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An Indigenous Legacy • Visited Bhuj, Gujarat along with four fellow students to study and document the traditional weaving craft (Vanat) of Gujarat under the guidance of Professor Dr. Vandana Bhandari and Associate Professor, Ms. Upinder Kaur in June 2014. • As part of the Nift Craft Cluster Initiative, we stayed with the weavers of Gujarat for a couple of weeks and documented the parts of the looms and process of weaving beautiful fabrics. • From spinning the yarn to the dyeing of fabrics, we observed all the important steps and documented them in our book, ‘Vanat -An Indigenous Legacy’ • Wrote, designed and compiled original research in this book on authentic Kutchi Weaving, along with Carpet Weaving, Camel Belts and an additional Craft of Mud Painting done locally in Kutch. • The book ‘Vanat - An Indigenous Legacy’ is currently available in the National Resource Centre of NIFT, New Delhi. • We received a lot of praise at the college jury and the book has been appreciated by the faculties and students at NIFT.

The photobook and the document ‘Vanat -An Indigenous Legacy’

One of the weavers sitting on a pit loom at a workshop in Bhujodi

PROJECT 1 (Page 1 of 3)


Starching of warp yarns in the sun before setting up the loom

Making bobbins to be used as the weft yarn

A Rabari woman hand embroidering the woven shawls

• As part of our documentation, we also had to do a SWOT Analysis, to identify the Artisan’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Thus we were exposed to the rich tradition of art and craft of the people of Bhuj. In this way NIFT gives an opportunity to the craftsmen and artisans to gain an insight on new designs and experimentations. • MY ROLE - As part of the group, I took the responsibility of observing and documenting the entire weaving process, interviewing the artisans and also designed the layout for the book. • Where other members worked on the photography, presenation and movie, I had worked on the content writing and the layout of the book. • Apart from the book, I also made sure that we followed all the steps and the guidlines mentioned from college. This involved keeping a daily record of our progress in studying the weaving process, and also managing the group our stay in an unknown village. • I made sure that we were regularly reporting to our faculties and discussing our study.

The entire project has been attached in the file titled “Vanat -An Indigenous Legacy” for viewing purposes along with a short video on the same.

PROJECT 1 (Page 2 of 3)


A closed pit loom at Vishram Valji’s Workshop

Weaving a plain fine cotton fabric on a pit loom

In process saree weaving on a Frame Loom (above), Indigo dyeing of hanks (left), Khimji Siju weaving a beautiful navy saree on a frame loom (right)

PROJECT 1 (Page 3 of 3)



An Indigenous Legacy


An Indigenous Legacy

Study and survey of the Craft and Documentation Name of the Students: ABHIJEET KAK, GARIMA BINDAL, NIVEDITA GOVILA, PRACHI SINGH, RITIKA SHARMA, TEJBIR KAUR Centre name NEW DELHI Copy right @National Institute of Fashion Technology, Year 2014 All rights reserved: no part of this book may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system or transmitted in any form by means of electronic, mechanical,photocopying,recordingorotherwisewithoutpriorpermissionfromNationalInstituteFashionTechnology,exceptbyareview/ reader who wishes to quote brief passage in connection with a paper review/essay written for inclusion in a periodical, newspaper or broadcast. Faculty guide/Mentor (s):--------------------------------------------


KnitwearDesignDepartment 2014 2

‘‘I ply with all the cunning of my art This little thing, and with consummate care I fashion it—so that when I depart, Those who come after me shall find it fair And beautiful. It must be free of flaws— Pointing no laborings of weary hands; And there must be no flouting of the laws Of beauty—as the artist understands. Throughpassion,yearningsinfinite—yetdumb— I lift you from the depths of my own mind And gild you with my soul’s white heat to plumb The souls of future men. I leave behind This thing that in return this solace gives: “He who creates true beauty ever lives.” -Anonymous

