Thirumalayampalayam department of costume design and fashion study material

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Gemstone color

Color is the most obvious and attractive feature of gemstones. The color of any material is due to the nature of light itself. Daylight, often called white light, is actually a mixture of different colors of light. When light passes through a material, some of the light may be absorbed, while the rest passes through. The part that is not absorbed reaches the eye as white light minus the absorbed colors. A ruby appears red because it absorbs all the other colors of white light (blue, yellow, green, etc.) except red.

The same material can exhibit different colors. For example ruby and sapphire have the same chemical composition (both are corundum) but exhibit different colors. Even the same gemstone can occur in many different colors: sapphires show different shades of blue and pink and "fancy sapphires" exhibit a whole range of other colors from yellow to orange-pink, the latter called "Padparadscha sapphire".

This difference in color is based on the atomic structure of the stone. Although the different stones formally have the same chemical composition, they are not exactly the same. Every now and then an atom is replaced by a completely different atom (and this could be as few as one in a million atoms). These so called impurities are sufficient to absorb certain colors and leave the other colors unaffected.

For example, beryl, which is colorless in its pure mineral form, becomes emerald with chromium impurities. If you add manganese instead of chromium, beryl becomes pink morganite. With iron, it becomes aquamarine.

Some gemstone treatments make use of the fact that these impurities can be "manipulated", thus changing the color of the gem.

Treatments applied to gemstones

Gemstones are often treated to enhance the color or clarity of the stone. Depending on the type and extent of treatment, they can affect the value of the stone. Some treatments are used widely because the resulting gem is stable, while others are not accepted most commonly because the gem color is unstable and may revert to the original tone.


A treble clef with gemstones.

Heat can improve gemstone color or clarity. The heating process has been well known to gem miners and cutters for centuries, and in many stone types heating is a common practice. Most citrine is made by heating amethyst, and partial heating with a strong gradient results in ametrine - a stone partly amethyst and partly citrine. Much aquamarine is heated to remove yellow tones and change the green color into the more desirable blue or enhance its existing blue color to a purer blue.

Nearly all tanzanite is heated at low temperatures to remove brown undertones and give a more desirable blue/purple color. A considerable portion of all sapphire and ruby is treated with a variety of heat treatments to improve both color and clarity.

When jewelry containing diamonds is heated (for repairs) the diamond should be protected with boracic acid; otherwise the diamond (which is pure carbon) could be burned on the surface or even burned completely up. When jewelry containing sapphires or rubies is heated, it should not be coated with boracic acid or any other substance, as this can etch the surface; they do not have to be "protected" like a diamond.


Virtually all blue topaz, both the lighter and the darker blue shades such as "London" blue, has been irradiated to change the color from white to blue. Most greened quartz (Oro Verde) is also irradiated to achieve the yellow-green color.


Emeralds containing natural fissures are sometimes filled with wax or oil to disguise them. This wax or oil is also colored to make the emerald appear of better color as well as clarity. Turquoise is also commonly treated in a similar manner.

Fracture filling

Fracture filling has been in use with different gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. In 2006 "glass filled rubies" received publicity. Rubies over 10 carat (2 g) with large fractures was filled with lead glass, thus dramatically improving the appearance (of larger rubies in particular). Such treatments are fairly easy to detect.

Synthetic and artificial gemstones

Some gemstones are manufactured to imitate other gemstones. For example, cubic zirconia is a synthetic diamond stimulant composed of zirconium oxide. Moissanite is another example. The imitations copy the look and color of the real stone but possess neither their chemical nor physical characteristics. Moissanite actually has a higher refractive index than diamond and when presented beside an equivalently sized and cut diamond will have more "fire" than the diamond.

However, lab created gemstones is not imitations. For example, diamonds, ruby, sapphires and emeralds have been manufactured in labs to possess identical chemical and physical characteristics to the naturally occurring variety. Synthetic (lab created) corundums, including ruby and sapphire, are very common and they cost only a fraction of the natural stones. Smaller synthetic diamonds have been manufactured in large quantities as industrial abrasives.

Whether a gemstone is a natural stone or a lab-created (synthetic) stone, the characteristics of each are the same. Lab-created stones tend to have a more vivid color to them, as impurities are not present in a lab, so therefore do not affect the clarity or color of the stone.

Hybrid gemstones

The terms synthetic, natural, artificial, and imitation are well-understood by gemologists. However, gemologists have had to continually explain these terms, as applied in gemology, both to those within and outside of the industry, as synthetic in particular has different definitions when applied to different fields.

It is precisely because certain new gem treatments overlap more than one gem category that the term hybrid has been suggested. These materials consist of an original natural material that has been significantly added to – to the extent that the term natural no longer applies. Hybrid gems consist of natural material along with artificial material – either synthetic growth or polymers or glasses.

