What is Kutch Embroidery?
India owes its rich heritage in embroidery work to the Jewel of Western India, Gujarat. Kutch embroidery (also known as Kachchhi embroidery) has its roots in the Kutch and Saurashtra regions of Gujarat.
Kutch embroidery is a lovely combination of vibrant colours, mirror work, silk threads, and beads all embellished on cotton or silk fabric.
If you have ever been to one of those lively Garba nights during Navratri, you know very well how the whole of Gujarati community erupts in bright colours. Drenched in mirror-work clothing with a riot of colours, people bring the festive spirit of Navratri to life.
The origin of Kutch embroidery can be traced back to ‘Kathi’ cattle breeders. They later settled down to produce the fine needlework that typifies Kutch embroidery with diverse elements, designs, themes, patterns and moods.
It is also said that a Muslim wanderer in Sindh gave lessons to mochis (the community of shoemakers) on Kutch embroidery around 300 years ago.
Finding Inspiration in Architectural Designs
One of the great influences on Kutch embroidery is that of variegated architectural designs and motifs including the ‘Heer Bharat’. Artisans use the Heer Bharat as a mirror in the center to enhance their embroidery work. Green, Indigo, Ivory, Deep red, Black, Yellow and off White are the primary colors used in Kutch embroidery.
Moreover, romantic motifs, human figurines, as well as Persian and Mughal arts inspired by animals also influence this embroidery.
A total of 7 styles are associated with the Singh-Kutch embroidery. These include Suf, Khaarek, and Paako, Rabari, Garasia Jat and Mutava.
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