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Colorful Art & Crafts of Kutch

Updated on January 30, 2013

Gujarat is a state that holds a rich cultural heritage. Be its the beauty of colorful clothes worn as the traditional dresses, the vibrant Kutch Rann Festival or the serenity of the widely spanned white Kutch. This largest district of India is inhabited by people from different communities.

Apart from the colorful and lively festival of Kutch Rann, this district is a major hub of weaving and handloom. If you plan to visit this place, don't forget to check out the cluster of villages which is famous for hand embroidery and fabric paintings. As you take a stroll to the innate villages of Kutch, you'll discover the beauty of these colorful art and crafts. Mirror work, hand-stitched embroidery, and geometric motifs, are used and transformed into artworks.

Artistically handcrafted art forms created in Kutch highlight a major influence from Arabic and Persian lands. If you’ve a fetish for silverware and ornaments, Bhuj is the place to be. The city’s markets and emporiums stock a variety of handicrafts collected from different parts of Kutch. One of the major markets one shouldn't miss out if you're fond of ornaments and silver jewellery is the Shroff market. It is well known for its silversmiths excelling in enamel and filigree work. Some of the popular silverware items include ornaments and jewel boxes.

For all those shopaholics who love to indulge in extensive shopping activities...there's is no point of worry. Because the state of Gujarat is a rich source of textile and handicrafts. If you thought only northern India offers the best of warm clothes and shawls, think again. Because to make you feel warm during winters, Kutch offers a wide range of woolen shawls embellished with tie-dye, mirror work embroidery and other handwork.

A village called Bhujodi in Kutch is a heart of numerous embroideries. The artisans of this village are popularly known for Rabari and Marwada embroidery. Another popular hand work is ahir embroidery. This embroidery is done in a flowing style creating motifs like peacock, floral motifs and drawing circular patterns. Another beautiful fabric to look out for in Kutch is ajrakh fabric which is distinguished by its blue, red and white. This fabric is evolved through different process including mordant-dyeing and resist-printing. The later stage of painting ajarakh fabric includes block printing with indigo, madder and other earthy hues.

Banni is a village where women from different communities excel in different styles of embroidery. Soof, paako, kharek, kambira and kudi are few styles of embroideries that are teamed up with mirror work to create magnificent clothing and other handicrafts. Another village called Badhli is popular for its silk bandhani. This royal art of tie-dye technique called Bandhani is used to beautify traditional veils called odhni, tunics called abho, turbans and shawls. In present times, artisans from the village of Badhli design stoles and lifestyle garments with trendy tie-dye patterns.

If you're smitten by the attractive technique of fabric painting, just like me...you must check out Rogan. It is a rare art of decorating fabrics with colors that use castor oil base. The colors are added to the castor oil base; the paint is then applied with a wooden or metal stick used as a brush and a stylus. This is a free hand work where artisans painstakingly make designs with the thread of the paint.

So, next time you visit Kutch don’t forget to indulge in the exciting shopping spree.

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