Warp threads passing through shaft



Acknowledgements Craft Research document is an integral part of learning more about the roots and diversity of our country. We the students of Knitwear Design Department, NIFT, New Delhi, would like to acknowledge the active guidance and proficiency of various experts from a wide range of disciplines, without whom it we would have been directionless. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to NIFT, New Delhi for providing us with the opportunity to conduct this research. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to MR. P. K. GERA, Director General, National Institute of FashionTechnology, Ministry ofTextiles, Government of India, for encouraging us towards craft initiative works. We would like to thank PROFESSOR VANDANA NARANG, Director, NIFT New Delhi, for her constant support and guidance. We would like to acknowledge the guidance and support provided by MR. ASHOK PRASAD, CentreCoordinator and Mr. V. P. Singh, Centre Coordinator, Head Office, knitwear Design Department NIFT, New Delhi. Our heartfelt gratitude and many thanks to DR.VANDANA BHANDARI and MS. UPINDER KAUR for the constant guidance, support and encouragement.We thank them forbeingourinspiringmentorsthroughoutthejourneyfromresearchworkandfieldstudytocompilationanddocumentation. We would also like to mention THE VALJI BROTHERS, KHIMJI SIJU BHAI, NARAYAN BHAI, TEJSI BHAI, LACHHU BEN, who very warmly accepted us into their homes, and taught us about their beautiful culture and traditions. Also, we would like to thank ARGHA BEN for sharing with us the beautiful mud wall art.

Ahir Dhablo took one year to complete and for which Vishram Valji bhai won the National Award



Preface India is synonymous with beautiful arts and handicrafts. One of the best textiles come from India and every piece of art produced in this countryspeaks about its lavish culture.ndia reflects the exuberance of its tradition and culture in the crafts it has been endowed with.Every alcove speaks about its own history and philosophy.The history of Indian crafts comes from one of the established civilizations of the globe. Going back to almost 5000 years from present. The first references from Indian handicrafts whirled around religious values,confined need of the commoners, as well as special needs of clientele and royalty, along with an eye for overseas and home trade. Pre historically Indian handicrafts were basically made for day after day use, the yearning of aesthetic application soon saw application of flooding designs and motifs. The incalculable artistic and ethnic assortment has enabled a fusion of motifs,techniques and crafts to increase on this land. Every state in India is adorned with its own traditional craft. Be it Ajrakh of Gujarat or Kasuti of Karnataka,everythinghasitsownbeauty.TheNorthernIndianstateslikeJammuandKashmir,HimachalPradesh,Punjab,Harayana are renowned for their exquisite crafts involving embroidery, carpet weaving, metal work, leather work, furniture and pottery. Crafts of North Eastern India like Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya are the Indian states which specialize in creating numerous beautiful crafts. The craft industry of South India has established itself commercially in the nation, whilst reflecting a long history of foreign rule.Dravadian style, stone carved temples reflect the influence of Hinduism whilst Roman Catholic churches echo the impact of the British rule. Temple carvings are symbolic of the craft skills in the Tamil Nadu region. The crafts of India have been valued throughout time; their existence today proves the efforts put into their preservation.Hence, we know that India is an epitome of creativity. It is the abode of the artisans and reflects true craftsmanship.


Loose ends of the woven dupatta


CONTENTS 1. Gujarat 2. Kutch 3. Bhujodi 4. Vanat 5. Parts of the loom 6. Indigo dyeing 7. Warp Setting 8. Starching and Combing 9. Bobbin making 10. Peddle -Shaft coordination 11. Motifs 12. Closing and Opening of loom 13. The nomads of kutch- Rabari 14. Finishing 15. Saree weaving 16. Carpet weaving 17. Kharad 18. Camel belts 19. Additional Crafts -Mud Wall Paintings 20. Present Day Scenario -Cultural, Social, Political, Economic 21. Shrujan 22. Future of Artisans 23. Swot Analysis 24. Nift’s Intervention 25. Artisan’s Profile 26. Glossary 27. Bibliography


Woven dupatta with tassels

11-16 17-18 19-20 21-28 29-30 31-46 47-50 51-56 57-62 63-66 67-70 71-78 79-88 89-96 97-112 113-124 125-132 133-139 140-158 159-164 165-168 169-172 173 174 175-178 179 180


GUJARAT Locally known Gujarat shares the east, and in the south.

as the “Jewel of the west� Gujarat gracefully adorns the western region of India. its borders with Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north east, Madhya Pradesh in Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and NagaHaveli The Arabian Sea borders the state both to the west and the south west.

