Kutch Embroidery: Threaded to Tradition

India houses an unparalleled store for its variegated crafted works. The numerous artisans, tribes, weavers and migrant folks from across the world have contributed to the craft traditions of India. Coming from the lands of Gujarat, it is one of the most vibrant and distinctive crafts of India. This art form has a rich history and is known as  Kachchhi embroidery.

Origin & History

The remote and rural landscapes of India have always had clans who mastered the art of hand embroidery and one such district is the Kutch. Deriving its name from its place of origin, Kutch embroidery dates back to as early as the 16th and 17th centuries. This art of embroidery was introduced by a tribal clan called ‘Kathi’ and was escorted to India by various travelers during the Mughal Era. 

Historically, the ‘Kathi’ cattle wanderers started crafting various patterns and themes, which collectively formed the Gujarati embroideries. The origin of the Kutch embroidery traces back to the community of ‘mochis’ or shoemakers who were taught this art 300 years ago by a Sufi saint of Sindh. The Kutch weaving clubbed with Sindh custom possesses styles like Suf, Khaarek, and Paako, Rabari, Garasia Jat, and Mutava.

Image Source: Unnati Silks

Distinct Features

This signature handicraft tradition of the tribal community of Kutch district in Gujarat is characterized by attractive eye catchy colors, extensive needlework, mirrors and beads embellished on the fabric.

Usually, this embroidery is crafted on sturdy fabrics like cotton and sometimes silk as well.

The threads used for crafting various designs and themes are mostly crafted with woolen or silk. Elaborate patterns are created by the intricate weaving of these threads. The Kutch motifs and patterns usually take inspiration from the architectural, animal, human motifs or sometimes, Persian and Mughal arts.

A perfect blend of colors is an essential aspect of this art form. It uses hues of scintillating and attractive colors like yellow, indigo, green, black, pink and more.

Additionally, the extensive use of mirrors and beads amplifies the beauty of this traditional Kutch craft.

Image Source: Gaatha

Maintenance

This art form is usually crafted on sturdy fabrics like cotton or silk. However, the ample use of intricate threads, mirrors and beads add to the delicate nature of the embroidery and hence hand washing is recommended. Dry-cleaning is the best option to elevate the life of the garments or fabrics.

This exquisite art form reflects the vibrancy of India through its vivid colors, extraordinary motifs, and one-of-a-kind needlework artistry. The beautiful designs and patterns of Kutch embroidery is a tribute to the nomadic tribes and clans. The Kutch designs and motifs are now seen on international runways too.  

 

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