Mirror work has been in vogue for centuries and is popularly known as “Sheesha” or “Abhala Bharat” embroidery. This is an art form in which mirrors of various shapes are fixed on to the fabric through embroidery. Mirror work is used on various fabrics such as georgette, crepe, cotton, silk, chiffon and many more which are then turned into attractive apparel and accessories ranging from sarees, to cushion covers and belts.

The mirrors are affixed on to the fabric by special cross stitch embroidery that encloses the mirror, and provides it a casing. This cross stitch embroidery is not only relegated to affixing the mirrors, but they are also used on the garment as well to enhance the overall appeal of it. Although the most popular shape of the mirror that is used commonly is circular, there are other geometrical shapes such as square, triangular, hexagonal and polygonal that are used for embroidery. Mirror work is used to embellish and decorate a variety of items such as sarees, dresses, skirts, bags, cushion covers, bedspreads, wall hangings and many such items. The products not only have a great demand within India, but globally as well. Sheesha work products are always in vogue regardless of the occasion or the type of décor.

Mirror work or embroidery is a significant local craft in the state of Gujarat and is known as ‘Abhala Bharat’ and different variations of this craft can be seen in varying shades across the various regions of the state. Gujarat is particularly famous for its mirror-embellished chaniya-cholis, torans, tapestries, accessories, apparel and bags and other exquisite mirror work handicrafts from the state.

Sheesha or mirror embroidery can also be commonly found in various other states like Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Manipur where each state has specialized in certain mirror work items. Deepika Padukone flaunts vibrant Rajasthani outfits in the movie Ram Leela with mirror work embroidery.