Kutch, a drought prone area that, situated in the border region of Gujarat is quite popular for its embroidery work done by the natives of the region particularly women. Kutch embroidery is of varied kinds are quite a part of their traditional dresses, shawls and turbans along with other accessories. Exclusive embroideries are performed specially during marriages as a part of the wealth offered to the bride.
Expression of unrestrained art
Kutch embroidery reflects an evolving expression of the art and craft as well as textile traditions of a nomadic tribe in Gujarat commonly known as Rabaris. This very kind of embroidery is performed through usage of cotton or silk-threads on cotton cloth. There are specific styles that make use of silk and satin like material.
Square chain, pattern darning, double buttonhole, running stich, satin and straight stitches are mainly used for creation of intricate patterns. The garments do give a glittering look on account of liberal usage of multi-shaped glass pieces. The bold stitches as well as glass pieces used are reflective of the rituals and folklore of the tribe, Rabaris.
There are specific stitches that are done in a quite well-maintained manner and the sequence for creation of particular style of embroidery. The tribal people residing there do identify a particular sub-community as well as social status of a person from the embroidery on their clothes. Some styles that have attained quite a lot of popularity are paako, ahir, suf, khaarek, rabari, garasia jat and mutava. The motifs as well as patterns aren’t traced, instead they are directly transferred from the imagination of the artisan to stitches on the cloth.
Kutch embroidered ethnic outfits
Kutch embroidery does take one in the very world of colors that are exploded in unique embroidery forms. Kutch work is in particular unique in the very sense that a net is woven on a cloth through usage of thread. Such kind of embroidery does follow its own traditional design logic and juxtaposition of colors as well as motifs.
When the consumer belongs to the same geographical or social segment, the very artisans do have the knowledge about the purpose, taste and style that is preferred, However, if the work needs to be marked in a rather different society, it will, in turn make a product conducive to their sense, taste and fashion .
It is quite unfortunate that several of these fine skills have lost their importance although some of being rejuvenated through handicraft initiatives.