Kathwa is a traditional applique work native to Bihar
. It involves creation of designs by cutting one fabric and stitching the pieces onto another.
Tents used during important functions exhibit this kind of work. A thick fabric, usually colored in red or orange, is used as the background. Geometric patterns cut out from a thin white cloth are stitched onto this fabric. The cutting and designing are done by the men while the women do the stitching work. The designs on the tent often reflect the mood of the revelers.
Before the actual designs are cut, a master chart called awalkhana is prepared. This chart serves as the base for the designs. It also acts as a reference material to new artisans.
Apart from tents, Kathwa is also used in decorating women’s garments. The applique work done in this case is more artistic.