India's foothold in the art and science of fabric weaving and embroidery techniques is beyond one's imagination. From merely threads to painstakingly handcrafting the final finished product, the innovation, integrity and hard work which goes behind each Embroidered Outfit or accessory is mind-blowing. While our country is home to different types of embroidery, one technique which holds a glorified place in everybody's heart is Kutch work. In this week's blog, we will explore the vibrant world of Kutch embroidery.
Native to the Kutch region of Gujarat, Kutch Embroidery also known as Kutchi Bharat (in Gujarati) stands out for its colourful and intricate work. A time-intensive embroidery technique, it is characterized by the use of threads, mirrors for additional dazzle and cowrie shells and conchs to embellish and elevate the designs.
According to the historians, the embroidery technique was brought about by the cobblers or mochi community and is still the livelihood of women in the region. History, myths, cultural patterns are transformed in women's hands to create the costume that identifies their tribe. The kutch work dresses worn by the women of this tribe give hints of their economic as well as marital status.The theme of this embroidery technique revolves around nature-inspired motifs such as birds, flowers and trees. Every inch of the fabric is filled with stories through lively colours and designs that speak louder than a thousand words.
Kutch embroidery is created by small square structures which are placed interestingly to create patterns and designs. The design or motif is first sketched on the fabric and is worked through herringbone stitches initially to give an outline. The square structures are then filled with interlacing to create the perfect motifs as imagined by the artisan. Rabari, ahir, neran and gotany are a few types of stitches employed in Kutch embroidery.
These prized embroidery techniques that belong to India's treasure chest carry with it the rich legacy of our past, and the responsibility to educate ourselves and appreciate our traditional craft forms. Our repertoire of Kutch work embroidery extends beyond quintessential sarees to Shawls, Bedspreads and Accessories.