moschino , Gianni Versace have used applique in their lines .
A kaftan with gold lotus applique embroidery :
Closer to home in Barmer , Rajasthan, applique is used to make kurta designs , cushions , bedcovers and quilts . It is an art form which can be adapted to suit and depict different cultures !