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Exquisite Thread Work From The Kutch Region.By Expert Author: menaka poonam
The embroidery of the Kutch region of Gujarat is world-renowned for its microscopic nature in the most attractive colours. Termed as ‘Kutchi Bharat’ it has eight different types of embroidery styles.
Traditionally a cattle breeding tribe, whenever the men would set out for cattle grazing, the women and small children would sit with needle and thread to do embroidery work, the little ones being as young as eight years old. This, over time gave them extraordinary skills to do extremely fine and minute embroidery on their clothes.
Today articles for embroidery include festival blouses called ‘Kanchali’, the wedding trousseau of the bride to be, the groom’s wedding wear, curtains and other household items.
There are different sub-groups within the population, each with their own skill or expertise in a particular style of Kutchi embroidery. The Rabaris are good at decorative floral designs, panels, geometrical images, in the chain stitch with mirror work scattered in between. The Ahirs are supposed to be superior to the Rabaris in chain stitch, their work being even more exquisite. Their designs are different though.
There is a style of embroidery known as Hurmitch. This is supposed to be inspired from the thorny Bavaliya or Acacia tree. The theme is totally disconnected interweaving stitches arranged into various geometric patterns. In the hurmitch embroidered fabrics, the reverse surface of the fabric contrasts very much with the front.
The Jats of Banni region there have a style characterized by geometrical decorative designs with flowers in square chain stitch.
Kutchi embroidery gets a beautiful canvas like the saree for a display of the skill and finesse involved in this art. Examples of incorporations of kutchi embroidery on modern sarees that have appeared in the market can be found below:
The black colour Handloom Organza Saree has cream, green and orange colour kutchi work floral buttis all over. The kutchi worked cream, orange and green colour floral buttis border either side. The pallu has cream, green and orange colour, kutchi work mango buttis to make the saree look extremely elegant. This exquisite piece would suit parties, corporate and social events.
The classy grey colour handloom pure cotton saree has Kutchi work in brown, cream and mustard colours all over with naksi weaving mustard borders on either side. Kutchi work in brown mustard and cream colours make up a horizontal design elegant pallu. It would be a suitable choice for corporate events, social functions and parties.
Truly inspiring works, the kutchi art speaks of the devotion and dedication in producing such displays of extraordinary skill.
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