Hello friends, welcome to Indian Art & Culture. Today we will be Talking about Textiles And Handicrafts Of Gujarat. So let’s start…
A land rich in history, culture and industry, With an idyllic area for ocean exchange on the west coast of India and on the land routes between Delhi and Mumbai, Gujarat has been the breeding ground for an amazing an array of embroidery Weaving, dyeing and printing techniques, handicrafts made from wood, stone and metal, and folk arts of the tribal communities.
Most of all, Gujarat is known for its textiles, sought after the world over for generations. The textiles of Gujarat were exported to Europe and tar east Asia from the port of Surat. The Mughals, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the British and the French set up trade and industry in Surat, realizing the city’s potential for producing fine artisans and the importance of its port. Today Surat is no longer a port but is still an industrial city with a major textile manufacturing base. Textile factories have mushroomed in and Around Surat, and the muti storeyed textile market on Ring road Is a hub of activity, but weavers still work in houses and Workshops making saris like the Gujee and melancholy, featuring weaves and motifs that are the result of centuries of international trading influences and the influx of immigrants. Besides silk, synthetic, art silk, and cotton saris, Surat enjoys a good reputation for its zari, typically made from pure gold or silver With artistic embroidery. Diamond polishing and Woodcrafts thrive in Surat and the towns of south Gujarat. (Textiles And Handicrafts Of Gujarat)
Ahmedabad has been the home of the textile industry from 1861 when Ranchodlal Chhotalal set up Ahmedabad’s first textile mill and continues to manufacture and export fabrics in large quantities. Ahmedabad has a number of large textile markets in the walled city. In little corners and alleys of Ahmedabad, traditional fabrics like the Mata-ni-Pachedi and temple curtains are hand-painted by the Vagharis, and the Chiapas continue the intricate art of block printing.
If Surati silk saris are an epitome of Gujarati textiles, Sankheda’s lacquered furniture can be considered an important ambassador of the Woodcrafts of Gujarat. At Sankheda, the wood I rounded and painted in maroon, brown, vermilion, and other colors, and speckled with gold o silver. The array of objects made at Sankhed includes settees, chairs, swings, utensils, and decorative pieces. (Textiles And Handicrafts Of Gujarat)
A short drive north from Ahmedabad is Pethapur village on the outskirts of Gandhinagar, where wOod is carved into printing blocks. Another interesting excursion from Ahmedabad is Khambatt, along the Gulf of Cambay, where stone polishing is a hereditary art among the Sonis of the town.
North Gujarat and Surendranagar district
North of Ahmedabad, the town of Patan has continuously been notable for its ikkat procedure of silk weaving. Ikkat weaving involves tie-dyeing the warp threads before weaving to create designs on the finished fabrics. The precise movement of colored threads during weaving gives ikkat designs their richness. A type of ikkat Weaving commonplace of Patan is the twofold ikkat which is twice as Complex as the single ikkat. Both the warp and the weft threads are tie-dyed before they are set on the loom. This technique requires amazing precision, especially at the intersection of the warp and weft threads, and in consequence, it can take months to finish a single sari. The result is a richly patterned fabric, with both sides of the sari being identical. The double ikkat method of weaving is exclusive to a few weavers of Patan, Indonesia, and Japan, and therefore the Patola is of considerable collectible value for textile connoisseurs. Believed to have been patronized by the Solanki Rajputs in the 12th century, when the first Salvi weavers were brought to Patan from Maharashtra, the Patola of Patan found its way to the shores of southeast Asia and the nations of Europe by way of trade in medieval times. (Textiles And Handicrafts Of Gujarat)
Single ikkat silk weaving. mature weaving handloom weaving, bandhani and embroidery are more affordable textile crafts of north Gujarat and northeastern Saurashtra. Other handicrafts of the region are stone carving, brassware, and silver ornaments.
The highlight of a trip to Gujarat for many travelers is the variety of handicrafts produced by the villages of Kutch district, set between the desert plains of the Rann and the coastlands of the Gulf of Kutch. The crafts of Kutch district are well known for their delightful array of colors and motifs.
Master weavers in Kutch, some of the national award winners, work on traditional pit looms and produce intricately woven fabrics for the floor, table and bed coverings, cloth bags, shawls, quilts, and dress materials. The woven fabric is printed using carved wooden blocks, filled with herbal, mineral, and other natural dyes. Bandhini tie-dye is another intricate process.
