Mirror Work / Shisha Embroidery / Abhla Bharat is an Indian embroidery stitch where mirrors are attached to fabric.
The decorative stitch used is Cretan stitch. Knowing how to stitch the Cretan stitch will be very helpful.
First we have to anchor the mirror to the fabric with foundation stitches. There are many methods to do this. Some times the mirror is glued to the fabric before the foundation stitches are made.
I am going to show 3 of the common methods of anchoring the mirror to the fabric.
Foundation stitch method 1: Square
Make 2 straight stitches like shown below. Make sure the stitches are placed as close to the periphery of the mirror as possible.
Stitch 2 more straight stitches to form a square. These 2 will be perpendicular to the first 2 stitches.You can also weave them like shown below. I prefer to weave as it will keep the threads taut and in place.
Foundation stitch method 2: Double Square
This is the second method to anchor the mirror to the fabric. Add 4 straight stitches like show above. Then add another square at an angle.
The 4 corners of one square will be at the mid point of the sides of the other square
Foundation stitch method 3: Star
In this star method, we first add the square like shown above in method 1. Then we add diagonal stitches connecting the ends of the straight stitches.
Mirror has been anchored to fabric using an 8 point star.
For this demo, I am going to use method 1 as this is less cluttered and it will make it easier for me to show the decorative Cretan stitch.
Bring needle up near one of the intersections.
There are 2 steps that will be repeated throughout.
Step 1: Go over and then under the foundation stitches. The needle is pointing out towards the circumference of the mirror.
Wrap the working thread under the needle and then pull.
Pick up a few strands of the fabric like shown below. In this step, the needle is pointing inwards towards the center of the mirror.
Again wrap the working thread under the needle.
At this point, the stitch will look like this.
Repeat step 1.
Repeat step 2.
Repeat the steps.
For seamless ending, end like this.