Gujarat is endowed with a rich and majestic tradition of Handicrafts. It stands unique with diverse arts and crafts.The art and craft of Gujarat is not only known within the Indian subcontinent, its resplendence and uniqueness has taken it to exalted heights worldwide. The state boasts of a vibrant culture and tradition which stands tall till date.


Bhujodi, Bhuj


Below is a list of the variegated arts and crafts of Gujarat. BRASS AND IRON ITEMS Gujarat is one of the major producers of Brass and Iron items in the country. Mostly produced in the princely states of Saurashtra and Kutch, the most common items available here are copper coated iron bells, beetle nut crackers and cutlery knives. These magnificent works of art are created by the descendents of the erstwhile court jewelers and sword smiths.The place is also popular for its range of Brass items which include brass and iron utensils, cutlery, knives and scissors. CLAY ITEMS The art of Pottery is among the oldest and most appreciated art and crafts of Gujarat. The artisans who are generally ordinary rural locals are masters of the art of molding clay into well proportioned utensils. After the creation of these utensils they are painted with vibrant colors that add to the beautyofthepot.TheartistsofKutcharerenownedworldwidenot only for their pottery but also for their variety of Terracotta toys. EMBROIDERY Embroidery and textiles is one of the most booming industries of Gujarat. Embroidery in Gujarat in is mostly practiced by women who live in villages. There are a variety of embroidery to choose from, like Rabari embroidery, Bavalia embroidery and Banni embroidery.Thestatealsotakesprideinproducinggoldembroiderythatis usuallydonetoenhancethelookoffabricsmeantforweddingsetc.


Aina Mahal at Bhuj

DHURRIES Most of the villages in Gujarat are famous for weaving some of the finest carpets, blankets and rugs. Woven on the primitive pit looms that is unique to the villages of Kutch these dhurries are in great demand all across the globe. These dhurries involve a lot of hard work as they are made by hand. The carpets and rugs are known for their beautiful designs, colors schemes and intricate weaving. JEWELLERY Gujarat jewelry has been a heritage of India for more than 5,000 years. In early Gujarat, people made jewelry out of natural materials such as seeds, feathers, leaves, berries, fruits, flowers, animal bones, claws and teeth. Even today such jewelries are used by the tribal people. Gujarat jewelry is made almost for each and every part of the body. The jewelry in Gujarat ranges from religious to purely aesthetic one. These are made not only for human beings but also for the deities, ceremonial elephants and horses. PAINTINGS Paintings in Gujarat are well-known and identified as styles of miniatures, mostly of religious themes. Long after the foundation of the gujarat Sultanate in the 15th century and the establishment of the Mughal rule at the end of the 16th century, paintings in gujarat maintainedtheirangularfeaturesaswellasitsgorgeousandboldcolors. TANGALIA Tangalia is a handicraft which is made solely in Gujarat in the district of Surendranagar.TheDangasiacommunityistheonlymakerofthispeculiarcraft. TangaliaisasaronglikegarmentwornbytheBharvadwomenonspecial occasionssuchasweddings,orwhentheyvisittheirrelatives.TheRamraj TangaliaisauniquekindofmotifwornbyMotabhaiBharvadcommunity

at Aina Mahal


MUSIC AND DANCE Gujarat has contributed several ragas to classical music, marked by territorial names like Bilaval, Sorathi, Khambavati, Ahiri and Lati. Lullaby, Nupital, Rannade songs are varieties of folk songs. Marsias are sung at death. The Vaishnava cult has a particular variety of temple music.

PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY Printing and embroidery in Gujarat reveals a cultural tradition that has evolved through centuries.Most of the best and earliest textiles were created in Gujarat. PrintingandembroideryinGujarathasahugeworldmarket. Varieties of embroidery in Gujarat include: t5PSBO UIFFNCSPJEFSFEEPPSXBZEFDPSBUJPOXJUIIBOHJOH flaps, which is said to ventilate good luck. t1BDIIJUQBUJT IBOHFEGSPNUIFDPSOFSTBTBXFMDPNFTZNCPM to the visitors. t$IBLMBT VTFEBTGVSOJUVSFDPWFST t#IJUJZB BXBMMIBOHJOH t"CIBMB XIFSFTNBMMNJSSPSEJTDTBSFĂśYFEXJUIDMPTFMZ worked silken thread.