Hybrid is defined as those gem materials where there is no easy means of separating the natural from the artificial components. This is key, in that with a doublet or a triplet, the natural material can be isolated, identified – and theoretically retrieved from the whole. Hybrid will not be confused with assembled, but it will encompass reconstructed materials as well as B-jades.

Hybrid will not apply to traditional oiling of emerald and (comparatively minor) fracture healing as seen in many Mong Hsu rubies; these treatments are insignificant in comparison and additives would account for less than 5% of the total mass in most cases, but there remains the possibility that some heavily treated stones in these categories may qualify as hybrids.

Major industry educators, dealers, and trade organizations have seen the need for this new upper-level category. In some ways it is a dramatic addition to the gemological terms, but is merely a natural evolution due to modern treatment methods

The story of Indian jewelry like no other country on our planet can boast an unbroken heritage of 5000 years. This all consuming passion of a race of people has its roots in

• An abundant natural resource at its disposal

• An obsession to fashion body adornments

. The belief that a jewel as a precious piece was a medium between the known and the unknown, between man and God

Jewelry in India apart from being an enhancer of beauty also has an intrinsic value, to be enchased if the need arose. Man the creature is a·, Traveler who travels to new places to trade and enrich himself with the cross cultural influences. This is evident in the evolutional history of the Indian jewelry as an art. The influence of various cultures which have been amalgamated.


Extensive trade existed between India, Ancient Greece, Achaemenian, Toran and Rome. Jewelry was among the luxury items exported from India. The people of the first civilizations lacked many essential resources. Driven by the demands of the kings or lured by the glitter of profit, adventurous merchants led donkey trains through mountains or deserts and piloted small ships across treacherous waters. The Indus valley in the east with its bustling markets and streets traded in precious metals and gemstones that they had never seen. There began a trade that would continue for thousands of years. The expansion of trade greatly increased the variety of materials available to jewelers. The Indus Valley dweller was fond of adorning themselves in trinkets, bangles and a sizeable jewelry industry evolved. Indus bead makers produced their wares in an enormous variety of shape, size and more importantly material, from gold to silver to common clay. They imported large quantities of semiprecious stones- Jade from the Himalayas, Lapis, Lazuli from Afghanistan, Turquoise from Persia Trade brought wealth to the merchant class in India but it also brought with it fear, fear of the Brahman class who ruled them spiritually and the Kings and Rulers who ruled them physically. This led to an enormous hoarding of all things precious primarily gold, silver and gemstones in any form, raw or jewelry to be encashed in periods of need. These hoarded adornments also made excellent bribe items to appease the anger of the priests or the ruler of the times.

Mauryan period Jewellery

In relation to the Mauryan-Sunga period, we noticed a .tendency towards greater refinement and simplicity in this period. Gold was much in use and was called hiranya and suvarana, silver was known as rlipya, and copper as tamra, and these continued to be for making jewellery. Gold and silver were often encrusted with ratna or jewels. These included carnelians, agates, lapis lazuli, amethysts, garnets, coral, and pearls. Sapphires, topaz, diamonds and cat's - eyes were embedded or sometimes strung in various ways and

Worn as ornaments:

Besides this, the art of enameling was known, as well as inlay work in shell and mother-of-pearl. Gold beads were beautifully filigreed or filled with lac, while others had cores of jasper and turquoise paste and were strung on thread or wire to be worn as necklaces called kantha, or long ones worn between the breasts known as hara. Stringing coins to be worn as necklaces, called nishka, was in vogue. Foreigners wore the torque, a simple necklace of gold wire. It was a characteristic ornament of the Seythian and Celtic people and was worn as a mark of distinction by the Persian and parthians, all of whom were of the same stock, as were the Sakas and Kushans. Shell and terra-cotta beads continued to be strung and worn by the poorer classes.

The earrings, kundala, were of three types and most often of gold though there is evidence of ivory ones as well. The pendant type often had decorative rosettes and granulation. The ring type, Scythian in origin, could be simple with a gold wire wound around or mixture of both types, that is, a ring elaborately decorated, with beads as well as bud-like pendants. Of these; the simpler kind was used by men, except for foreigners who are depicted as wearing none. Armlets were known as keyura and bracelets as valaya. Both men and women wore these. Those for women were often made thick or thin sheets of gold with hinged clasps, and elaborately ornamented and inlaid. Simple bangles of glass, shell, or ivory were also used. Head ornaments were varied. As the turban and head veils of women went out of fashion they were replaced by a bejeweled diadem or crown called mukuta, or a simple fillet or headband called opasa. These were used in addition to the garlands of flowers, sraja, which remained popular. Gold or silver hairpins with attractively ornamented heads held up hair. Men continued to wear the mouli (turban). The mekhala or girdle \V~IS mainly of beads and along with nupura or anklet was worn only by women. This was simpler and lighter than that in the previous period. 'There is an absence or forehead ornaments like the sitaara and bindi of the Mauryan-Sunga period.

