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Article: Mirror work

Mirror work
Hand embroidery

Mirror work

Kutch mirror work hand embroidery

Full of life

Like the perfect blend of bling and subtlety

Looking at this piece of art

Is similar to experiencing a sense of Calm within the Chaos!!!

The name of this very appealing handicraft is a courtesy to the source of its origin which is Kutch, Gujarat. Also known as “Kachchhi” this form of handicraft is an eye catcher all the way.

The defining characteristic feature of this embroidery that has made it popular amongst many is the riot of colours on the fabric, along with the addition of intricate mirror work which helps make  beautiful patterns. The mirror work is like a cherry on a rainbow cake!!!

The Kutch embroidery has admirers worldwide for the reason that the level of intricacy and extensive ness that one can see in the patterns and the sheer beauty that these artisans breathe onto the fabric with their skills is something that leaves everyone craving for more and more.

It’s mostly silk and cotton that are preferred as fabrics for this work and the threads are Made out of wool or silk.

Apart from the exquisite patterns, mirrors are the most dominating feature of a Kutch embroidery and can make even the dullest looking fabric pop up and stand out.

Trivia- stitching just one mirror onto the fabric takes atleast 5 minutes for these skilled artisans

The use of mirrors also knows as “Abhala” in  Kutch embroidery has many logics behind, let’s discuss the very prominent ones-

 1. Mirrors are supposed to represent water- Gujarat has a shortage of this resource so it’s kind of a tribute to its significance in their daily live

2. Mirrors help to ward off the evil eye- You can keep the bad vibes away by wearing a kutch work

3. Use of mirrors is also believed to be inspired by the Islamic art and architecture

On observing closely you will notice that not all the Kutch embroideries are the same, reason being that this craft is practiced by different communities in different regions, and thus the pattern and style differs based on the region and community it’s coming from.  The distinctiveness in the patterns is believed to tell a lot about the caste, social standing and religious beliefs of the artisans.

The communities that have been primarily involved in this handicraft are Rabaris, Ahirs and Soda Rajputs and every community brings its own element onto the fabric.

Trivia- A girl’s efficiency in Kutch work is considered to be an asset while looking for a suitable groom for her in Kutch. Mother lovingly and diligently pass on this skill to their daughters from one generation to another and thus enable them to have a skill that can help them earn a living. 

The diversity of  experiments that one can witness right from the style of stitching, choice of colours, placement and sizes of mirrors, to the patterns which are sometimes inspired by natural elements like flower and birds especially peacocks and to the geometric patterns is in itself a testimony to the high level of creative imagination and skills of these artisans.

With the changing times this artwork has also witnessed changes where artisans experiment with newer patterns and designs as per the customers demands, it’s hard to not salute to the undying and fighting spirit of these people who put in relentless hours of labour to put so much beauty in this world and make it a little happier and better for all of us.

If you are wearing a Kutch work you can’t feel dull for long as the lively colours, beautiful patterns and of course the shiny mirrors will remind you that life is beautiful and worth living.

So ladies get slaying and grab your Kutch beauty now.

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