Besides, Gujarat has unique wind instruments like Turi, Bungal, Pava, String type Ravan Hattho, Ektaro, Jantar and percussion instruments like Manjira, Zanz pot drum, etc. Gujarat music and dance is distinguished by several folk dance forms like: t("3#"JT B QPQVMBS EBODF GPSN PG (VKBSBU *U JT B circularformofdanceperformedbywomenontheNavaratri, Sharad Purnima, Vasant Panchami, Holi and similar other festivals. The word Garba is sourced from ‘Garbha Deep’, implying a lamp within a perforated earthen pot and indicatingnewlife.Inthisdanceform,ladiesplacethepotwith the lamp on their heads and sway in circles, keeping time by clappingorsnappingoffingers,accompaniedbyfolkinstruments.

WOODCRAFT Woodcraft in Gujarat exhibits the traditional art of amazinglybeautifulwoodenhandicrafts.Thesewoodcraftsare employedbothforutilitarianaswellasarchitecturalpurposes. The woodcraft in Gujarat is primarily derived from the wood of the following hardy trees: tTBM tUFBL tTIFFTIBN tEFPEBS tSFEXPPE tSPTFXPPE tSFEDFEBS tFCPOZ


t 3""4 %"/$&  QSPCBCMZ PSJHJOBUJOH JO ,VUDI BOE Suarashtra is currently popular everywhere in Gujarat. The Raas form seems to hail right from the Puranic period. In different parts of India, Raas is danced in different ways. The principal feature of Raas is dancing in a circle by men and women, accompanied by musical instruments and keepingtimeeitherbyclappingorstrikingtwostickstogether.

Clock Tower at Aina Mahal, Bhuj


KUTCH Kachchh,commonlywrittenas“Kutch,”isthelargestdistrictinIndiaandislocatedinGujaratstate.Itisamosaicofdiverselandscapes,peopleandculturesthat togethercreateadistinctidentitythatisunmistakabletothosewhocomehere.Thedistrictissurroundedbyoceanononeside,andtheRannofKachchh,avast saltdesert,ontheother.OnceamajortradehuboftheIndusValleydelta,Kachchhhaslongbeenameltingpotdefinedbyfluidboundaries.Itisameetingpoint ofpeople,cultures,faiths,languagesandtraditionsacrossadiversityofecosystemsandterrains.Aplacethatisconstantlychanging,yetfeelscuriouslyunchanged. Kachchh is inhabited by a wide range of communities and cultures, many of whom settled here centuries ago following migrations out of Rajasthan, Sindh, Afghanistan and present day Iran. Many of these communities were nomadic pastoralists, and some remain so though the population has largely settled within the last century. The people of Kachchh belong to a range of different faiths and traditions – most visibly Hinduism, Islam and Jainism. They speak Kachchhi (a Sindhi dialect that harkens backto the Kachchhi roots of that region), Gujarati, and Hindi. However, these by no means capture the ethnic and tribal sub identities that reflect India’s complex social structures. The movement of people across this land has given it a long history of sectarian diversity and peaceful coexistence.

Variegated communities of Kutch



BHUJODI: The rich and diverse creative traditions of Kachchh (often written as “Kutch”) live at the intersection of cultures and communities. Once a destination by land and sea for people from Africa, the Middle East, and the Swat Valley, Kachchh has a rich tradition of sea trade from Mandvi and a global connection. A river system was shared between Kachchh, Sindh and Rajasthan. As a border state, Kachchh is constantly absorbing cultures from the north, west, and east. Kachchhi motifs can be traced to the ancient Harappan civilization, yet craft is developing and growing with the innovative and entrepreneurial drive of spirited artists. The arid climate has pushed communities here to evolve an ingenious balance of meeting their needs by converting resources into products for daily living.While embroidery has become a craft synonymous with Kachchh, other textile crafts and hard materials crafts give this land color and identity. Craft is inextricable fromthenumerouscommunities,connectedbytrade,agricultureandpastoralisminKachchh.