Fabric is knotted and the tied portions made resistant to color before dying, leaving behind a pattern of dots and motifs that are attractive to the eye. Rogan painting. the art of hand- painting fabrics using iron rods, thrives in some villages of Kutch. (Textiles And Handicrafts Of Gujarat)
Embroidery is the historic Living craft of Kutch, the vibrant colors and designs of the artisans of the Kutch district add a touch of color to the arid landscape around their villages. Each community has a distinct style of embroidery, using different stitches, colors, and motifs, and sometimes setting them with beads or mirrors. The Ahirs, the Rabaris, the Jats, the Mutwas, the Lohanas, and the people of the Banni region have their own embroidery techniques, and within each community, there are sub-groups who have evolved their own combinations and patterns. For centuries pastoral women have embroidered their own trousseau and embellished their dowry packages with exquisite handiwork, and today the rich embroideries of Kutch are an important source of income for many of the craft villages that run the length and breadth of the district. Occasionally the embroidered fabrics are further decorated with mirrors. Besides textiles, embroidery is done on leather for footwear, bags, and other products by the Meghwal artisans. Applique or patch-work is another popular article of production in the craft villages of Kutch.
Other handicrafts of Kutch are silverware, woodcarving and lacquered wood crafts, metalware pottery, and mud-wall painting.
While Kutch has acquired international fame for its handicrafts, the Kathiawad peninsula too has a historic tradition of producing high-quality arts and handicrafts. The finest of these handicrafts embellished the palaces, mansions, and darbargadhs of the Maharajahs, Nawabs, and Kathi darbars of Saurashtra. Permission is required to visit the properties of the erstwhile ruling families, other than those that are heritage hotels or museums. The heritage hotels of Gondal, near the heart of Saurashtra, are decorated with Beautiful beadwork, silver brassware. town of Gondal is known for its spinning, weaving, Woodwork, silverware, and other handicrafts. Udyog Bharati is one of the centers promoting handloom woven textiles and the art of making brass and wooden patara boxes. Further south from Gondal is Junagadh where richly embroidered carpets, some of them encrusted with gems, and other royal memorabilia, can be seen at the Darbarhall museum in a converted palace. Rupayrattan at Junagadh is promoting applique and other handicrafts of Saurashtra. The Junagadh Museum has a memorable collection of folk arts. (Textiles And Handicrafts Of Gujarat)
Enroute from Gondal to Junagadh, Jetpur is a textile town known for its Screen printing and yarn dyeing factories. A few block printers still practice their intricate art at the printing units of Jetpur. Screen and block-printed textiles can be purchased at retail outlets of the printing factories. Rajkot’s Rashtriya shala, opened by the city’s erstwhile Rajput rulers, is promoting ikkat weaving and other traditional textile techniques.
Like Junagadh, Gondal and Rajkot, Bhavnagar was an important princely city of Saurashtra and has some living examples of the handiwork that the royals used in their palaces and mansions. Sihore, near Bhavnagar, has a metalware cottage industry, Palitana has an embroidery market and is a center for making harmonium reeds and Savarkundla for weighing scales. South of Bhavnagar along the Gulf coast of Cambay is the Koli villages, where the embroidery is a traditional craft, especially around Gopnath, and the town of Mahuva which enjoys a rich reputation for wood crafts. Cottage industries like the ceramics of Morvi, Rajkot, and Than, and clock assembly at Morvi, thrive in Saurashtra.
Jamnagar is well known for its high-quality Bandhini tie-and-dye. Like Kutch, Kathiawad too has a long tradition of embroidery ranging from Bhopa Rabari embroidery along the Gulf of Kutch to Koli embroidery along the Gulf of Cambay.
Handicrafts the world over are endangered by mechanization and the electronic era, but as long as a Gujarati bride covets her Patola, the Bharwad men wear brightly embroidered clothes to attract potential bidders at the Tarnetar fair and potters make tribal horses, Gujarat will be a paradise for traditional textile and folk art connoisseurs.
Kutch district is home to more than 16 communities including the Rabaris, the Ahirs, the Sodha Rajput, the Meghwal, the Maldharis, the Samras, the Rasipotras, the Mutwas, and the Jaths, and their various sub-groups. Most of the communities are pastoral or artisan, a few being agricultural. The people of Banni live in traditional round mud huts called Bhungas, often decorated with mud wall paintings set with mirrors, with attractive interiors displaying their array of interesting furnishings, utensils, hand-made quilts, and embroidered fabrics. When the grassland and scrub bushes do not offer adequate fodder for their livestock, the Rabaris and other communities of Kutch migrate to greener pastures. The Rabari migration, called the Dang, is a massive movement of camel caravans and livestock, carrying khatlas (simple rope-beds called charpois elsewhere), utensils, and clothing. During the migration, children learn to cook, stitch, and tend livestock from their elders. (Textiles And Handicrafts Of Gujarat)
Touring the Banni area of Kutch, and the countryside south and east of Bhuj offers a glimpse of colorful people. Rakishly turbaned herdsmen leading camel, cattle, sheep, goatand other livestock to pasture, women hard at work on embroidery and other handicrafts fora second income.
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