This traditional craft is usually pursued as a leisure-time activity by rural womenfolk working out of their homes. The practice seems to have originated in the household activity of using available scraps of fabric to make a tablecloth or a bedspread. The womenfolk often engaged themselves in stitching pieces into a patchwork design, using a wide range of colour combinations; the product so made was not only utilitarian but also a treasured memento. Gradually, as the craft has developed – due to exposure to trends in foreign countries in related crafts like quilt-making and appliqué work along with patchwork itself- some of these hand-made products have found their way into the market.
A CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVE
Formal training is imparted to groups of young women in rural areas in the techniques of patchwork, quilting, embroidery, and other related domestic crafts. The patchwork items have a good market outside the country as well as in some commercial establishments found locally.The craftswomen study market preferences; whatever the product, the aim is to make them of a high-quality and also ensure its suitability to various climates. Patchwork quilts are held as prized possessions. Items made using the patchwork technique include cushion-covers, bedspreads, and table settings crafted to harmonise with furniture and accessories.