Lambani: A beautiful hand embroidery from Karnataka
Lambani or Lamani is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Lavanah’. As the ancestors of the Lambanis were said to be involved in selling lavanah (salt), they came to be called as ‘Lavaniga’. With the passage of time they come to be named as Lamani and later Lambani.
Lambanis originally came from Marwar. They are semi-nomadic people who reside mostly in Southern and Middle India. The Lambani women practice a unique mirror and embroidery craft, which they mostly use for making their own traditional dresses or for giving to their daughters for their weddings.
The Lambani embroidery is an amalgam of pattern darning, mirror work, cross stitch, and overlaid and quilting stitches with borders of “Kangura” patchwork appliqué, done on fabric.
Lambani embroidery is commonly mistaken as Kutchi (Kachhi) embroidery because of mirror work, but shells and coins are unique to this type of embroidery. Also, the stitches used are completely different.