What is Appliqué ?

One type of crafting method that uses mounting of pieces together in another base piece is called appliqué. Usually, appliqué is used in quilting to create unique bright designs as well as a technique to decorate garments. Appliqué is also used in making appealing potholders and placemats. It is an extremely ancient form of art and there are examples of appliqué that age over hundreds of years, which are now displayed in museums all over the world. This is a crafting method that is very easy to learn but takes years to master.

The term appliqué was derived from the French word appliquer, meaning “to apply”. In making an appliqué, an artisan begins by creating a base consisting of solid fabric pieces attached together by sewing like in quilt. Then, separate fabric materials are cut into shape, followed by attaching the cutouts through gluing or sewing it into the base. It is also possible to create appliqué decorated with ribbons, beads, sequins, cords and other materials.

Embroidery can also be applied in appliqué, sometimes to be used as the key process of attaching to a design to make more distinct patterns and textures. Numerous Latin American appliquéd artworks used embroidering; they also include layers of appliqué to make their work more textural and lush design. Handmade Appliqué artworks may be very expensive in the market due to the time consumed in making it.

Moreover, some crafters also create reverse appliqué besides the traditionally appliquéd fabric. In this, the layers of fabric are sewn and the top of the layer is cut through to show the lower area. This method can be mixed with the traditional process to make it more vibrant. The edges are sewn or tucked under to give it a seamless look.

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