the seventeenth century, Gujarat was probably the most important
centre for fine commercial embroidery in the world. In the present
day, the world's richest source of folk embroidery is found in the
belt comprising Kutch and Saurashtra up through northern Gujarat
to western Rajasthan and the Thar Parkar district of Sind in Pakistan.
Marriage costumes, wall hangings, quilts, cradle clothes and animal
trappings are embroidered, appliqued, decorated with beadwork and
embellished with mirrors, sequins, buttons and shells. Each caste
passes on unchanged from generation to generation its own distinct
designs, colours and range of stitches which, together with the
cut of their garments and their own particular tie-and-dye and block-printed
designs, form the major visual part of a caste's cultural identity.
The traditional Gujarati's have safeguarded their rich cultural
heritage for centuries, which is very well exhibited by the art
and craft of the region. The major handicraft works are Calico prints
by Chhipas and Bhavsars, Patola weaving by Salvis, Brocade and Jari
weaving by Khatris, Copper-smithly by Kansaras, Pottery by Kumbharas,
Carpentry by Suthars, Black-smithly by Luthars, Gold-smithly by
Sonis and leather work by Mochis.
The Harijan community at Ludia, 75kms from Bhuj, is skilled in
wooden crafts while women create beautiful embroidery. The women
at Dhordo work out still better embroidery called Mutva. The geometric
and angular patterns reflect the Sauf embroidery by the Sodhas,
which is believed to be the earliest extension of Iranian influences.
The ladies from Lohana community busy themselves in silk thread
work in deep hues.
the most popular work force is that of the Rabaris, dressed in black
skirts with creative edges embroidered and so are their profusely
decorated veils with tie and dye patterns.
A Rabari bridegroom's embroidered long coat is worth a look for
the dazzle of glasswork that has been so finely fixed together.
In fact, their patterns, designs or colours of their dress and embroidery
identify the Kutch caste and communities. Although these women are
married off at a young age, they stay with their parents until the
embroidery is finished. This could take years. Each woman embroiders
the same traditional design with only slight variations.
The Jat community creates the intricate patterns of embroidery.
Hodka village is famous for its leatherwork while the artisans at
Zohra produce the fine bells with copper plantings. At Nirona one
finds a unique craft called Roghan - art akin to the Afridi wax
cloth that is created by the lone craftsman in the village. While
exploring the Banni area consider halting at Bindiara for dairy
products. Kutch wool has long been famous for its quality and the
best place to buy some of these woolen shawls is at the cooperative
shops where they are produced.
The famous Patola weaving of Patan is known for its colorful geometrical
patterns, which are strikingly beautiful. The unique tie and weave
method of Patola results in identical patterns on the both the
sides of the fabric.
The tie and dye fabric of Jamnagar, Mandvi and Bhuj are famous
for their intricate designs and patterns which are used in wedding
outfits called as gharchola odhni and sarees. The other well-known
prints are ajrakhs prints of Kutch region and the sodagiri prints
of Paithapur. The vahgari community priests make Matani - Pachedi
prints in honor of goddess Durga.
Surat is one of the biggest and the most important Jari manufacturing
centre of India. It is one of the oldest industries, which dates
back to the Mughal period. The principal types of products are
made of real gold and silver threads or imitation gold and silver
threads. The major embroidery patterns are chalak, salaiya, kangri,
tikki, ring and katori.
It is a fabric woven with a combination of silk and cotton. Mashru
is well known for its bold patterns and colours.
It is heavily decorated and embroidered decoration, which is hung
over the entrance and is considered a symbol of warm welcome.
Jewellery making is the art of highest antiquity, the famous among
these are filgree work, open wirework, carving etc. Enamelling is
another noteworthy artistic craft. Kutch region is renowned for
its necklaces, earrings etc.
and Sankhed in the Vadodara district are also known for their lacquer
work. Toys, stands, parts of bedstead, cradles, cradles, low chairs
are some of the important items of lacquer work. Ivory is mostly
used in inlay work and preparation of artistic bangles. Mahuva in
Bhavnagar district and Idar in Sabarkantha district are known for
the manufacturing of wooden lacquer toys.
Beads stones are prepared from Agate, a semi-precious stone, mostly
in Cambay region for earrings, necklace and other ornamental articles.
Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and other places are also
known for beadwork.
Exquisite woodcarvings can be observed in the temples, havelis and
many houses in various parts of Gujarat. The major centres of woodcarvings
are Visnagar, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Mahuva, and Bilimora. Sandalwood
boxes from Surat are very popular.
Temple curtain work is a speciality of some Vaghari Harijan families
of Ahmedabad. It is prepared in the old madder process and depicts
the Goddess Durga riding tiger as well as other illustrations from
Information on Traditional Crafts, arts, handicrafts of Gujarat