The Guptas

The Gupta period in the second century hailed the arrival of classical simplicity and elegance to jewelry. No longer was quantity considered beautiful. More than any other period in Indian history the Gupta period documented the wealth and quality of court life. The emphasis was on quiet elegance on less rather than more. A single piece of exquisitely designed jewelry was more appreciated than any show of wealth. Texts on gemology and mineralogy are available from this period. In post Guptan period jewelry in India became more stylized and stereotypical.

Cholas Cheras Pandyas

Meanwhile in the south Raja raja had conquered the three kingdoms of the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas. The Cholas apart from controlling all the important trading ports in southern India also monopolized the gold mines, the pearl Fisheries and diamond mines. The repertoire of the Chola jewelers was extensive but very few of these pieces can be seen today.

The Mughal Period

India was no stranger to foreign conquerors. Thanks to well watered soil and populace skilled in art and craft it was then a haven from the more desolate lands of the north. Over the past millennia and a half Greeks, Scythians, and Huns had in turn been drawn by its legendary riches. But none had radically altered Indian life. They had imposed their authority for only a little while before their identity was swallowed by their Hindu subjects. In January 1505 a band of horsemen set out from the Afghan city of Kabul In a few days they reached low land district of ningnahar which marked the beginning of the great Indian plains. Babar the 21 year old leader of the expedition saw a world rich and prosperous. To make it his own was an obsession which he" fulfilled two decades later. The Mughals were back and this time they were here to stay. The Mughal tryst with Indian jewelry had begun. Islam was something new, with its advent the fine fabric of India changed forever. To Muhammad Ghazni the first invader India was simply a vast treasure store of precious metals, stones and jewels. He had no inkling that his conquest of the Punjab would pave the way for Muslim successors who would come to India not merely to plunder but to rule. For all that, Muslim invaders brought with them a rich heritage of pomp and splendor, a passion for all things bright and sparkling, a burning need to be bedecked and bejeweled. An integration of the Persian designs with Indian art was the beginning of the later Mughal jewelry now so resplendent. The imperial Mughal treasury was instituted. Its coffers included such diverse items as one thousand saddles of gold and silver, swords blades embellished with gems thrones in gold studded with precious stones an infinite number of pearls diamonds rubies and emeralds. Despite the love of display, sound economics Was the basis for the insatiable acquiring of precious gemstones by the Mohall emperors. Loose stones could be paid to armies stationed far away from the capital it was the most easily transported item of wealth and could gain political asylum anywhere. Design and artistry flourished in this period with the jewelry design reaching a peak in intricacy. Minakari (enameling) saw a rebirth as did inlay work. Indian jewelry saw resurgence, a renewed energy, of showmanship, of aesthetic idolatry and more importantly of creativity.

Pallava Period

The region in which Kanchipuram is situated is generally known as Thondaimandalam or the Pallava country. The area includes Chingleput district and parts of the districts of Chittore, North Arcot and South Arcot. The thondai creeper (Capparis zeylanica) after which the region is named is commonly found in the jungle areas and the creeper produces spectacular flowers in March, and bright red globular fruits later. The flowers were used by the Pallava monarchs in their garlands, and the fruits were compared to the red lips of pretty women by the Tamil poets.

1. Pre-Pallava Period

People of Thondaimandalam had very much. in common with the people of the rest of Tamilnadu in matters of dress and ornaments. The antiquity of Kanchi goes back to the megalithic period, and the megalithic culture was spread over a vast area in South India. Excavations at these megalithic sites have yielded large quantities of shell bangles.

The sangam literature contains many descriptions of women wearing shell bangles. Perumbaanaatrupadai, composed on King Thondaimaan llamtirayan, describes people of Kanchi and Thondainaadu, in general. Ornaments referred to in the work include bangles (valai, thodi), golden ear ornaments (kuzhai), golden leg ornaments (silambu), and an ornament on the forehead (suravu vaai amaitha surumbu soozh sudar nuthal). All the above ornaments were worn by women. The ornaments gifted to men (minstrels) are generally referred to as porn. Women are described as wearing a thin cloth at the waist (nun tuhil). The minstrel (male) was presef"1ted with a costume made of fine thread (aavi anna avir nool kalingam). Both men and women are described as wearing flowers on their hair. And in one passage, a woman (minstrel's wife) is presented with a garland of gold, or necklace (ponnin thodai amai maalai).

