Sujani is a tradition that has been going on for centuries. The sujani embroidery work of Bihar is a textile expression art product given protection under the GI registration.The earliest known traditional practice of making the embroidered Sujani quilt is traced to the 18th century. Its basic purpose was to give a soft cover to the newly born babies immediately after birth. It was then made with pieces of cloth in different colors derived from used saris and dhotis by sewing them together, adopting a simple running stitch. This process involved use of three or four patches of old saris or dhotis, fitted one over the other and then quilting them together using the thread that was also drawn from the discarded garments. Motifs expressing the desire of the mother for her newborn child were sewn on the quilt, generally done with a chain stitch in dark color.It is usually a quilt or bed spread which was earlier made of old clothes but is now generally made of easily available fabric with embroidery done with the most simple stitches with motif narrating stores. Sujani is the embroidery of Bhusura village (Muzaffarpur) in Bihar, India. During ancient times, pieces of different colored fabrics were sewn together. In which the gods and goddesses were beautifully embroidered and hung on the walls. Artists started patterning on sarees and other clothes to compete with market demand. Well in recent times, Sujani embroidery is also practiced in the southern part of Rajasthan to make sarees, dupattas and other clothing and household items
Process:The most important requirement is to use easily available raw material as the base fabric. The process begins with tracing down the designs on the base fabric using tracing wheel and tracing sheet. Then artisans start drawing background by fine running stitch. And finally black or brown threads are used for outlining the motifs and colorful threads are used to fill in colors in the motifs. Materials required for Sujani stitch include a needle, frame, scissors, threads of various colours, inch tape, tracing sheet, tracing wheel, pencil, rubber, blue chalk and kerosene.
The main design outline of Sujani is done with thick chain stitching Highlight. The cloth used for Sujani embroidery is made of fine muslin. The color of the base fabric is white or red. The outline of the main design is highlighted with thick chain stitching. The interior of the design is filled with threads of vibrant colors. Other designs are filled with red paint or base fabric color.
Tools Used:Materials required for Sujanikantha stitch include a needle, frame, scissors, inch tape, tracing sheet, tracing wheel, pencil, rubber, blue chalk and kerosene.
The Products:Some of the products of Sujani are Cushion, Bed Cover, Dupatta, Stole, Kuties. Artisans have also tried Sujani on Sari, Jackets, Earings, Folder Bags, Note Pad, Diary cover etcs based on the specific need of the customer. There is no limitation on the product range of Sujani as it can be made on any of the fine cloths.
Every Sujani product is unique in nature as it is handcrafted. Sujani in its initial days were used to depict day today’s normal activities of village women and consisted of similar kind of motifs. Over the time it has been practices on the different type of cloths.