Famous handicrafts of Gujarat

Today, let us talk about a state that is the forerunner and torch bearer for a developing India in recent years. A state with beautiful cities, big and huge ports, colourful tradition and lip-smacking food.
Leaving all things aside, let’s discuss the handicrafts of Gujarat, let us talk about the effort and the skills that go into making a beautiful Gujarati handicrafts, the Ghaghara and also about the craftsmanship and sharpness that gives a jewellery its correct shape and design.

The list of the arts and crafts of Gujarat is so long, that it is beyond the scope of this discussion, but still, I will try to inculcate the maximum points I can.
So, Gujarat is mainly famous for two things- Textiles and Jewellery (mainly diamonds).

    It Includes :-

  • Patola
  • Zari Work
  • Cloth Printing
  • Embroidery
  • Bead Work
  • Wood Carving and
  • Jewellery Making

PatolaPatola is a special type of fabric unique to Gujarat, known for its that is beautiful geometric patterns. It is not printed using blocks but specially embroidered by hand. The weaving is done such that it results in identical patterns on both sides of the fabric, and extremely fine design and looks.
Hand woven yarn and silk is used for weaving, and thus it is very expensive.

Zari Work – Zari or Gold Thread embroidery dates back to the Mughal Period. It is the most important part of the Surat textile industry and also one of the oldest. It uses real or imitation gold and silver zari or threads for weaving. Zari Products include Chalak, Salama, Kangri, Tiki and Ring.All these are used for modifying the Kinkhab(Indian brocade woven on silk with gold and silver threads).
Zari work can also be found in different shapes and patterns, on sarees, blouses, etc used for their beautification in the form of laces, borders, rings, etc.

Cloth Printing – A very complicated and specialised job, where engraved wooden blocks are used along with colours to print beautiful patterns or pictures on hand painted cloth.
Not only dresses but household and utility materials such as table cloth, curtains, bed covers, tapestries, etc. are also prepared by this type of printing process.

Embroidery – Embroidery is a craft, especially for women. It involves the stitching of small mirrors on colourful clothes, to create wonderful pieces of traditional Gujarati dresses with minute detailing and end to end glitter and charm. The finest embroidery is called as Abhla-Bharat, and can be seen on some fine quality ghagras and traditional wear.

Bead Work – It is a speciality of areas like Rajkot and Jamnagar. Beautiful and decorative show pieces, and also things like Toran and Bandanwar, carpets and rugs can be found with wonderful bead work.

Wood CarvingWood Carving expertise of the Gujarati craftsmen can be seen in the old houses, havelis and the temples of Gujarat. The figures, generally produced were of either animal or of artistic objects of everyday use. To make it look more beautiful , country – wood was used, and the coating was done by fine lac.

Jewellery Making – Jewellery designing is different for each tribe in Gujarat. The Rann of Kutch, bordering Pakistan is famous for its silver craft. Here light embossing is done on silver and is further enhanced by etching and scrapping. Apart from silver and gold, raw stones are found in the river beds as well, which are processed by heating, chiselling, surfacing, polishing and also drilling, before they are finally carved into beautiful pieces of art, like earrings, necklaces, boxes,bowls, etc.

Before signing off,I would only say that in India, each state has it’s own culture and diversity, and Gujarat is no less. The Handicrafts and Textiles items here are very old and traditional. They are somehow preserved by a handful of highly skilled and experienced craftsmen and are products worth purchasing for a lifetime.

By- Mayank Jagnany
Photo courtesy – wwww.mapsofindia.com