One may get indirect evidence on dress and ornaments from other sangam poems, even though they may not specifically deal with the Thondai region. For example, .0De may assume the wearing of bangles or spirals around the upper arm (they used the word "thozh" which now refers to the shoulders). Women used to decorate their waist with leaves, picked up from the jungle.1 Young men used to wear flowers above the ears as part of their self-adornment. 2 Both men and women used to paint their bodies with sandalwood paste. Maid-servants attending on queens used to wear a breast-band (vambu).3

Apart from literary sources, one can turn to archaeological evidence. Excavations at Kanchi have revealed terra cotta bangles, beads, and pendants.4 Excavations at Arikamedu5 near Pondich.erry have produced terra cotta figures, some of which are heavily draped' in the form of a saree. These figures can be examined at the Government Library at Pondicherry. Dr TV. Mahalingam, discussing the social conditions of this early period in the Chola country, has gone to the extent of claiming that the women folk wore nicely woven sarees and blouses6 a small panel in the Nagarjunakonda region unmistakably shows a saree-like single piece costume on a female figure of the rustic type. However, one does not come across anything like a saree depicted in later day sculpture and paintings till about the sixteenth century.

2. Pallava Period

Even though the Pallavas ruled from Kanchi from the fourth century onwards, we shall mainly deal with the period of the Pallavas of the Simhavishnu line, starting from the later part of the sixth century AD. For the first time in this part of the country, stone temples were created from the early seventh century by Mahendra and his son, Mamalla Narasimha. A large number of sculptures depicting various Kinds of costumes and jewellery are available for systematic study from the Pallava period. Many of the ornaments of the Chola and Vijayanagar periods owe their origin to the Pallava period. And the costumes and jewellery of the Pallava period truly represent the costumes and jewellery of Thondaimandalam..

A study of the ornaments reveals a clear change and evolution of fashion in the courts of the Pallava rulers, and has become a powerful tool of the art historian with which to date the monuments to within a few decades.

We shall divide the Pallava period into three periods. First the Mahendra-Narasimha period; second, the Rajasimha period; and third, the late Pallava period. Obviously there is a gap between the first and the second as well as between the second and the third, but we are mainly interested in the difference in style between the three periods.

i. Mahendra-Narasimha Period (600 to 670 A.D.)

The first period is represented by the cave temples of Mahendra, with large square pillars, cave temples of Narasimha with lion and vyala pillars, the Arjuna penance panels, and monoliths of Narasimha (the five rathas). Whether Narasimha built any structural temples at all has been a matter of dispute.

We shall assume that the dress and ornaments depicted on the sculptures actually existed and were in common use. The: change of fashion in the Pallava court at Kanchi is reflected in the change of style in sculpture.

The characteristic costumes and jewellery of the period are the large patra kundalas (with an average diameter of 8 angulas compared to 12 angulas' height of the face), moderately high makutas (less than 24 angulas), thick single diagonal band across the chest for men, and absence of leg ornaments for men. For women, the breast band (when present) is broad,' they wear a brief bikini-like garment (often without any other dress) and single leg ornament on each leg, and they wear no diagonal band. Both male and female figures are depicted often with a makara kundala on one ear and a patra kundala on the other.

There are about six different kinds of crowns or makutas depicted in this period. The short krita makuta found on Mahendra and Narasimha in the Adivaraha cave is also found on the maids-in waiting of Gajalakshmi in the same temple. Usually Vishnu is decked with the cylindrical krita makuta, but the reclining Vishnu in the Shore Temple complex appears to be unique in having jatamakuda. (Is Vishnu depicted. as sleeping after having removed his krita makuta?) Siva and the rishis (Arjuna penance) are shown with jata makuta. It is a way of gathering up the thick locks of hair in the form of makuta. Jewels and flowers are added to this arrangement. One also finds the karanda makuta in the shape of inverted pots depicted on many figures in the Arjuna penance and Krishna mandapa. Like the jata makuta, and unlike the krita makuta, the karanda makuta is a form of arrangement of hair. On the kritas are tied side plaques studded with pearls and colored stones. The crowns, especially the krita makuta, are kept secure on the head with a patta (going over the forehead) tightened at the back with a circular buckle called the siras chakra (found, among other places, on the figures of the Dharmaraja ratha).

About ten different varieties of kundalas can be noted in Mahabalipuram. Some of the varieties such as those found on the royal portraits in the Adivaraha cave are 'not met with outside of Mahabalipuram. There are also other tiny ear ornaments worn on parts of the upper ear. On the Dharmaraja ratha there are figures of men (gods) with flowers tucked above the ears.

The peculiar kundalas of the Adivaraha cave are also found in the Kotikal mandapam and in the Arjuna penance panel. The kundala on the dvarapalika in the Kotikal mandapam is similar to the one all king Mahendra. A large kundala with four circular petals, found on the queen of Mahendra, is also found on one of the celestial figures in the Arjuna penance panel. Both male and female figures are shown wearing contrasting kinds of kundalas on different ears.

Some of the kundalas were probably terra cotta pieces. Such kundalas have actually been discovered in excavations. Some people must have worn leaves and flowers in the place of kundalas of precious metals, as can be seen from the pastoral scene in the Krishnamandapa. With the single exception of the figure of the minstrel on the Dharmaraja ratha, all human and divine figures have their ears pierced. In a few cases figures are shown without kundalas, but with long ear-lobes, and some times with tiny ornaments on the lobe.