A small town just 8 km southeast of Bhuj, Bhujodi is a major textile center of Kutch, with the vast majority of the 1200 inhabitants involved in textile handicraft production. Here you can meet weavers, tie-dye artists and block printers, most of who belong to the Vankar community. Many will let you watch them work; just ask around. About a kilometer from Bhujodi is the Ashapura Crafts Park, set up by a corporate non-profit wing to help artisans display and sell their work and organizes dance and music events on weekends. Shrujan is a local non-profitsetup40yearsagotoallowwomentomarkettheirworkbetterandearnabetter living from it. The Shrujan campus is an interesting place to visit, with embroidery exhibits,aproductioncenterandexcellentexamplesoflocalarchitecturewithenvironmental awareness in mind. Weaving wonders – The Vankars of Bhujodi The obscure village of Bhujodi provides harbor to various art and crafts of Gujarat like weaving, leather craft, embroidery and tie and dye.Bhujodi is the mother to this need-fully evolved craft Bhujodi is an oasis of 200 weavers offering succour to preserve their precious craft.


VANAT “Wesleep,buttheloomoflifeneverstops,andthepatternwhichwasweavingwhenthesunwentdown is weaving when it comes up in the morning.” Itislikeasymphony,therhytymicsoundsofthe orchestrawiththebeatingoftheloom,spinnigofthe wheel,theconstant chirpingofthebirdswhichthehandsandthefeet getaccustomedto.Itisoverhere thatthreadsofyarnsareturnedintobeautifulshawlsandstoles.Eachwovenfabriccarrieswithit,millionsof consciences,emotions,andcareintertwinedwiththewarpandtheweft,closelyputtogethertoformthe fabricoflife.Bhujodi,a500yearsoldvillageinkutchisthemothertothisneed-fullyevolvedcraft,shoulderedby 200 of its weavers today. The craft is said to have evolved as a need to cover against weather, at the time barter system was practicedasamethodofexchange.‘Rabaris’beingtheoriginalnomadsandcattlerearersprovidedwool, milkproductsandgrainstothevillageand‘Vankars’tookuptoweavingcloth.Whilerearingcattleprettymuch remainedthesame,theVankarswithanindigenoustechniqueinhandhadbreakthroughsoneaftertheother. Thebasicstructureoftheloomremainedthesame,butitevolvedtoamoreconvenientmodelwithtime. The one in use today has the shuttle movement controlled by a foot-over pedal, as against the slow processofpassingitthroughthewarpmanually.Thefabricgotfinerwithspeedandvarietyofyarnsavailable. Themotifshoweverremainedtraditionalandcharacteristicofcommunities.Theloomexceptforthe shuttle has not under gone any change over the many years of its existence.



INTRODUCTION: We entered the village of Bhujodi which is located centrally and lies 8kms east of the town of bhuj.Passing through the narrow lanes and gazing upon the serenity and simplicity of our surroundings we reached at the door step of The Vankars.We were welcomed with honour by the eldest son of Vankar Vishram Valji. We entered the house through a front porch which gave us a site of the cattle the Vankars have given harbor to, area for leisure and gathering place. We entered the room we were escorted to and it was a treat to our eyes to see some wonderfully woven clothings embracing the walls of the room. The three walls of the room were completely devoted to the woven shawls, stoles, cloth. The room reverberated of years of honed skill and hardwork. The ‘Vankars’ or the weavers of Kutch are Meghwal migrants who came from Rajasthan six centuries ago. Among the Meghwals,the Maheshwari and Marwada sub-castes were involved in weaving and leather work. While the Maheshwaris have gradually transitioned to other jobs, the Marwada weave on to this day. The local art of weaving provided for the identity and needs of many communities in the region. Among these, their alliance with the nomadic, sheep herding community of the rabaris is well known. The weavers depended on the rabaris for woollen fleece from sheep and in exchange weaved for them. Traditionally each weaver was linked to a group of rabari families and was called a‘Rakhiyo’to that particular group. Apart from weaving for the families, the Rakhiyo, a revered figure in the community would also perform other tasks such as play music and sing bhajans at celebratory occasions. The Vankars also share a rapport with Ahirs, a Hindu herding clan, for whom they weaved colourful patterned shawls or dhablos in exchange for cotton grown in their fields. It is the Ahir dhablo that was the design inspiration behind Vishram Valji’s award winning piece, reveals one of his sons, Ramji.


