Sequins are a type of embellishment used to decorate fabrics for fashion and other ornamental purposes. They are essentially glittering disc like beads that are quite flat and come in a wide range of colors and shapes. The word ‘sequin’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘sikka’ which means coin. Sequin art was first used in Arabic countries to decorate the veils and head gear of men and women to indicate their wealth and high status. Over time, sequin embroidery traveled to other parts of the world and became extremely popular as a form of decoration for all types of clothes. Today, sequins, also called spangles or diamantes, are used to ornament clothes all around the world.
Initially, sequins embroidery was done using metallic disc shaped beads but nowadays plastic is largely used, though it may be covered in metallic paper or gilt. Some sequins work is done using discs with more reflective surfaces to create a greater shine and gleam for the fabric. Sequins patterns can be scattered in a subtle and sparse manner throughout the fabric, or they can be concentrated in a specific area. Alternatively, sequins can also hang from the fabric rather than be attached to it, thus creating a more eye-catching, glittering effect.
In India, sequins work embroidery has become extremely popular with rural artisans as well as high end fashion designers. Sequins are sometimes used as a substitute for beads when embroidering fabrics. Since they are lighter they can even be woven into the fabric itself. Many designers also prefer combining sequins and beads into one glittering, multi-colored design, especially for more fancy garments intended for special occasions. Beads and sequins go very well together as they both create a 3-D effect on the fabric and blend harmoniously into one another.
Whether it is to decorate a western garment like a tunic or leggings or for Indian outfits like salwar kameez, saree or lehenga choli, sequins can be used in a variety of ways. Sequins fashion, contrary to popular belief, is not just about flashy and gaudy clothing. It can be used in subtle ways as well to bring out the beauty of the designs on the fabric. Sarees often have sequins beads scattered across the entire fabric, which creates a beautiful shimmer when layered over a thick silk blouse. With some garments like lehenga cholis or tunics, sequins ribbons are added to zari, resham or cut dana work borders to create an attractively intricate and glitzy look for the garment. Sequins can also be concentrated in one area, where they are embroidered into artistic and eye-catching designs including motifs of peacocks, fruits, flowers and trees. Simplistic designs like geometric shapes and lines are also created with sequins and are often used to decorate tunics and kurtis.
Sequins are most often embroidered onto strong fabrics which can handle the weight of these additions; however, as they are lighter and more adaptable than beads, they can also be embroidered on to light weight fabrics with a fine weave such as net and tissue. Sequin lace fabric is the most popular and commonly used in fancy clothing mainly because it is the perfect combination of elegance and glamour. The delicacy of the lace beautifully offsets the shine of the sequins, producing the kind of chic effect that sophisticated women across the world prefer. In Indian fashion, lace sequin fabric is most often used to make gorgeous sarees for special occasions. It is frequently layered over other fabrics like satin and silk to add both volume and depth to an outfit. This kind of layered look is most often seen on lehenga cholis though it can also be done on anarkali salwar kameez or even party wear tunics.
Sequins come in different shades. Women can choose between simple silver or bronze sequins or go for more glittering gold designs. Those with a preference for rainbow shades can opt for multi-hued sequins designs, which are often done on printed fabrics to bring out the beauty of the printed designs.
Accessorizing Sequins Embroidery
Sequins embroidery is extremely popular with women across the world as a party wear embellishment. Though it has always been in fashion, the current trend is to use it in a more subtle and restrained manner. In this way, it adds a touch of magic to the outfit but does not overwhelm it completely. The same kind of formula should be followed when accessorizing an outfit decorated with sequins art. For instance, with a pretty anarkali made of delicate pink sequin lace, a pearl jewelry set would be a great addition. Too much metal or color will clash with the fabric and make the outfit look gaudy. Sequins also look good with simple crystal earrings and crystal bead bracelets.