This exquisite craft is usually practiced on red, purple, black, yellow, green and white fabric. The craftsman first prepares the base material in the shape of square, rectangle, and circle or oval which forms the background for the pieces of art. Over the patched and stitched material embroidery design will made using needle by different coloured threads and mirrors. The metal or mirrors are added to the cloth only after that the embroidery is stitched. The actual grace of appliqué craft lies in its intricate stitches namely, bakhia, guntha, turpa, chikan and other very delicate and esoteric embroidery techniques. Small mirrors and bright metal pieces are used to enhance its beauty. After the material is embroidered with a traditional design, the borders are then stitched.
The designing of the lampshade begins with cutting coloured cloth into different shapes and stitching them together to make an applique cloth. Mirrors are stacked onto it using simple stitching process. Many artisans even add borders and other forms of embellishment to enhance the beauty of the lampshades.
A simple stenciling of the size of the lampshade required and then cutting the shape out on a cardboard paper. The stencil outlines are then traced out neatly over the cloth. The important thing to note is the artisans’ need to preserve the cloth because they believe in minimal wastage and try to rescue and recycle as much cloth and material as possible. The traced outlines are then cut onto many identical layers of cloth which then are bundled together. This makes it easy to store and use them when required.
Lampshades usually make use of a coarse and low cost material cloth onto which the appliqués are then machine stitched in simple and decorative patterns. Then the artisans make use of wooden or iron rings to mould it into the shape of the lampshade.
These lampshades are usually prepared in bulk because they are extensively used during festivals. But since they have even picked up a market in many cities, they are constantly in demand. This has meant a steady means of employment for many men and women in the town of Pipli. Amazingly, in lampshades alone, over 1000 designs and patterns are available.