Aasan being weaved with traditional motifs


Till the 1940s there were about 50 looms in Kutch that worked exclusively for the local communities and it was in the 70s that the local market for woven fabric diminished and the national market opened up. Today, stoles, carpets, mats, shawls are made for the winter where the demand in North Indian cities like Delhi, Chandigarh and Lucknow is soaring. For the summer, the weavers have begun weaving in cotton, something that was never done before, carving out a yearlong market for themselves. In the old days so strong were the turbans the ‘vankars’ weaved for the rabaris and their dhablos that they are known to have lasted for fifty years, says Ramji. The thick weaved fabrics before being used would be adorned by the trademark tie and dye craft of the region practised by the Khatri community. After which it would decorated with embroidery by rabari women. Thus the weavers wereatthecrossroadsoflinkingvariouscommunitiesoftheregion.



The Vankars have Joint family of 6 brothers . They have been involved in the weaving process for more than 30 years. Though they are primarily associated with weaving they also indulge in the art of printing They are mostly involved in creation of the Bandhani. The Vankars are also associated with lac dyeing for five years now. We walked in the workshop of the Vankars where the weavers hid sat behind the looms and were engaged in creating their piece of art. The vankars have four looms and one small loom.The process of weaving goes on the whole year.The weavers work on their looms meditatively from morning to evening.

Ramji Bhai on the pit loom


The Frame Loom And The Pit Loom: The basic structure of the loom remained the same, but it evolved to a more convenient model with time. The one in use today has the shuttle movement controlled by a foot-over pedal, as against the slow process of passing it through the warp manually.The fabric got finer with speed and variety of yarns available. The motifs however remained traditional and characteristic of communities. Like wheel, weaving is an invention that revolutionizedthewaywesawlifethereafter,thebasicsholdingvalidtilldate. Pit-loom is the most popular type of loom . It can be installed mostly by the weaver anywhere himself at an isolated corner on the floor of his house. The frame is fixed on the floor with the heddles and the reed held in position by the suspenders from the roof. The pedals are fixed in a pit and the weaver works on the loom while sitting on the floor itself with his feet resting on the pedals in the pit. The loom meant for weaving pattis are smaller in the width,about half a metre. The improved version of the pit loom is the frame loom. The entire structure of the loom is raised on the ground by fixing and jointing woolen battens. Frame looms can be made by the people themselves and sometimes carpenters are also engaged. At many placed the frame loom is a knock downable arrangement which can be carried anywhere and reassembled.

Traditionally Kachchh weaving was carried out on nomadic Panja loom, on which the entire activity was carried by hand. Shuttle looms, a more advanced technology, were introduced later on. There are two types of shuttle looms available across Kachchh– Pit looms and frame looms. The wrap is being prepared through many days process which includes dyeing.The womenplayedmajorroleinpreparationofwrap.Various traditional designs were created directly on looms throughsequentialmovementsofpeddles.Therealbeauty of Kachchh weaving is the design made from extra weft.

Frame Loom. 27

The Pit Loom




3. KHOONTA-The threads are tied up on the Khoonta , a pole so that all the threads are on the and they do not get entangled.

1. WARP BEAM OR THUR- This is also known as the weaver’s beam. It is fixed at thebackoftheloom.Thewarpsheetiswoundontothisbeam.Thelengthofwarp in the beam may be more than a thousand metres

4. FARTHA- It is wooden plank keeps the threads separate and at constant gaps. cloth beam

2. PANKHA OR REED-It is a metallic comb that is fixed to the sley with a reed cap. The reed is made of a number of wires and the gap between wires is known as dents.Eachdentcanaccommodateone,twoormorewarpends.Thecountofthe reedisdecidedbythenumberofdentsintwoinches.Thereedperformsanumber of functions which are enumerated as follows:

5. MUTHIYA- Extra yarn is rolled up to the muthiya and can be used when required


6. SLEY OR LAY-It is made of wood and consists of the sley race or race board, reed cap andmetalswordscarriedateitherends.Thesleymechanismswingstoandfro.Itisresponsibleforpushingthelastpickofwefttothefelloftheclothbymeansofthebeatupmotion. The sley moves faster when moving towards the fell of the cloth and moves slower when movingbackwards.Thisunequalmovementisknownas‘eccentricityofthesley’.Itisneeded inordertoperformthebeatupandalsotogivesufficienttimeforpassageofshuttletopass throughthewarpshed.Thebeatupofthelastlylaidpickofweftisaccomplishedthrougha metal reed attached to the sley.

