Toda Embroidery

Toda Embroidery
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Toda Embroidery

Name of the Geographical Indication
Toda Embroidery

The Toda Community is known for its Toda Embroidery Products (garments). This art-work practiced exclusively by the women is done using red and black threads on a white background, producing a rich effect. This art-work is so fine that it is often mistaken as a weave at first glance.

The Toda Embroidery is an intricate form of needle weaving, done on a Pootkhull(zh)y (Toda community attire – Shawl) in continuous bands in lengthwise strips rather than across the width of the Pootkhull(zh)y.

Toda Embroidery is reversible so one can use both sides. The Todas consider the “rough” obverse side as the right side, with its generous looping of threads that is the display side and the not apparent far neater, reverse side. However, outsiders feel quite the opposite.
The fabric is rough cotton, woven specially for the Todas by weavers who are Kolas (another tribe living in the Nilgiris). These weavers used to barter cloth for buffaloes, bull, or calf. Now, they sell them for cash.

The traditional clothes [viz Pootkhull(zh)y] worn by the Toda people exhibit this work.

Apart from clothes, nowadays Toda Embroidery is used for adorning a range of products like pouches, mufflers, spectacle cases, luncheon sets, table cloths, table mats, and other similar accessories, bedspreads, runners, Embroidered Shawl and dupattas (veils), which brings them a steady income.

Designs of Toda Embroidery
The designs or patterns of the Toda Embroidery Products are mostly symbolically ranging from floral motifs to animal and human figures.

The Toda word for an embroidery motif is pukhoor and there are more than fifteen traditional designs. The majority of these are inspired by nature, but as might be expected, the Todas’ unique manner of building traditional temples and houses is also a potent source of inspiration, even though men do not embroider and women do not participate in temple or house building. Some embroidery motifs, for example, “ehpothill(zh)yk/n” (the term used to refer intricate criss-cross pattern of the striped cane braid on the temples) is inspired by the intricate peeled rattan cane braiding employed during the construction of a barrel-vaulted temple or house.

The designs are geometric in pattern and the inspiration for these is taken from nature, such as peacock feathers, snake, flowers, the sun, the moon and the stars, which play an important part in determining the time for the elaborate rituals of the Todas.

“Rabbit Ears” is a design that is always used at the end of the fabric to stop the threads from unraveling. Some of the designs depict items used in their everyday lives, like lamps.

The most important motif is that of the buffalo horn as the Todas venerate the buffalo. Other important motifs include the little box called mettvi kanpugur and the design named after the ancient priest of the Todas called Izhadvinpuguti. There are other motifs named after wildflowers and a quaint motif named after a girl who slipped and fell from the precipice.

The distinctiveness or uniqueness of Toda Embroidered Clothing lies in the following:
– Inspiration is taken from nature, elements of nature, and from daily life.
– Embroidery is hand made only by the Toda women.
– The main and only stitch used in this embroidery is darning stitch, done from the back of the fabric.
– The thread is looped generously on the ‘rough’ obverse side (the right side) which is the display side, while the reverse appears far neater.
– Use of motifs like animals, flowers, insects, birds, architectural designs, etc.
– Patterns are repetitive.
– No design/pattern is traced or implemented as outlines.
– Motifs are embroidered by counting the warp and weft threads of the coarsely woven fabric.

You will find a huge collection of Toda Embroidery Products including Hand Embroidery Shawls, Mufflers, Stoles, and Pouches at So just go ahead and get set to buy Toda Embroidery Products Online from GI Tagged for Ensured Quality, Authenticity & Affordability where our mission stands for – From the Very Land to Your Hand.

You can just walk-in to our GITAGGED Store in HSR Layout to shop Toda Embroidery Products in Bangalore. We deal in Toda Embroidery Wholesale also.

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