Of Gujarat
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From the early civilizations,
Gujarat is home to
handicraft traditions.
Gujarat’s contemporary
indigenous dress is a
cultural manifestation
that has evolved over
centuries and has
remained a principal mark
of identity and social
In Gujarat it is customary for
a bride to have exquisite
hand embroidered
ghagras, odhnis, animal
covers, bags, quilts and
house decorations as part

Kutch's World Renowned Work

The best pick up point for
ethnic embroidery in
Gujarat is Kutch, which
was once a part of the
trade route between
Central Asia and the Far
As in all desert and semidesert regions, life here
is varied, there is little to
celebrate but for the
women of Kutch who
weave a magical world of
colour and celebrate
everyday life.
Elements and traces of
Baluch or Sindhi
embroidery merging with

At a very early age the girls acquire the
embroidery skills, they prepare their own
wedding garments. These exclusively
created embroidered works are sent to
the in-laws for closer examination, which
is one of the important criteria for
deciding matrimonial alliances.
 Mostly made by the Kanbis (the farm
cultivators) and by the Ahirs
(cowherds, a pastoral tribe) and the
Moochis (the shoe-makers) too.

Toran, a doorway
decoration with hanging
flaps, Pachhitpatis
(embroidered frieze),
Chaklas (embroidered
square pieces), Bhitiya,
an impressive wall
hanging, are most
common embroidered
 Abhala (mirror inset
embroidery) has now
become a part of the
ethnic chic fashion
world, where small
mirror discs are fixed
with closely worked
silken thread. Usually the
mirror work is done on a
dark background with

 Its

most striking quality is the
sense of depth imbued into the
surface as though the forms were
carved out of a solid substance,
instead of being stitched on.
 This particular type of embroidery
is also known as 'MoochiddBharat'  or ‘Ahir-Bharat'.
 The chain is the basic stitch, & use
of interlaced and other variety of
stitches and insertion of tiny
mirrors within embroidery adding
to them a touch of glamour upon
the desired areas of the patterns

This folk embroidery is done
using cotton or silk thread
on cotton cloth. Certain
styles use silk and a satinlike material too.
Square chain, double
buttonhole, pattern
darning, running stitch,
satin and straight stitches
are used to create
intricate patterns.
Kutch work is unique in the
sense that a net is woven
on a cloth using thread.

 Students

of costume
design and fashion
trying their hand at
Kutch embroidery and
mirror work in a

Folk Design from Kutch, Gujarat

Embroidery Decorative Door
Hanging Design from Kutch,

D e co ra tive D o o r
H a n g in g fro m
G u ja ra t

 In

Saurashtra, the
most ancient and
embroidery was
done by the Kathi
 The women of this
community showed
preference for black
cloth embroidered in
crimson, violet,
golden, yellow and
white with greens

Heer is the most popular
form of design in Kathi
Embroidery. The main
stitch was an elongated
darn and chain-cuminterlacing.
Gureri happens to be a
popular item of Kathi
The two major types of
Kathi Embroidery are :

Aditya Fatiya
Patch Work

These are mostly used in
ornate wall hangings,
door frames

Embroidery Motif from KathI Embroidery
It is known for its
romantic motifs.
Geometrical motifs are
fabricated with
multicolored fabric pieces
leading to patch work
Beautiful prominent
designs depicting figures
of animals, birds, flowers
and plants are delineated
on the fabrics.
Motifs of leaves and
little flowers adorn the
inter spaces. Small mirrors
are used as eyes of birds
or flower centers.

Aari Bharat Embroidery
 Primarily

by the Muslim
cobbler community in
 The designs are of
Mughal origin since
the art was once
patronized by them.
 It is also called zari
work. .

 The

zari thread or the
metallic thread is used
in this style of
embroidery. It is done
with colored thread as
well using color
gradations to make
the motifs and figures
 This is done in silk or
locally made satin
called Gajji or on a
silky satin fabric Atlash

 Process

A hooked needle is used in the
embroidery called the aar.
 The fabric is first fixed over the frame
often made of bamboo. The pattern is
traced on it and the embroidery work
 Ari looks like a fine chain stitch. The
needle is pushed through the fabric.
From behind, thread is pushed into the
hook. When the needle is pulled up
again, it comes up with a loop. The next
time, the needle goes through the loop
and comes up with another loop
through the previous loop. The same

 After

embroidery part
is over the
stitches are
beaten using a
wooden mallet
from the top on
a handheld
wooden anvil
placed under
the fabric.
 It is an art carried
by men. Women
are not
supposed to

Ahir Bharat Embroidery
 Ahir

tribes can be found in Kutch - chiefly
Bhuj, Anjar and Mandvi talukas.
 Their style is similar to mochi or aari
 The predominant colours are white, yellow,
green, red and blue on a white, yellow or
orange background.

