In designing this piece Suman Kumar has used a limited range of material widely used in textile designing in India since long, sequins, beads, cut-stones, both diamond-like lustrous white as also coloured, and metal-thread. This selectiveness reflects also in her choice of design-patterns which are still fewer comprising mainly flowers, plants, vines and different sizes of Paisley, the intricately designed curved feather-like shaped motif. In designing each of her saris Suman Kumar generally uses one design-pattern in repeat mode creating all her magic, rhythm and beauty by its various sizes, groupings and combinations with other patterns. Paisley is the central design-pattern in this sari, which she has ingeniously used in varying sizes and numbers.
Apparently a single length, in the mode of wearing it, a sari has three segments : the field – the sari’s broader expanse, borders, and pallu, the end-part. The portions of field that remain in fore when wearing it have been adorned with two sets of design-patterns : a small plant-motif with two branches on either side, and a third, upwards. These branches consist of beads, while the flowers atop them, of tiny diamond like glaring cut-stone pieces. The larger flowers, rendered with other motifs and on other parts, consist of a larger cut-stone in the centre and eight smaller ones comprising its petals rounding it.
The other motif used for adorning the field is a larger design-pattern looking like an ear-ornament consisting of a vertical row of two larger flowers, a large green cut-stone contained in a Paisley motif over them, and a tiny floral plant atop. The flower on the bottom comprises its base. The middle part of the motif, a circular formation, is conceived around the second flower in the vertical row. It consists of two small Paisley patterns branching on either side while above them there are two vine motifs curving inversely for completing the ring. A green cut-stone defines the junction of these vines. Atop it there is the tiny floral plant, the same as has been independently rendered for covering the field around. Except that the border design runs on the side-arm too, besides the longer arms, the design-pattern used for embellishing the field has been repeated also for embellishing the pallu. This design-pattern covers the pallu-part in entirety from top to bottom and side to side.
The border is the sari’s most elaborately designed part. Four and a half inches wide this border has been conceived with what can be defined as the background and the projected motifs laid over it. The bottom has been supported with a narrow gold-lace from behind. With this lace in the background the stitches made with the gold-wire on the fore-part gain extra lustre and unity. Above these stitches there runs a single course, and above it, a band of multiple courses of gold sequins. These sequin-courses comprise the background for the motifs projected over it.
Over this background are crafted alternately two design-patterns, one, the same and in the same size, as has been used for embellishing the field, and the other, a group of Paisley motifs, flowers and vines. This is the most elaborate design motifs in the sari. It rises on a downwards turned Paisley motif. Its top is flanked by two flowers conceived uniformly with cut-stone beads. From each of these flowers branches a vine on the outer side, while on these vines’ insides there are Paisley motifs. Atop these vines there are other Paisley motifs which contain in their centres a green cut-stone bead of good size. In the recess is placed a large size Paisley pattern with outlines consisting of diamond-like glazing cut-stone beads while its belly contains two flowers, the same as used on other segments.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.
Primary Color Pantone 14-2305 TPX (Pink Nectar)