Kutch Work

A Kutch embroidery can be explained in simple. Age old art of Gujarat, when men use to work and women are bored after household chores they started playing with needles and threads to while away the time, with their natural brn embroidery skill and artistic intelligence there born the KUTCH EMBROIDERY or KUTCH BHARAT. The hub of the Kutch embroidery work is basically located in the regions of Kutch and Saurashtra, Gujarat. Wherein the local artisans churn out the most creative and exquisite designs.

The learning art museum in Kutch – showing the rich heritage of Kutch


The embroidery of the Kutch region of Gujarat is world-renowned for its microscopic nature in the most attractive colours. It is said that cobblers known as Mochi’s were trained in this art form by the Muslim saints of Sindh. The art form became a vocation for women of Kutch not only to meet their own clothing requirements but also to make a living, in view of severe dry and very hot conditions of Kutch. It became a generational art with the skills taught from mother to daughter. They embroidered clothes for festive occasions and to decorate deities and to create a source of income. It is rightly said that Gujarat has given India the greatest heritage in embroidery work and craft through its famous and versatile Kutch embroidery.

Mochi women hand designing a Kutch fabric

Types of Kutch Embroidery

The application of bright colored threads, tiny mirrors, beads, complex embroidering technique that decorates the whole base cloth and the chain stitching style are the key distinguishing traits of Kutch Work. Usually the base cloth will be either silk or cotton, and the cords used will be woolen or silk. The basic colors that are utilised for Kutch Work are black, green, ivory, indigo, yellow, and deep red.. There will be beads and tiny mirrors (abhala) within the embroidery in a scattered form; these are the intrinsic elements of ‘Kutch Work’. What an exquisite amalgamation of colours, threads and works. Now, let’s get into the Types of this extraordinary art :-

The Richness of Kutch work

1. Suf Embroidery

This embroidery work requires meticulous manual labor. The stitching work is done on the reverse side using the ‘surface satin stitch’. Here the designs are not sketched; the craftsman will have to visualize the desired design and count it on the warp and weft, and then embroider it! Experience, geometrical analyzing capacity, and sharp vision are the prerequisites to become an expert ‘Suf’ designer.

Suf giving identity to Pakistani immigrants

2. Khaarek Embroidery

Khaarek Embroidery’ is a geometric designing method and here, the pattern is sketched first with squares in black color. Afterwards the gaps are packed with strips that are created using ‘satin stitching’. A notable feature of this style is that the entire cloth will have embroidery.

Khaarek Embroidery

3. Paako Embroidery

The meaning of ‘Paako’ is ‘hard’. This embroidery will have series of solid squares and the stitching style is ‘double buttonhole’. Generally the designs will be ‘flowers’ which are set in proportional patterns.

A Paako embroidered blouse

4. Rabari Embroidery

This embroidery work got the name from the ‘Rabari’ community whose main profession was camel grazing. They were the wandering immigrants from the Thar Desert region (Rajasthan). The special feature of ‘Rabari embroidery’ is the inclusion of various types of tiny mirrors in the stitching (chain stitching style is followed here). The base material will be always black. Series of stitches are made, using bright colored threads to bring in more attractiveness. And this embroidered clothes are mostly used in bollywood songs for all the mirror works and colours that can add dazzle to the actors and songs.

Bollywood Divas in Rabari embroidered blouses

5. Jat Embroidery

The name of this brand got originated from the ‘Garasia Jat‘ Community who came and settled from the external areas of Kutch; they were basically Islamic herdsmen. Garasia Jat ladies were experts in creating geometrical designs using the ‘cross stitch’ method and tiny mirrors.

Qasab Kutch Craftswomen Producer Co. Ltd. being awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018, in a Jat work attire

6. Mutwa Embroidery

The Muslim population of Banni (Kutch) carries out this embroidery work. They are called as Mutwas, hence the name Mutwa embroidery. This is a complex embroidery model in which there will be ‘geometrical patterns’, as well as intricate stitches. The base cloth will be ‘satin’ or ‘silk’, and ‘metallic cords’ will be also used to phase in attractiveness.

Mutwa Embroidery

7. Ahir Embroidery

The wandering tribes of Mathura, are the creators of this peculiar embroidering system in which ‘chain stitch’ is used to draw the design sketch and ‘herringbone’ stitch is made use of for packing the pattern. Generally the patterns will be of ‘peacocks’, ‘elephants’, ‘parrots’, and ‘flowers’. However, the use of mirrors is an essential part of this pattern motif.

Ahir Banjara Gate Decor

Different types of embroidery are not just decorative in nature but also speak of specific details about the makers’ and wearer’s caste, social status and religious affiliation. Young girls are taught Kutch embroidery by their mothers at an early age, and the art is passed down from generation to generation. A young girl’s skill at embroidery can even help her to find a good match in marriage !

Kutch embroidered blouse in plain saree

Present Day

Kutch embroidery has never lost its sheen and this colorful craft has considerably gained popularity over the years. There is a constant flow of new designs and innovations in Kutch embroidery along with new merchandise such as waistcoats, purses, bags, jhola bags, jootis, sandals, skirts, scarves and belts. Home furnishings are also available in Kutch embroidery. Kutch embroidery has a worldwide appeal and is being incorporated into modern wear. Various fashion designers create Kutch inspired clothing to display on a global platform. Now, the most convinient and popular example of a Kutch work product is ‘Ghagra Choli (the conventional Gujarati ‘skirt and blouse’ set) is a trendy model of ‘Kutch Work’.

Kutch work Ghagra worn by the Beautiful actresses of the hit movie Hum saath saath hain

The 2017 Lakme fashion week was about the heritage of Kutch Work in Gujarat

Kutch work Juttis



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