The ratna kundala which is common in medieval sculptures is not found in this period. No nose ornament is found either in the Pallava or the early Chola period.

Necklaces and garlands went under the name of maalai in Tamil. Necklaces often without a pendant (thooku) are depicted on both male and female figures. There are similarities between necklaces depicted in Mahabalipuram and in the caves of Ajanta. For example, a short necklace with a cylindrical centre piece 'flanked by globular pieces, depicted on many male figures on the Dharmaraja ratha, is very similar to the pearl necklace with a blue central piece worn by Bodhisattva Padmapani of the Ajanta murals. The, necklace with large globular pieces found on the royal portrait on the southern side of the Dharmaraja ratha must be identified as a necklace of large pearls and not as a rudraksha mala, as is often made out. The short, necklace worn high up on the neck. is conspicuously absent. Flower garlands are worn across the chest 8S a diagonal band by the .dvarapalakas and ganas, but the details on these are not as clear as in the Chola period. The yagnopavita, or the diagonal band, is thick, and it mayor may not go over the right arm. Many of the dvarapalakas of the Mahendra caves are shown with the band going over the arm in some cases and not going over the arm in other cases (in the same temple!). A long maalai going diagonally across the chest in both directions is called the veera sangili, or swarnakshaka, and is found on many figures. There are many varieties of such an ornament.

Men, especially the dvarapalakas and chauri-bearers, are often shown with a stomach belt called the udarabandhanam, worn above the navel. However, many of the deities are shown without the udarabandhanam.

Women are sometimes depicted with the breast-band (kachu). These breast-bands are without any shoulder straps. Neither Parvati nor Lakshmi nor Bhudevi is depicted with the breast-band. But the female guardians, Durga, and the celestial nymphs (Arjuna penance panel) are. The queens of Mahendra and Narasimha are depicted bare above the waist, but their bodies would have been painted with Kunkum, sandal paste and chunnam.

There are three main types of bands worn on the upper arm, viz. the arm bangle (thozh valai), the simple spiral (the early form of paapu surul). and the keyura (with elaborate decorations of pearls and gems) and different kinds of bangles. Women are occasionally depicted with a large number of bangles, but men always with only a few on each arm. This contrast is brought out in the Ardhanarisvara figure on the Dharma raja ratha. The figures of this period are not depicted with rings on the fingers at Mahabalipuram.

The garments worn by the people are very simple. The long veshti is found mainly on Vishnu and the rishis. Some men are shown wearing a garment which resembles a pair of modern shorts, and some much shorter briefs, and some others with a narrow loin cloth (kovana aadai). Many male figures are shown with a long sash which is often worn around the waist with a semi-circular loop hanging in front. The sash (uttariya) is also shown as tied across the stomach in the case. of some ganas and the royal figures of Mahendri3 and Narasimha. Most of the female figures are shown with just a" single piece of garment worn in the shape of a panty. It must have been a Y-shaped piece of cloth tied at the back with the loose ends hanging down for a couple of feet or so. In the bathing Lakshmi scene (Varaha " cave) it is shown transparent to show the effect of wet cloth. This short garment for women is .very typical of this period. There are two examples where a woman is shown with the veshti without any folds. Women are not shown with any other kind of long garment. Occasionally women are also shown in shorts (vattudai), one is the queen of Mahendra.The sash is also shown worn around the waist on female figures, In a few cases strings of pearls (mekala) are shown on the waist, but this is not common, No elaborate belt is shown either on the male or female figures.

Men are shown without leg ornaments. Women are shown with a single anklet on each leg (silambu, and some times kinkini). Some of the shepherd women depicted in the Krishna mandapa are shown without any leg ornament.

ii. Rajasimha Period (690-725)
Sculptures of the Rajasimha period are well-preserved in the Kailasanatha temple, kanchi, and in some portions of the Shore temple, Mahabalipuram. Most of the Kailasanatha sculptures are in sandstone, a material easily available in Kanchi itself. The makutas of this period ale very tall (more than 24 angulas -- twice the face height) for men. For women a peculiar garland-like hair style, pinched in the middle, is found at the base of the tall crown-like portion. People tend to wear the same kind of kundala on both ears, and the size of the patra kundala is reduced to a diameter of about 3 angulas. For the first time one can see the original colours in which the costumes were depicted from the painted panels and sculptures of the Kailasanatha temple. The siraschakra is shown as a large circle at the back of Siva's head in the' Somaskanda panels. The siraschakra is much larger here than the ones found on the later Pallava bronzes.

Women are represented with a diagonal band of pearls which mayor may not go between the breasts. The tight necklace high up on the neck (choker) appears for the first time. The diagonal band for men divides into three strands: one gees down vertically through the veshti, another which is broad drops vertically then passes around the right side of the body, and the third (composed of threads) goes round the lower chest on the right. This arrangement of the diagonal band becomes very common in the Chola period.

