As the name suggests, this craft is of French-origin and has become a fine addition to the Indian repertoire. Petit point or quite literally, small point, has the fine needlework associated with fabulous European Linen and tapestries due to the ability to use tiny stitches that come together to create complex patterns.

The craft is naturally quite labour-intensive, requires a great deal of creativity quite like that of a miniature painting and he execution has to be flawless to deliver the expected fine results. The craftsperson can apply great detail to every piece and significantly, to create the natural depth and multi-dimentional aspect of each part of the whole, various hues of every shade used are deployed in a highly effective manner. The result is a lifelike, fine piece of needlework.

I’ve found the most delightful and exquisite works being done by sisters in the Convents at the Nilgiris, in Tamil Nadu, as well as, Calcutta. Small groups of women have been trained to learn this craft that requires the elusive traits of infinite patience, an ability to work to a pattern and follow the plan, the application of skill and tenacity in the face of an error that result in hours of toil coming to nought!

This craft is not for those who seek a creative expression to while away the hours. It requires monastic dedication and a lifetime in pursuit of excellence. Those who appreciate these qualities will seek-out, appreciate and enjoy the simple elegance of Petit Point.