Embellishments Explained: From Beading To Batik

Here at Banarsi Designs, we love a good embellishment. From florals to sparkles, there is something so intricate and unique about embellishments; they have the ability to truly transform a piece of home decor or fashion alike.

If you’re reading this, I could bet my bottom dollar that you can’t get enough of embellishments either? But do you really know the different between embroidery and applique? Those decor lovers who think that batik is a food: this post is specially dedicated to you!

Today we give you a little insight into the most common embellishing techniques. Whether you are a decor junkie, or maybe want to try your hand at embellishing yourself, this post will give you the perfect insight!



(Photo Source: atua.com)

I remember attempting to create a batik cushion at school. It’s safe to say that clumsy little me ended up with a waxy mess . However, if done well, batik can be a unique and stunning embellishment.

Batik is an ancient, Indonesian tradition that involves placing hot wax on fabric. The wax is applied prior to dying the fabric and the parts covered with wax resist the dye and remain the original color of the fabric. This can be repeated over and over to create multi-colored and stunning multi-faceted designs.

As opposed to traditional batik, which derives from the Indonesian word for ‘dot’, modern Batik can be done in many ways. Artists are known to use etching techniques, stencils and various tools.

Traditional batik patterns vary from region to region, with Inland Javanese Batik often consisting of earthy colors, with diamond and floral shapes. Coastal Javanese Batik is colorful and is inspired by the wide range of cultures that infiltrated the country via trading. Motifs were often inspired by nature and included European-style flowers and peacocks.

Shop Batik Style

Although batik itself can be expensive and hard to find, batik inspired prints can be just as stunning! Our chic jacquard table runner echoes traditional batik styles perfectly.



(Photo Source: farahshawls.com)

The most well-known of all embellishment techniques, embroidery consists of decorating via artistic stitching using a needle and thread. Although the definite origin of embroidery is unknown, evidence of this decorative technique date back to 5th-3rd Century AD. Fast forward thousands of years and embroidery is a mass-produced embellishment technique that is seen on a range of home decor and fashion products alike.

Some more luxurious pieces are still embroidered by hand, such as our range of hand embroidered home decor products.

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Give an air of luxury to your bedroom with our hand embroidery duvet cover set or up your living room game with our paisley embroidered pillow covers.


Hand Painting


(Photo Source: texeresilk.com)

Hand painting is literally as it sounds: applying paint to a piece of fabric as you would a canvas.

Fabric painting is one of the most ancient embellishing techniques and can be traced to as far back as 3000 B.C. Originally associated with royalty, fabric painting used colors from plants and animals and pieces were gifted to elders as a form of respect.

By 200AD fabric painting had become mainstream and was available all over the world. Fabric painting still remains popular as a form of art today, however, hand painted textiles are more of a rarity.

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The best thing about hand painted pieces is that exactly no two pieces are the same! Add a little bit of luxury and uniqueness to your home with our hand painted deluxe accent pillow cover and our hand painted deluxe floral table runner.

Rustic Orange



(Photo source: utsavpedia.com)

Applique quite literally means ‘application.’ This embellishment technique involves applying one piece of fabric on top of another.

Although these types of embellishments have been around since the start of sewing, they are traditionally associated with Benim in South Africa. It is also commonly used in quilting.

Several types of techniques are used in applique. The first is straight stitch, in which the embellishment fabric is attached 20-30mm from the edge. Satin stitch attaches the piece all around, overlapping the edge, Finally, in reverse applique, the attached materials are sewn together then cut away.



(Photo source: vintageandyou.com)

Beading refers to the attachment of beads, either individual, or in strings, to a piece of fabric. Bead embroidery refers to when the beads are added as a final embellishment after the fabric has been produced, whereas bead knitting and bead crochet are embellishment techniques that are woven into the fabric during production.

Bead embroidery dates back to ancient African cultures over 72,000 years ago, where it was used on a variety of clothing and textiles. There has also been evidence of beading embellishments in Russia as far back as 30,000 years ago.

Shop Beading

Beaded pieces are always just that little bit special! Our hand embroidered pillow cover combines intricate embroidery with beautiful beading.


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Rachel Holliday

Rachel Holliday

Interior design and fashion contributor at Banarsi Designs. Writer and Aussie-based fashion and personal style blogger at www.thedailyluxe.net