There’s something about the schiffli assertion in fashion that immediately appeals with its breezy vibe. After all as a pattern that occurs within the identity of cutwork, the holed fabrics essentially make for apt summertime fits. But for all its pretty aesthetics and comfortable essence, the Schiffli identity isn’t one truly known about even when it is one of the more popularly recognised expressions of style.
Essence and Origins
Schiffli is in fact a type of embroidery specifically worked out through the Schiffli embroidery machine. Even more precisely explaining its origins would reveal the nature of Schiffli as being a type of lace. The machine itself is a 19th century invention and while sewing machines were already some half a century in operation by those times of the 1860s, the Swiss invention proved to be even more groundbreaking.
The term itself is derived from the Swiss- German word for ship- an alluding to the shape of the machine’s thread holding shuttle that looks much like the hull of a sailboat. This steam powered, multi- needled machine works upon fabric in a more compounded manner that creates therefore an interlocked series of embroidery. Thus arises the characteristic lacey structure of the Schiffli build that which assumes quite a dramatic appearance for the fashion favoritism to follow.
Essentially emerging as a light, delicate lace would be the final Schiffli assertion that meant for the fabric it was worked upon to be chemically dissolved. Consider then this iteration of its identity as an embroidered motif cut out from a base fabric and schiffli can even be interpreted as being a type of appliquéd technique as well.
Nature and Nuances
This unexpected versatility of the schiffli pattern in flaunting numerous aspects of identity is something that carries over as well to its stylistic popularity. Elegant and dressy even while being simplistic, even minimal, the schiffli trend is huge in different occurrences of both casual and special wear. Beyond this curating to fit the fashion flounces, there also entails much diverse a range of application for pattern of embroidery. Everything from accessories and lingerie to home decor and furnishing sits pretty as being functional fores for schiffli to work its magic across.
A crafted form of art that adds value to whatever it is made to adhere upon, the schiffli versatility is as palpable in the wholly distinct style sensibilities it manages to conjure. Be it traditional Indian wear whereupon schiffli endows the bounty of its elegance or everyday western and global wear elevated through the employment of this design element, from statement party dresses to casual outfits of both formal and informal customisation, and in every shade perceivable upon the color spectrum, the fashionableness of schiffli cannot be questioned. Add to it the equally charming rendition upon accompanying everythings of bags and jewelry and even footwear and there’s no scope of the beauties that schiffli does not attend to in all its immense bearing of the style repertoire.
Even the delicate, dainty vibe of schiffli that paints for it an image of expansive prettiness does not restrict the fulcrum of its functioning. While it indeed is womenswear and kidswear that sees most profuse use of the technique, the adaptability of it to serve masculine styles needs to be commended similarly. This diversity captured in seamlessly fusing into all categories of wearability also extends to account for the separate ranges of topwear and bottomwear.
Schiffli makes for a common design element along the hems of skirts and pants or across sleeves and around cuffs, as well as in manifesting through saree borders and dress collars. Their full bodied visibility upon dresses and tops and shirts and skirts and kurtas and even sweaters is something greatly favoured. Specifically however, the style adds another dimension altogether to the typical Indian saree look. Pairing the classic drape with a schiffli blouse is all the fashion inspiration you need to create an aura of your own. Conjuring up looks that are as dreamy as they are comfortable, oozing a charm that is at the same time casual fun and dressy sophistication, soothing souls with its essential whiteness but dazzling as well in the happy pastels and the stark vivids- the possibilities are endless when it comes to making schiffli a part of your life’s wardrobe.
An unique appeal
So what it is that makes schiffli so appealing that you can wear it in anything and still not be able to get over it? Part of the answer lies in the differentiated identity of its make itself. Depending upon the thread type and color and count, different styles of patterns can be produced as part of the schiffli technique, all of them essentially ‘luxurious’ and intricate due to the unique method and manner of making. Of course the choice of fabric itself can be anything one fancies with cottons, linens, silks, nets and many more each assuming a definite detail through this acquiring.
But what is even more remarkable a facet of schiffli arises in such contexts when it ensues as an allover pattern. Flaunters of the full bodied schiffli assertion can choose to incorporate different expressions of the pattern within that single arena of wearing itself, which establishes in even more certainty the exemplarily versatile nature that it harbours.
And yet this is not all that explains the prevalence of this fashion trend of a timeless musing. Despite all its grace and delicateness in showing, the machine made- rather chemical essence of the Schiffli also makes it sufficiently durable. The breeziness evidently flowing through the fabric translates also in lightweightedness. No wonder schifflis occur as particularly rampant summertime entities and are popular picks as well for children. Indeed, the very look of schiffli is one of carefree and fun attributes and tiny tots all dressed up in their custom co-ords make for a very endearing sight. This extends also to the greater range of co-ords so that grownup fashion too can easily charm in such head to toe shows of style.
Specialties of the Schiffli style
That said, schiffli designed attires do well as standalone identities themselves. The pairing ‘guide’ does not exist really as something very specific as one can easily go by the general rules of what complements and contrasts all through the fashion circle. What however can be a rather effective trick of highlighting the already well defined identity of schiffli is by adding such layers to your outfit essentially accentuating the show of the pattern.
Call it timeless or trendy, classic or cosmopolitan- Schiffli stands true to every made to measure description of its flexible nature. Without any typification set in one category of clothing- or even non clothing for that matter, and more than willing to let the fashion flair flow even as a ‘side embellishment’, this is one of the uniquely stylised sensibilities to have emerged in profiling a global aesthetic portfolio of practical artistry.