At Project Purkul, we stitch our identity into every piece that we put together; and our techniques allow us to achieve that. We are privy to patchwork, applique and quilting and most pieces that we make result from an intuitive, fun, creative combination of these. Here, we deconstruct what these techniques are really all about.
Patchwork is a needlework technique wherein pieces of fabric are laid out and sewn together to create a larger and more complex design. It is essentially creating a whole piece with shreds and pieces of fabric alone, when set to a design or pattern. While it may come across as a funky, contemporary technique because of how it has been evolving over the years, patchwork can be traced back to 5,000 years ago. It has been an integral part of a host of cultures across the world, including the Egyptian and Chinese.
In the applique technique, smaller pieces of fabric are sewn onto a larger one to create a pattern. This could be according to a predetermined motif or design, like an idyllic scenery, but it could also be something as simple as a flower on a relatively plain background. Applique work really allows you to create a concise specimen of art out of fabric and different prints.
When you put together layers of fabric using stitching - whether by hand or using a machine - it’s called quilting. Quilting adds an impeccable finishing touch to our pieces, and we pursue most of it by hand. You can really dial up a design and make it look delicate using your quilting technique. On some items, like our Kanta shopping bag, the quilting is much bolder than it would be on others.
We like to play around with our techniques for effect but the underlying value that drives it is that of sustainability. Applique and patchwork techniques can really conserve pieces of fabric and prevent them from going to waste. The idea is to find means and ways to repurpose cloth that would otherwise be unused.
- Rhea Sharma