The breast-band shown on Durga and maids-in-waiting has vertical shoulder straps. (The vertical straps disappear in the late Vijayanagar period.) The tight-fitting saree (without the upper portion) worn in the. Fashion of the Bharatanatya dancer, going round each leg, comes into fashion. On the ankles many anklets of different types are worn at the same time.

Men are depicted with anklets for the first time, though these anklets are found mainly on the dvarapalakas and the dancing forms of Siva. Such anklets are made up of small globular bells. Rings are shown on fingers and toes. In general there is more elaborate ornamentation in this period, a fact which perhaps reflects the prosperity of the times.

The two emblems of Vishnu, the chank and chakra, appear with flames for the first time.

iii. Late Pallava Period (750-900)

This period may be treated as a time of decadence for the Pallavas. The crowns get shorter, and the figures become more formalized. Most of the sculptures must have been based on a canon and a formula. The kundalas are relatively small. The patra kundala is often turned so as to show the full circle. The diagonal band for women continues. The shoulder strap for the breast-band sometimes has the shape of an inverted Y where' if joins the breast-band. The lion-face buckle for the belt appears. Perhaps the earliest example of this buckle in Thondaimandalam can be seen at the Vaikunthaperumal temple, Kanchi. The brief bikini-like garment gradually disappears and is replaced by the saree (without the top). Depiction of a single leg ornament becomes common. For men the leg ornament is found on practically every figure towards the end of this period.

Temple .Jewelry

Indian jewelry art is at times divided into three kinds - temple jewelry, spiritual jewelry and bridal jewelry. Temple jewelry of India initially used to be described as the jewelry used to adorn the idols of Gods and Goddesses. The statues In India were ornamented with chunky necklaces that were either strung with beads or crafted with intricate filigree. Amongst the other ornaments that adorned statues of deities were large chunky bangles, usually studded with gems. In addition, earrings, nose rings and anklets were also used.

The jewelry used to adorn the idols was later worn by temple dancers and slowly, the designs became a part of the Indian Woman’s bridal jewelry trousseau. Though the idols continued to be decorated with jewelry, a practice seen even today, the jewelry of Indian women also came be made on the pattern. Today, temple jewellery has become open of the most popular crafts of ·India. During festivals and occasions of worship of Gods, women wear temple jewelry, believed to be auspicious and offer good luck.

Jewelry items like pendants, bracelets, belts and brooches based on temple jewelry are very popular amongst women, during auspicious times, and wearing these is believed to bring fortuity to the person. The favorite design for pendants is that of Ganesha - the elephant headed god known to bestow good luck and good fortune. The other emblem, which is also, very much in demand, is that of the sacred syllable OM. These days, the temple jewelry of India is finding a flavor amongst foreigners too.

Tribal Jewelry

Tribal jewelry in India is quite rich. Each tribe has kept its unique style of jewelry intact even now. The original format of jewelry design has been preserved by ethnic tribal. Jewelry that is made of bone, wood, clay, shells and crude metal, by tribal, is not only attractive, but also holds a distinct rustic and earthy charm. Tribal jewelry is made of the products that are available locally. The unrefined look of their jewelry is something that attracts people most. As has been said each tribe has its own indigenous jewelry craft, here is the list of the tribes, with' their jewelry art described in brief.

This nomadic' tribe of Rajasthan is known for its colorful heavy jewelry. Beautiful ornaments and belts that are embellished with shells, metal-mesh, coins, beads, and chains are 'major jewelry art work, by this tribe. This tribe provides huge collection of earrings, bracelets, bangles, amulets, anklets, hairpins and necklaces.


The tribes of Bastar (Madhya Pradesh) make jewelry out of 'grass beads and cane. Traditional ornaments made of silver, wood, glass, peacock feathers, copper and wild flowers are also popular. Necklaces made of one-rupee coins are also worn by the Bastar, women.

Arunachal Pradesh

Tribes The tribes in Arunachal Pradesh make jewelry 'from cane and bamboo. They also adorn metal coin necklaces and waistbands of leather, studded with stones. These tribes use brass, bone, ivory, silver and gold in their jewelry too. In addition, colorful beads, blue'

Feathers of birds, green wings of beetles are used to make ornaments. Karka Gallong women wear heavy iron rings that are coiled several times, while Wanchos make earrings of glass beads, wild seeds, cane, bamboo and reed.

Khasi, Jaintia and Garo

The people of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo tribes have typical sense of jewelry art. Thick red coral bead necklaces of the Khasis and Jaintias and thin fluted stems of glass, strung by fine thread, of the Garo tribe are interesting jewelry items.

The Bhutia tribe of Sikkim has also been known for making beautiful jewelry. The people of this tribe usually make use of gold, silver, coral, turquoise and zee stone.
1. Explain briefly about the Indian Jewellery – jewelleries used in the period of Indus valley civilization, Mauryan period , Gupta Period , the Pallava and Chola Period , Symbolic Jewellery of South India,Mughal period. Temple Jewellery of South India, Tribal jewellery.

