Chitra Balasubramaniam


Banjara Dowry Purse

The Banjara embroidery design on a small dowry purse comprises simple squares, rectangles, and line work. But oh! The colors!

Intricately Stitched Tablecloth from Afghanistan

Done in khamak, an intricate form of embroidery, this dastarkhan consists of delicate silk satin stitches on finely woven fabric.

Chakla—Part of a Collective Vocabulary

Can a simple square piece of cloth decorated with fine embroidery be a part of the collective heritage of a community? The answer is yes when it comes to the chakla.

Crochet from India

Contributor Chitra Balasubramaniam shares a beautiful piece that ties into history.

Surma Dani: An Embroidered Bag from Afghanistan

In a market, Chitra chanced upon a little bag from Afghanistan, which led her to research its tribal origins.

A Wedding Headdress from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan

Gold and beadwork adorn this traditional headdress, which was one of Chitra’s first pieces for her collection of textiles.

A Uzebekistan Suzani to Treasure

A simple design, minute satin stitches, and fabulous colors in the base fabric and stitching drew Chitra to this suzani textile.

The Goddess's Seat: A Small Sujni Quilt

With no flowers or animals, the geometric motif of this quilted sujni was an unusual find.

The Case of a Sodha Rajput Masala Bag

An embroidered bag from Chitra’s collection raises questions about its origins.

Ledra Quilts: Giving New Life to My Mother’s Sarees

Peel back the layers of recycled sarees to uncover the history of ledra quilts in India. Find out how the handstitched motifs rejuvenate reused textiles into striking works of needle art.