Northern Bihar is a land of rich and fertile soil, but due to the lack of industrialization, a harsh Landlord system and the damaging effects of recurring floods, there is much poverty. It has always been an isolated area, even in Mughal times, and has retained folk crafts of a very distinctive style, unaffected by outside influences. Its textile crafts include not only the embroidered and quilted sujani work but also the chain-stitch embroidery of Monghyr District.
Indeed, all over Bihar, women embroider blouses, saris or shawls, sashes, babies caps and pillow-covers, for personal use and for their families. Applique, both for commercial and for domestic purposes, is produced round Patna and in northern Bihar. There are two different types of applique that are still commonly practised. One is called khatwa, whereby patterns are cut into a complete piece of cloth, which is then appliqued to a background cloth. With the other method, a pattern is formed with single motifs of cloth or edging strips that are then individually appliqued.