The Art of Kutch Work
If you are interested in embroidery, then the Kutch region of North Western India is the place for you. With its complex, chain stitched details in brightly coloured wool and silk thread, tiny mirrors and beads, Kutch Work is instantly recognisable.
Girls are taught the techniques by their mothers at an early age, and the art is passed down from generation to generation, as both a form of employment and part of the maker’s dowry. (A young girl’s skill at embroidery can help her to find a good match in marriage.)
Kutch work comes in a multitude of forms, varying from community to community. The herders and farmers of Soda Rajput, for example, specialise in Paako, a tight, dense style of embroidery created with chain and buttonhole stitches; the textile artisans of Surat embellish white fabric with coloured chain stitched motifs, while Mutwa is practised by the eponymous Muslim community of Kutch’s Banni region. Characterised by the distinctive use of stitches such as square chain to form floral and geometric patterns outlined in white running stitch, Mutwa is one of the most intricate and meticulous forms of Kutch Work.
Our Textile Craft Tour to Rajasthan and Gujarat includes a day at the Banni villages close to Kutch's main town, Bhuji. All four of these villages have rich textile traditions and guests on the tour will have the chance to see artisans, including Mutwas, in action. Find out more about this tour here: