Applique & Patch Work of Tamil Nadu

The word Applique is a French term and is a technique where in several pieces of coloured fabrics is superimposed in patches to give a decorative effect. The patches are then sewn to the base fabric to give specific form and designs. In contrast to this patch work is a craft in which several pieces of clothes are stitched together to form a large piece. Sometimes it is done to repair a damaged cloth.

During festival processions these are usually found on the temple chariots for covering the horizontal beams. Applique work is also done on long tubular pieces which look like long pillars hanging down the sides of the chariots. Usually these are made of cotton and depict images of Durga, Shiva, Ganesha and Kartikeya in bright vibrant shades of red, white, black, blue and yellow.