Handicrafts in Gujarat form an integral part of the Gujarati Culture. These handicrafts represent the real face and the true vibrant colors of this westernmost state in India. The patterns, stitches, designs and colors of these particular handicrafts pain the real picture of a town which was once ruled by the god himself. Apart from the iconic temples, legendary holy shrines and historical monuments, another way of experiencing the true vibe of Gujarat is buying the local and traditional handicrafts. The honor, dignity and integrity which is utilised in making these items is truly worth every penny.
Let’s talk about the various handicrafts of Gujarat that represent the Gujarati Culture in a glorious manner.
Have you come across tie-dye print clothing? Well, Patola employs the same technique but they use it to create interesting patterns on the fabric. Fabrics like silk sarees are turned into Patola using the ikat style of print method. The main feature of this is the fact that the pattern remains identical in both the sides. The Salvi community in Gujarat are primarily responsible for creating these designs and patterns. If you happen to visit Gujarat and are wondering what to take back home for your family, friends and loved ones, then a Patola style of fabric or clothing can be the best thing!
Bandhani can be defined as the iconic heritage handicraft style of Gujarat. Every marketplace in Gujarat is flooded with loads of Bandhani style of clothing materials ranging from kurtas for men and women to lehengas and sarees. Bandhani is derived from a Hindi term called Bandhan which translates into binding together. The patterns on any fabric are tied into tiny knots to create a faded style of patterns. Did you know that it takes around 6 months to a year to create a complete work of tie-dye saree? Even the smallest and the simplest style of tie-dye saree takes a minimum of 3 months to create. These are also locally known as Bandhej garments.
Beadwork is exactly what it sounds. Beadwork is something that uses 2 to 3 beads of various colors and sizes to create whimsical and pretty looking patterns. You may have seen several beadwork patterns for wall hangings and clothing styles all over the world, but the origin point is the westernmost state of Gujarat. These patterns are created by hand and they create beautiful patterns and designs that are very appealing to look at. These differently styled beads are used to create necklaces, earrings, bangles and any ornament you can think of.
Woodwork is one of the most common ways of showcasing the various styles of designs and patterns on traditional furniture. When it comes to traditional woodwork the ones produced in the Saurashtra region, Kutch and Surat are considered to be most iconic. The highlight of traditional Gujarati woodwork is minakari style from Rajkot and Sankheda. Hand-carved wooden furniture of every kind can be found easily in various parts of the state. The woodwork style makes a simple furniture look exotic, opulent and extremely royal. They are not simply carved out in interesting patterns but they also contain intricate inlay work. In the form of colored wood, horns and other commercially viable options for material like plastic artifacts and wooden plaques. The best part? These wooden work items are available in a variety of forms that range from boxes of various sizes, vases, table tops, decorative items etc. these are also the perfect souvenirs you can get for your family and friends back home.
Hand Block Printing
Did you know that Gujarat is the borth to the block printing style of design? Hand block printing is one handicraft style that never faded with time. In fact, it has become one of the most fruitful and well-preserved forms of textile design not just in Gujarat but everywhere in the world as well. The art truly resides in the blocks in which the prints are carved out in one end. It is then dipped in some dye before transferring or printing it onto the fabric which can be anything from a saree to a kurta and these days even skirts, shirts and stylish tops. You can find block printed patterns of anything including dense forest scenes, night sky and much more. The batik prints of Bhujpur and Ajrakh prints of Ajrakh in Kutchh are particularly popular.
You may have heard about the Zari style of textile design print which can be found in a variety of clothing materials. Zari is the oldest form of handicrafts in Gujarat. Zari style sarees are very popular among the Indian women population who think of them as a precious possession to have. Zari Work can be seen on Mughal emperors and are believed to be the roots for the creation of this magnificent work of art. In fact, zari was the favorite fabric of the Mughal rulers and they used it to decorate their clothing or any other ornament with it to showcase Mughal glory. Surat was and is the largest producer of Zari style of sarees ribbons and decorative borders in the world.
India is a country that can proudly showcase a plethora of embroidery work specific to those regions. Gujarat being one such state, its embroidery work has taken the world by storm. Every tourist or anyone who loves Indian designs and artwork, it is their dream to get a Gujarati embroidery work of clothing material. They showcase the brilliant and unique blend of diverse threadwork, stitches, colors and shapes made from a variety of different fabrics stitched together. Ari of Banaskantha and Kharek of the Kutch region are a couple of the most popular styles of embroidery work that you can check out and buy. These are also one of the most common sights of design style in not just Gujarat but also all over the world.
Clay and Terracotta Work
Clay and terracotta artifacts like small decorative items and utensils are a sign of some of the most ancient civilizations. Gujarat being home of one of the earliest civilizations known to humans offers a range of clay and terracotta styled toys, utensils and other such items. They also represent one of the most essential parts of Indian pottery and handicraft items. You can find the local market places flooded with items like terracotta and clay horses, horses and bulls which are sort of a watermark of Gujarati culture. If you are willing to check out the original and authentic pieces of clay and terracotta pottery then Kutch and Chhota Udaipur are the places to be.