i) It helps in shed formation (ii) It is useful in identifying broken warp threads (iii) It maintains the order or sequence of the warp threads (iv)Itdeterminestheorderofliftingorloweringtherequirednumberofhealdsfora pick. In other words it helps in forming the design or pattern in a fabric. (v)Itdeterminesthewarpthreaddensityinafabric,i.e.thenumbersofhealdwires per inch determine the warp thread density per inch.

shaft muthiya



7.SHUTTLE-itisbasicallyaweftcarrierandhelpsininterlacementoftheweftwiththewarpthreadstoformcloth. The shuttle which is made of wood passes from one end of the loom to the other. It travels along the wooden sleyraceandpassesbetweenthetopandbottomlayersofthewarpsheet.Theshuttleentersashuttleboxfitted at either ends of the loom, after passing through the warp shed. A shuttle normally weighs about 0.45 kgs.

9, RAANCH OR FRAME A Raanch or frame is a part of a loom which is used to push the weft yarn securely intoplaceasitiswoven,separatesthethreadsandkeepsthemintheirpositions,keepingthemuntangled,and guides the shuttle as it moves across the loom It consists of a frame with lots of vertical slits 10. BREAST BEAM OR FARTHA It is also known as the front rest. It is placed above the cloth roller at the front of the loom and acts as a guide fortheclothbeingwoundontotheclothroller.Thefrontresttogetherwiththebackresthelpstokeepthewarp yarn and cloth in horizontal position and also maintain proper tension to facilitate weaving.

8. PICKER-The picker is a piece made either of leather or synthetic material. It may be placed on a spindle or groovesintheshuttlebox.Itisusedtodrivetheshuttlefromoneboxtoanother.Italsosustainstheforceofthe shuttle while entering the box.



Indigo Dyeing “The azure embraces the magnificence of yarns creating an enternal fantasy.�

Indigo has been used for dyeing cloth throughout history in many cultures. For many centuries it had been used primarily in those climates where it could be grown.India has been credited for being the oldest source of indigo dyeing where indigo was first domesticated. The Indian indigo industry was described by explorer Marco Polo in his travels in the latter part of the 13th century . India was the primary source of indigo for most of Europe where the climate was not suitable for growing it. The Vankars have indulged in the process of indigo dyeing to dye various yarns since the beginning of time. They are adept dyers of the yarns with indigo . They are considered virtuoso in attaining the brilliance of the deep blue.

Indigo Dye




The process of Indigo Dyeing involves a lot of patience . The trained and experienced eyes of the vankars are swift to tell wheather the Dyebath is ready or not just by the smell of the whole mixture.

is the most crucial and calculative step of the indigo dyeing process .Indigo dye (indigotin) is derived from indican, which is a water-soluble, colorless substance present in indigo bearing plants grown in kutch. When indigo bearing plants are crushed and placed in water the indican is released into the solution through bacterial action. When air is beaten into the solution, the indican combines with oxygen to produce indigotin or “indigo blue.� Indigo blue is insoluble and settles out of the solution to produce the blue indigo dyestuff.

Intially the pots are fixed in the earth and only half feet of mouth of the pot is exposed. The length of the cloth decides how deep the pots will be, for example if the cloth piece is 3 meters then the pot will be 6 meters deep, accordingly the depth varies. The fabric hangs are carefully dipped in the dyebath and kept on the surface while being dyeing. The excess dye settles at the bottom of the pot and when stirred , again mixes in the dyebath.


Dye bath


RAW MATERIALS The following things are needed for the dyeing of indigo.  t8BUFS SFHVMBS

 t1PUTUPQPVSUIFEZFJO  tDMPUIZBSO  tJOEJHPTUPOFXIJDIJTUIFOQPXEFSFE  tDBTBUPSBTFFET  tMJNF  tBTI  tEBUFT  tHPBUEVOH The indigo is brought from Andhra Pradesh in the form of cake or in the form of rock crystals .The casatora seeds are brought from Tamil nadu. Casatora seeds are kept in water for 1-2 days after which the Casatora water is mixed in the mixture of Khajoor and Lime. Goat dung isalways kept around the mouth of the pot which is exposedtokeepthedyebathwarmwhichincreasesthedyeprocess.


