Shisha – Small pieces of mirrored glass used on fabric and often seen on textiles from India and Pakistan
To remember what shisha means use the following mnemonic:
As the sun came out, she shut (shisha) the blinds because the reflections from the mirrored beads on her dress were blinding everyone.
Shisha embroidered fabric can be extremely detailed and is very time consuming to design and make, however learning the basics is both simple and fun!
To practice the shisha technique, you will need:
Put the fabric in the hoop to keep it tight and hold the mirror in place.
Sew the thread from one side of the mirror to the other - A to B. Keep this stitching tight, so the mirror is held in place.
Then sew from C to D.
Continuing sewing from point to point until the mirror looks like the final image below.
Starting from the underside of the fabric, push the needle through the fabric, under the thread and back down into the fabric next to the mirror.
Repeat this all the way around the mirror, keeping the stitches close together until the whole circumference is covered.
You can also do square (or triangle) mirrors using the following technique:
Secure the fabric in the hoop again and hold the mirror in place.
Sew the thread over one of the corners.
Repeat this until the thread reaches the half way point on both vertical and horizontal edges.
Repeat on all corners.
Shisha mirrors can be sewn onto almost any fabric item, from clothing to decorations, bags to toys and even jewellery.
Try searching in charity shops for something suitable or ask at home. If your fabric is loose, such as a t-shirt, you may have to use your embroidery hoop, but if your fabric is already tight, you shouldn't have to.
Use the shisha technique above to stitch as many mirrors onto your chosen item as you like. If your item has a pattern, try working the mirrors into the design, such as placing the mirrors in the centre of a flower or along the edge or centre of a pattern.
Here in our project we have chosen a bag.