 Among

the Hindu Ahir the
items commonly
embroidered are bags
(Kothries), wall hangings
or Chaklas. In the house
on each side of the
doorway are Sankias or
Barsankias, adorned
with a Toran hanging
above the doorway. Sets
of embroided clothing
lavishly decorated with
Shisha or mirror work
forms an important part
of their ceremonial

Patterns and Stitches

Ahir bharat has a
flowing style.
Motifs such as
peacocks, parrots,
scorpions, elephants,
the milk maid and
flowers, tear drop
shapes etc. are used.
The designs are
drawn free hand and
transferred on to the
cloth using stencil.
The outermost detailed
stitch is called 'kanta'
due to its
resemblance to
babool tree thorn.
'Bakhiya' is a detailing
stitch and 'dana' is
used for filling gaps.
Chain stitch called
'sankali is used for

Rabari Embroidery

The Rabarisare a wandering group
of people who are recognized for
their distinctive arts, particularly
embroidery, mirrored mud
sculpture and beadwork. Rabari
Embroidery of Gujarat, India is
one of the leading Handicrafts of
Gujarat. Girls of Rabari
community traditionally
embroider skirts, veils, blouses,
wall hangings, purses, pillows
and Kothalo-the dowry sacks.
Women’s black skirts with creative
edges embroidered, a Rabari
bridegroom’s embroidered
longcoat children’s heavily
embroidered salwars and shirts,
household decorations, bags
and animal trappings are worth
to look for.

The stitches are square chain
interlaced with buttonhole
for mirror work, single
chain, knot, Romanian,
blanket interlaced with
herringbone, running, and
double running.
Temple motifs, women
balancing pots on their
heads (paniyari), mango
leaves, coconuts,
scorpions, camels, parrots,
elephants and the tree of
life are some of the
beloved and auspicious
motifs of Rabari

 The

Mutwas, living in
Banni, excel in all styles
of embroidery and they
work out the tiny
mirrors with ease. Fine
handspun cotton and
quality silk is used in
red, white, golden
yellow, blue and black
to develop patterns and
booties interspersed
with bird and animal
 The Jats, who migrated
from Baluchistan, are
experts in inserting the
smallest of the mirrors
with utmost perfection,

 The

ladies from Lohana community in
Banni create fantasy with silk thread
thickly piled in deep orange, golden
yellow, dark red and bright black. The
bootis are inset with mirrors, making
use of chain stitch, buttonhole stitch,

Folk Design by
Rabari Tribe,

 Bavalia

(Known as Kutch Bharat in
Saurashtra and north Gujarat) is the
simplest form of needle work common
to all communities.
 It is also known as sada Taka.
 It uses cross stitch and button-hole
stitch for fixing mirrors.
 Only geometrical designs are employed.


This needle work derived its
name from the semi-desert
areas called Banni in the
Kutch district.
Banni embroidery is locally
known as "Kutch Bharat" .
Khambira, Kharek, Kodi,
Kacho Bharat, Fako Bharat
etc are main stitches used
in this area.
The work is known for minute
designs in gorgeous colours
embroidered articles are
closely associated with
their day to day needs.

Soof embroidery is done
by Sodha Rajput and
Harijan women who
migrated from
Pakistan during the
 It is also called "Sodha
 Embroidery is done by
using satin thread by
inserting the needle
from behind the cloth
and designs come on
the front side.

Kathiawar embroidery

Mirrors and bright colors are the
specialty of Kathiawar
Embroidery originating from
Satin and khaddar are the mostly
widely used fabrics. The base
fabric is usually colored in
blue, yellow, red, white,
turquoise or green. Silk floss
and colorful cotton threads are
used for the embroidery.
It even contains appliqué and
beadworks in the items meant
for daily use.
Cloths exhibiting the Kathiawar
embroidery are used on wall
panels, bags, jackets, ‘cholis’
(traditional blouses) and
‘ghagras’ (traditional skirts).

Folk Designs from Saurashtra, Gujarat

Anshu Modi, a Kolkata-based designer,
recently came up with modified
Kathiawar embroidery in New Delhi,
with a cool collection, in which she has
vividly blended colours which show her
imagination and skill. She tried to give
a different interpretation. Instead of the
mirror work in Kathiawar she made use
of studs

Sheeshedar: Mirror Work Of Gujarat

Mirror Work of Gujarat is similar to a ritual
decoration and can be seen everywhere in
the region. They are used in several articles
that are a prized possession.
 In Abhala, little mirror discs are set using
closely worked silken threads. Generally, the
mirror work is made on a dark background
with motifs such as petals, flowers, creepers,
etc. A majority of these motifs are inspired by
ancient belief, daily life as well as rituals.
 Mirror Embroidery work can also be seen in
gaghras (skirts), cholis (bodices), odhnis
(shawls), bags, wall hangings, bed spreads
and many other ornamental pieces for home

Moti Bharat

Bead work or Moti work is a
needlecraft work that was
introduced comparitevely
recently in western India.
It was taken up by professional
mochi craftsmen followed by
the Kathi women who used
bead work to replace
The Kathi style beadwork
motifs portrayed divine &
human figures combined
witrh flowers, cradles, racing
camels, other animals &
birds & were worked with
translucent & semitranslucent beads set in
background of white opaque

The colors used were mostly orange,
green, yellow, purple & red.
 It is a speciality of Rajkot, Bhavnagar,
Jamnagar, & Junagarh.
 Decorative pieces like torans, chopals,
carpets, caps & belts are some of the
fine articles of beadwork.

NGOs like Kala-Raksha
and Shrujan are
working with the
women of Kutch,
helping them
showcase their
splendid work to a
larger market and
thereby making a
positive change in
their lives.

Designers implementing Embroideries of
gujarat in their collections

Hansiba's Gujarati collection makes
a splash
The collection blends traditional
Gujarati embroideries and prints with
western cuts for a stunning collection
with an international look.

Aishwarya in Guru movie also
adorned clothes worked with
Gujarati embroidery especially
Zari embroidery.

Thank You

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