  1. Write a note on brief study of gems and precious stones.





Traditional embroideries of India – Origin ,Embroidery stitches used –embroidery of Kashmir , Phulkari of Punjab ,Gujarat – Kutch and Kathiawar, embroidery of Rajasthan , Kasuti of Karnataka ,Chickenwork of Lucknow, Kantha of Bengal – in all the above – types and colours of fabric /thread



Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.

A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work—chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch—remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.

Machine embroidery, arising in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, mimics hand embroidery, especially in the use of chain stitches, but the "satin stitch" and hemming stitches of machine work rely on the use of multiple threads and resemble hand work in their appearance, not their construction.


The origins of embroidery are unknown, but early examples survive from ancient Egypt, Iron Age Northern Europe and Zhou Dynasty China. Examples of surviving Chinese chain stitch embroidery worked in silk thread have been dated to the Warring States period (5th-3rd century BC).

The process used to tailor, patch, mend and reinforce cloth fostered the development of sewing techniques, and the decorative possibilities of sewing led to the art of embroidery. In a garment from Migration period Sweden, roughly 300–700 CE, the edges of bands of trimming are reinforced with running stitch, back stitch, stem stitch, tailor's buttonhole stitch, and whip stitching, but it is uncertain whether this work simply reinforces the seams or should be interpreted as decorative embroidery.

The remarkable stability of basic embroidery stitches has been noted:

It is a striking fact that in the development of embroidery. There are no changes of materials or techniques which can be felt or interpreted as advances from a primitive to a later, more refined stage. On the other hand, we often find in early works a technical accomplishment and high standard of craftsmanship rarely attained in later times.
Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items have been a mark of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, China, Japan, Byzantium, and medieval and Baroque Europe. Traditional folk techniques are passed from generation to generation in cultures as diverse as northern Vietnam, Mexico, and Eastern Europe. Professional workshops and guilds arose in medieval England. The output of these workshops, called Opus Anglicanum or "English work," was famous throughout Europe.[5] The manufacture of machine-made embroideries in St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland flourished in the latter half of the 19th century.
Embroidery can be classified according to whether the design is stitched on top of or through the foundation fabric, and by the relationship of stitch placement to the fabric.

In free embroidery, designs are applied without regard to the weave of the underlying fabric. Examples include crewel and traditional Chinese and Japanese embroidery.

Counted-thread embroidery patterns are created by making stitches over a predetermined number of threads in the foundation fabric. Counted-thread embroidery is more easily worked on an even-weave foundation fabric such as embroidery canvas, aide cloth, or specially woven cotton and linen fabrics although non-even weave linen is used as well. Examples include needlepoint and some forms of black work embroidery.
In canvas work threads are stitched through a fabric mesh to create a dense pattern that completely covers the foundation fabric. Traditional canvas work such as bargello is a counted-thread technique. Since the 19th century, printed and hand painted canvases where the painted or printed image serves as color-guide have eliminated the need for counting threads. These are particularly suited to pictorial rather than geometric designs deriving from the Berlin wool work craze of the early 19th century.

In drawn thread work and cutwork, the foundation fabric is deformed or cut away to create holes that are then embellished with embroidery, often with thread in the same color as the foundation fabric. These techniques are the progenitors of needlelace. When created in white thread on white linen or cotton, this work is collectively referred to as whitework.


The fabrics and yarns used in traditional embroidery vary from place to place. Wool, linen, and silk have been in use for thousands of years for both fabric and yarn. Today, embroidery thread is manufactured in cotton, rayon, and novelty yarns as well as in traditional wool, linen, and silk. Ribbon embroidery uses narrow ribbon in silk or silk/organza blend ribbon, most commonly to create floral motifs.

Surface embroidery techniques such as chain stitch and couching or laid-work are the most economical of expensive yarns; couching is generally used for goldwork. Canvas work techniques, in which large amounts of yarn are buried on the back of the work, use more materials but provide a sturdier and more substantial finished textile.

In both canvas work and surface embroidery an embroidery hoop or frame can be used to stretch the material and ensure even stitching tension that prevents pattern distortion. Modern canvas work tends to follow very symmetrical counted stitching patterns with designs developing from repetition of one or only a few similar stitches in a variety of thread hues. Many forms of surface embroidery, by contrast, are distinguished by a wide range of different stitching patterns used in a single piece of work.

They are two types of embroidery namely,

  1. hand embroidery

  2. machine embroidery

Hand embroidery

Embroidery done by hand is called hand embroidery. It is a time consuming process and need a high experience for a better result. It is mainly a strain to the eyes. Embroidery embellishes, enlivens and enriches fabric using needle, thread and vivid imaginations.

