I have been receiving a lot of questions on embroidered butees. Well I will answer them one by one.
These butees are not custom made. They are available in the shops where they sell laces, kundans and other embroidery materials and embellishments.
These are available in different shapes and sizes and also colours. But the colour range is limited. Mostly we find white, red, green stones with gold work. Sometimes we also find butees worked with threads of rare colours like pink, lavender etc. But mostly it is white, dark red and green as these go with any background and are also traditional.
The patterns/designs and sizes keep changing. Ask for specific design-like peacocks flowers etc and the shop keepers will show you. Most of the shops have a display of all the motifs they sell.
Take the sari or dress material on which you want to attach these, with you to the shop. It will be easy to place the butees on it and check whether the colour combination and other things go together or not.
Then go through the butees available there. Select the one you like, depending upon the colour, texture, thickness, material of the sari/dress(background) and the colour of the butees.
If you want a very rich look go for silks(thick ones) as back ground and heavy worked bigger sized butees. Thicker materials like Bhagalpur silks, Matka silks, Dupion silks or jute and heavy cottons can hold the weight of big and heavily worked butees. Or else the material will sag easily with the weight of the butees and by the time you wear it a few times, it looks saggy and old.
Decide how you want to place them on your dress or sari and then calculate the required quantity. These butees are sold in numbers and in case of smaller ones, in packs of 50 or 100.
Buy the entire quantity at a time. Most of the times, we may not get the required shape or size or colour if we want to buy them next time. Check each butee carefully and minutely to see that the embroidery/embellishment work is complete and good. Or else you will end with damaged or with flaws.
The cost depends upon the size and work done. If you are buying large quantity, it may be cheaper for you. Heavily worked or bigger ones cost more. So we can use a combination of bigger sized ones as well as smaller ones depending upon the design and the way you want them to be displayed as well as your budget.
The back side of these butees are covered with a cloth. So even if you are using them on very thin back ground (that is see through materials like crepes chiffons etc), it is OK.
Select the laces for the borders if you are planning to use them on the saris or dress materials along with the butees. There is a lot of variety available in the markets. These days laces from very narrow to broad ones, simple to heavy work are being used.
How to attach them to the fabric, I will post in my next post...so keep an eye....