Thread work from the colourful state of Gujarat
The gloomy season is on and I am waiting for some sunshine now. I am not really a monsoon person. Though I really want it to rain because that is what the country needs. I am the summer girl. I need that spark, that light and that brightness. It makes me happy like how! Colour, flowers, bloom, all this is my thing.
Monsoons have hindered outdoor shoots. So I thought of getting my house in place and doing a shoot indoors. Once again in collaboration with the dynamic Vivarang team, we bring to you a handicraft that goes back to the 16th century. The Kutch embroidery from the colourful state of Gujarat. Four bright and beautiful saris and one colourful shrug. We will take you through the embroidery that has empowered the women of the Kutch district.
When I received the saris from Vivarang, I immediately felt a very stark similarity with Kantha embroidery.The work is different, the motifs are not similar, but there is this distinct thread work that makes me feel they are so alike. Indian handloom is so vast that there is every possibility of few being alike. However, Kutch embroidery is extremely versatile. Mirrors, thread work, bead work, bright colours, you name it and this embroidery offers it to you.
All the saris have such bright and beautiful work done on it, that you don’t know which one is better than the other! So I styled all of them differently, in order to bring out the individuality of each piece.
This beautiful rust colour sari has been adorned with green, white and black Kutch Embroidery. It is a stunner and personifies the richness of this art work. This sari has been styled with a semi halter black top. Not too much mess. Just a simple colour which can let the sari speak.
The beauty of this embroidery is that it ornate the entire fabric and makes it a statement in itself. Therefore, adding too much jewellery or jazz to it can be a spoiler. You can use green, gold, cream instead of black.
OMG Facts: I was surprised to read that, 300 years ago, mochis were taught Kutch embroidery by a Muslim wanderer in Sindh. This is where the whole tradition of Kutch Embroidery started off from.
Take a close look at this beautiful black sari adorned with white, yellow, green and red Kutch Embroidery. This proves how Gujarat has given us the greatest heritage in embroidery work. The perfection in the handwork is so beautiful what it keeps proving how we are the greatest powerhouse of weaves and textile in the world.
I chose a gold blouse with lace arm. The gold is toned therefore protecting the beauty of the sari. It is said that a sari screams power. A woman who wears a sari surely stands out. The womenfolk of the Rabari community are a symbol of power since they earn out of this. What a beautiful way to earn a living? They are not only helping themselves but also keeping alive the beauty of this art!
OMG Facts: It is said that, a lot of the Kutch embroidery is influenced by various architectural designs and motifs such as the ‘Heer bharat’. Using the Heer Bharat as a mirror is easily fixed in the center that adds more beauty to the embroidery work.
Now this was one bright colour! When I saw this sari, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to carry this off. It had every possible bright colour attached to it. The gorgeous bright blue with yellow, red and white thread makes this sari stand out amongst the rest. It had to be handled differently.
I used a red top and a rope belt. The belt was used to tie the pleats which would show off the bright and beautiful embroidery. You can use a lemon, white, black instead of red.
Such intricate work was actually a hobby of the women in the Kutch district. I would love to develop such a hobby. New designs and innovation is keeping this art alive. And that is good news.
OMG Facts: There are seven distinctive styles of Singh-Kutch embroidery namely Suf, Khaarek, and Paako, Rabari, Garasia Jat and Mutava. Each embroidery is unique to itself.
Yellow and green. Well, what can go wrong with this combination? I am a lover of green. Also I believe that Indian wear looks ethereal in this colour. This pretty sari was paired with a polo neck lemon top. I could not imagine pairing this sari with any other colour. However, You can use a gold brocade blouse with this sari.
The impeccable designs of Kutch embroidery on this sari brings out the details remarkably. Because of it’s uniqueness and beauty, Kutch Embroidery has earned international repute. This kind of thread work should reach out to everyone in the world. It makes me proud that we Indians are the ones creating them.
OMG Facts: Kutch embroidery is also influenced by romantic motifs as well as patterns of human figurines in dancing poses and dancing peacocks too. A lot of motifs are also inspired by Persian and Mughal arts that are inspired by animals.
A Kutch Embroidery jacket over a kurta can make you the head turner at work and on the roads! Try out this look on a Monday morning and you will be happy for the rest of the week. The embroidery done on this shrug has mirror work and geometric thread work. It is neat with not too much happening in a small space.
I chose a dull grey kurta, so that the shrug can be the center of attraction. These shrugs are a window to modernity is age old art form. How embroidery is moving out of the regular saris to something that appeals to the modern day woman, more. Shrugs are stylish and comfortable and can be teamed with western wear too. A shrug looks great on a dress or a good fitted shirt.
I am completely in love with what I blogged for. There is so much I learn about the handloom heritage of our country, every-time I blog. Sincerely hope, this age old heritage lives forever.
Wardrobe courtesy – Vivarang
Photographs by – Anshul Mehta