Machine embroidery

Much contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns "digitized" with embroidery software. It is less time consuming process. In machine embroidery, different types of "fills" add texture and design to the finished work. Machine embroidery is used to add logos and monograms to business shirts or jackets, gifts, and team apparel as well as to decorate household linens, draperies, and decorator fabrics that mimic the elaborate hand embroidery of the past.

The word Kashmir can be splitted as “Kas” means “Water channel” and Mir means “mountain”. However Kashmir means “rock through” in the regional language.
The northern most state of India, Jammu and Kashmir is known for its beauty. Kashmir embroidery has become world renowned, largely through its superb shawls. All facts of Kashmir’s incomparable beauty seam to be reflected in its needle work. Embroidery here is known as Kashida.
The shawl industry flourished by Sultan Zavri-ul-abiden during 15th century. He brought craftsmen from Persia to revive the existing art. The demand for Kashmir shawls increased during Mughal rule. However, the shawl industry decreased by the end of 19th century probably because of increase in the cost, change in fashion trend, all over the world.
Types of stitches:
Kashida embroidery of Kashmir is worked in several different forms. They are:
· Zalakdozo: It is a chain stitch done with hook and on almost anything from the choice

shawls to the roughly used floor coverings, in long and flowing designs.

· Vata- Chikin: Buttonhole stitch used only in thick fillings seen in landscapes, garden

and crowded scene.

· Doria: Open work done on all type of fabrics.

· Talaibar: Gold work done on brocades and silks.

· Jall: All over embroidery designs are worked in trellis pattern.

· Skikargarths: Hunting scenes.

· Amli: Delicate filling in stitches in multi coloured threads in Kari shawls.

Before commencing the embroidery work the selected design is traced on the fabric. The design, these are done by the professional traces called Naquashband (Nakshaband) that follow the traditional technique even today.

The design is outlined with kalam; the pen Greater percent of motifs are picked up from nature, which provide inspiration to Naquabandi.
A large variety of flowers of tremendous colours, shapes, size namely Lilly, tulip, saffron, iris, bunches of grapes, apple, almond, cherries, plums, birds like kingfisher, parrot, wood pecker, magpie, canary all appear in Kashida. The chinar leaf is the motif most abundantly used along with Cyprus tree.
Many beautiful coloured butterflies found in the sanctuary and valley have occupied an important place in the Kashida. Animal and Human figure are not found commonly, probably the influence of Muslims. But depicted hunting scene popularly known as Shikargarh available only in museums of Srinagar. These motifs are not used in the motifs of Kashida of Kashmir.
Indo-Persian Art around 17th & 18th century provided cone shaped mango motif, the kaka, badami butta, buta. This is done in naturalistic, geometrical & in stylized forms.
Embroidery threads:
Embroidery thread employed earlier was fine quality woolen yarn. Gradually woolen yarns were replaced by rich & lustrous silk threads. The bright, gorgeous inexpensive art silk (rayon) thread has entered the industry by replacing the expensive silk threads. Cotton threads of bright colours with good colour fastness are also used abundantly.
Colours used:
The embroidery is comprised of wide spectrum of colours of light and dark shades, such ass crimson red, scarlet red, blue, yellow, green, purple, black & brown. Earlier the yarns were locally dyed with indigenous natural colours. But nowadays all the threads used in the industry are invariably mill dyed with synthetic dye staff.

Types of Woven Fabrics:
Pashmina Shawl: these are superior quality shawls. They are made from wool of the Capra Hercus, a species of wild Asian mountain goat. So, that the name given.
Do Shawl/ Double Shawl: these are solids in pairs. Two identical shawls were stitched together so that when draped over shoulders wrong sides were not visible.
Do Rookha: Double side work in which there is no right & wrong side. Simple patterns were reproduced on both side, but sometimes with different colours.
Kasaba Shawls: Square in shape and produce on account of European demand. They are generally twill weave/ damask in plain work.
Jamewar Shawl: Woven in wool and some cotton. The floral designs and brocaded parts are generally in silk.
Refoogari: (Darning): It is worked with the same type of material as that of the base so that interweaving produces a fine texture in the fabric.
Embroidery on shawls:
The embroidery on shawl is done at different parts like border, corner, centre, all over scattered. They are:
· Hashia: Border design, which runs all along the length of the shawl on either side.

· Phala: It is done on both the ends of the article, popularly known as Pallu.

· Tanjjir or Zanjir: Border with chain stitch running either above or below the Phala.

· Kunj Butta: Cluster of flowers in the corner.

· Butta: Generic name for the floral design.

· Appliqué: Another variety of Kashmir embroidery, which is very unique done on carpets, shawls & woolen blankets.

· Tapestry work: It is done with a blunt tapestry needle, were the material is stitched on a wooden frame with the tracing kept along its side.

· Zalakdozi: Resembles crochet. Various articles are prepared by hook embroidery and one of them is Namda, a felt carpet.

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