Under very tough conditions, Mutwas produce the wonderful embroidery with tiny mirrors and microscopic stitches that differentiates them from the other communities. The complicated and time-consuming nature of this work has often been underestimated. Their work without delay received appreciations and obtained higher prices.
Mutwas’ embroidery arises from its name from Mutwa (Maldhari) which is a sub caste of Muslims living in Banni area. Mutwas’ embroidery is the finest embroidery in Banni area. Mutwas are expert in workmanship of all styles of embroidery. The work is carried out using silk threads. This work is extremely difficult.
Embroidery is a fundamental part of Rabaris’ life. They consider the ‘Choli’ or blouse their most important arts forms because of their heavily embroidered embellishment. Their embroidery combines of commercial interests, square, triangular, rectangular, diamond, conical and circular mirrors. This extraordinary cooperate with shaped mirrors is very exclusive to Rabaris’ embroidery. Rabaris are essentially settled in countrified Kutch. Rabari women are known for their beautiful, attractive and impressive embroidery that is symbolic of their wandering lives.
Decoration in Kutch is done by using microscopic close chain stitches while in Mehsana district; cross stitches using ‘Abhla’ are used widely. Their embroidery is comparable to Saurashtra style. The Rabaris broadmindedly use the mirrors of various shapes triangular, round, square and almond shaped for example. The embroideries when completed are given to the clean up as dowry.
Regularly contacts with the tourists of different kinds and from different places make the Rabaris’ embroidery more commercial. They discovered that by doing excellent work, they could find more steady markets and better returns for the time spent embroidering.
Five hundred years ago, the Jats lived permanently in Halab region which is known as Baluchistan today. Later, they become famous as the ‘Danetah Jats’ which means herders. Under defensive pressure from reactionary owners of land and in search of new grazing lands, they began a mass departure that would take them to Sindh, Gujarat and finally to Kutch. Those who took up undeveloped started being known as ‘Gharacia Jats’. Some, known as Fakirani Jats, became holy men dedicated to studying the Quran, the main holy book of Islam religion. The largest group remained herders and retained the name ‘Danetah Jats’. All Jats are Sunni Muslims and they never marry outside of their community.
Jat women design and produce wonderful and manual embroidery. The power of Jats’ embroidery comes largely from the closely stitched patterns that completely cover the cloth. They take pride in the fact that their “Stitches outlive the cloth on which they are sewn.” The most intensively embroidered article of a Jat woman’s gift is the ‘Churi’ or blouse. Its colour and decorative designs visually communicate the age, marital status and geographical origin of the wearer.
The Jats were pressured by the government to settle and initiate themselves on the slightest fertile land. They started selling their embroidery only fifteen years ago in order to survive droughts. Thirteen years ago, two Jat villages joined KMVS and found a co-operative association in which they cultured the value of their marvelous work and how to advertise it.
Dhadki work (form of coverlets) is a different and important part of traditional household techniques in Kutch. It is an important technique inside the embroidery tradition and the different model of quilting are the common part of the local communities.
The categories and textures of clothes combined with narrow stripes of basic or appliqué borders of contrasting colours give the coverlets a complicated and bold framework. Patterns are created with a number of stitches like a running stitch of having a common rectangles, series of squares or triangles lay edge to edge or circles within squares. The design is stressed by changing the direction of the stitch and a rippling pattern created. The stitches are microscopic and the thread used for quilting is red, black or white coloured.
A highly sophisticated and individualistic quilting stitch is accomplished by the Harijans. Progressing in a step like geometric arrangement of squares and diamond shapes the colour of the thread is often changed. This creates an misapprehension of a graded coloured base cloth.
On entering a household, one at once notices in the corner of the household, a load of quilts neatly piled up and laid out whenever guests are welcomed into their house.