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Handicrafts



Gujarat is blessed with rich and vibrant tradition of Handicrafts. It is widely differing in its proportions of its patterns to the element of wonderful exquisite Artifacts in various forms. It stands unique with diverse arts and crafts – a mixed combination with aesthetic appeal.


NeedleworkPottery

Tie and dye - BandhaniWoodwork

Bead workTextile culture

PatolaZari

JewelleryTemple culture

Furnishings

Needlework

Needlework of Gujarat is famous world over for its elegance and accuracy. Embroidery is Gujarat's quintessential handicraft and many of the artisans are wives of herdsmen, nomads and agriculturists battling for a second income. Ari bharat, appliqué work are unique with its traditional skills. Toran is the most common embroidered doorway decoration with hanging flaps, which is supposed to ventilate good luck. Pachhitpatis (embroidered frieze) are hanged from the corners as a welcome symbol to the visitors. Chaklas (embroidered square pieces) are used as furniture covers while Bhitiya is the impressive wall hanging. Abhala (mirror inset embroidery) has now become a part of the ethnic chic fashion world, where small mirror discs are fixed with closely worked silken thread. Usually the mirror work is done on a dark background with motifs like flowers, creepers, petals, etc. The motifs are inspired by daily life; ancient belief and rituals but they vary from place to place and are passed down over the centuries.


Tie and dye - Bandhani
The tie-dyed fabrics of Gujarat are the best produced in India and is demanded all over the world. Bandhani, (the tye and dye fabric) is famous for their intricate designs and patterns. Used as wedding outfits called as 'gharchola odhni' and sarees, they grace every Gujarati family women. The bandhinis are also brocaded and with fine thread zari work. Also known as 'Bandhej', it is produced on superfine cotton 'mulmul', muslin sometimes combined with gold checks and motifs worked in the 'jamdani' technique. Bandani of Jamnagar, Mandvi and Bhuj are famous all over the world.

Dyeing is a hereditary art. In the past cloth was dyed in colours extracted from trees and flowers. The Sarkhei suburb of Ahmedabad was one of the indigo manufacturing and exporting centres.

Bead work
Beadwork is another Gujarati specialty from Khambhat and Saurashtra. Motifs and patterns are dictated by the technique of putting two and three beads together. Beadwork objects are used in wall decorations, potholders, etc. The best beadwork is produced by the 'kathis' (tribals). Worked mostly on a white background they use colours that are vibrant with very distinct patterns. Beadwork 'torans' are usually placed over doorways.

Patola
One of the finest handwoven sarees from Gujarat. The famous Patola of Patan is known for its colorful geometrical pattern, which are strikingly beautiful. The unique tie and weave method of Patola results in identical patterns on both the sides of the fabric.

Jewellery
The art of making jewellery and precious stone-cutting and processing is a traditional handicraft of Gujarat. The folk jewellery of excellent designs, characteristic of each village and each community is a typical art of Gujarat. Gold, Silver, Iron and brass works are antiquity of Gujarat.

Furnishings
Gujarat offers a wide range of furnishings from simple and elegant cushion covers to quilts and bedcovers in a wide range of styles. Pleasantly embroidered and with micro mirrors, they have geometrical or animal motifs, patch worked, etc. Quilts are another popular handicraft item. They come in a variety of styles from simple geometric designs to more complex patterns. Other utility items like woven and Kalamkari table covers, tablemats and block printed bed land table linen. The traditional floorspread ‘namdas’ and ‘dhurries’ from Kutch, is woven with camel and goat hair and even wool and cotton.

Pottery
The oldest ancient craft and famous Pottery from Gujarat is popular as it achieve excellence with traditional crafts. Village potters turn wonders of clay into artifact pieces that attracts. Clay utensils are made which are used by village homes even today. Terracotta toys are another craft of the potters of Kachchh, but it is in the Aravallis and Chhota Udepur tribal lands that potters make the famous long necked terracotta figurines of the Gora Dev (tribal horse God), said to protect crops, villages and families from evil spirits, evil intentions and natural calamities.
Potter communities also specialise in mud wall paintings, and you could get plaques, inset with mirrors, made for your own house or garden decor from Kutchh.

Woodwork
The lacquered furniture of Sankheda near Vadodara, another important handicraft industry has become synonymous with Southern Gujarat. The furniture and woodcrafts of Surat, Kutchh and Saurashtra are also popular. Minakari furniture from Rajkot, is as attractive as Sankheda furniture.

Woodcarving is an ancient art of the state, which has attained a very high standard of technical skill. Some of the best examples of woodcarvings are found in temples and houses in many parts of Gujarat. Saurashtra and Sanked in the Vadodara district are also known for their lacquer work.

Textile culture
Gujarat has a unique dress culture which evolves the Textile culture with its extravagant quality with traditional and modern design patterns. The Rogan, zari, Tye and die and exclusive Patolas are the state’s graceful textile culture patterns. Peacock motifs, geometrical patterns, ikat weaving, akrakh work are some of the excellent influence with traditional and modern designs.

Zari
The Zari industry of Surat is one of the oldest handicrafts whose origin can be traced to the Mughal period. The history of the 'zari' (gold embroidery) industry of Surat dates back to the Mughal period. Surat is one of the biggest and most significant Zari manufacturing centres in India.

The principal types of products are real gold and silver threads, imitation gold and silver threads, embroidery such as the 'Chalak', the 'Salama', the 'Kangari', the 'Tiki', mainly the Ring and the 'Katori' for modifying in the Kinkhab (cloth of gold) and the Zari border weaving, embroidery, laces, caps, turbans, saris, and blouse pieces. Gold and silver threads are commonly used for weaving the 'kinkhab'. The Gharchola and Panetar (dresses worn during weddings) are exceptional pieces with zari work.

Temple culture
The excavations at the Harappan sites in Gujarat at Lothal, Rangpur, Rozdi etc. have brought to light some of the very ancient handicraft articles. Temple curtains have Goddess Durga riding tiger a well as other illustrations from Puranic legends. It is heavily decorated and embroidered decoration hung over the entrance and is considered a symbol of warm welcome.
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