Indigo in brick form , brought from Andhra Pradesh.

Casatora Seeds

Casatora Water being mixed in the dyebath.


The whole dye bath is not to be stirred during this whole process, it is only stirred when the dyeing process is done with and it is being readied for the next batch.

This is done due to the fact that after every dyeing process the cloth takes up the dye and some of the dye is left at the bottom of the pot therefore for it to mix with the water it is stirred so that the dyeing process can being all over again. The yarn engulfs the dye according to its capacity.

he dyebath is stirred every time it is opened to start the dyeing process.


Stirring of the Dyebath


END PROCESS: After the whole dyeing process the yarns/cloth is dried and if need be it is dyed again but only after it is dried which usually takes up to 2-3 hours or even a whole day, this improves the dye intake quality of the piece. It is not straight away washed as soon as it has come from dying because the indigo has not yet penetrated the yarn and needs to dry for that. Air is another importantfactorintheprocessofindigodyeing.Thedyebathhas to be air free only then will indigo dissolve in the water. That is the reason why is it stirred after the process of dyeing is compeleted. The number of times the yarns or the cloth is dipped into the mixture signifies the darkness or lightness of the yarn or cloth. Also, the amount ofindigo diluted in the mixturealsoaffectsthedarknessorlightnessoftheyarnorcloth.


CHEMICAL DYEING: Apartfromnaturaldyeing,chemicaldyeseventhoughnotvery prevalentarestillattimesusedattheVankars.They usechemical dyeing for their cloths or yarns which are The yarns are to be washed in a solution of soda or sodium carbonate (plain water at normal temp plus soda) then this yarn is put in boiling water and the desired colored dye, keep up to 1-2 hours.Dyeing is complete.Throughthisprocesstheyarnscandirectlybewashed afterdyeing.ChemicaldyesandsodaisbroughtfromlocalBhuj.

After every dyeing process , the dyebath is closed and opened and stirred the next time itis to be used.



‘Preaparing the warp thread means putting together a bundle of exactly 1600 threads of 50 meters each that will be used to make a 39 inche shawl’. Thewomenofthehouseholdlookafterthewarpingprocess.Itisatediousprocesswhichtakesaboutadayortwotocomplete.Thewoman swiftlymoveherwandor‘kadani’overawoodenframecalledchaukta.Thisisthepreparationofthewarpthread,puttingtogetherabundle ofexactly1600threadsof50meterseachthatwillbeusedtocreatea39inchwidthshawl.Theyputinexcrutiatingsixhoursofworkforabout twodaystofinishthejob.Yarnisalsopreparedintoaspindlebysome.TheyarncomesfromBhujodi,Ludhiana,RajasthanandAhmedabadand includesdesiandacrylicwool(Marinoandlocalwool),sutar,silk,doriandcottoneachusedtomakeanendproductcateringadifferentcustomer.

RAW MATERIALS: 1.Deshiwollenyarn,whicharemachinespunandisablendofavarietyofwoolandismuchsmootherinqualityandavailableinvarious colours. 2.Merinowoolenyarn,whichisprocuredfromthemerinosheepisisofthehighestandthefinestqualityofwoolthereis.Thisyarnisvery fine and has high strength . Merino wool is used by the weavers of kutch district only. 3. Cotton, which is again mill spun and is procured from ahemdabad. After the yarns are brought to the workshop they are in raw form and are soft, breakable and capable of getting entangled easily.To get rid of these properties, a thin paste of wheat flour with water is boiled and the bunch of woolen strands is soaked in it.This process is known as starching. Soon after sun drying it in the fields, a layer of the paste covers the strands.These are then separated by combing them apart with a brush known as a ‘kalori’, which is made oit of the roots of a tree


Warp setting on the ‘Chaukta’


“It is the women of the household who are responsible for the initial and the final steps in the weaving process. They begin by preparing the warp threads and end by embellishing the fabric.” STARCHING: The‘Vankars’or the weavers of Kutch are Meghwal migrants who migrated from Rajasthan 500 years ago. Among the Meghwals, the Maheshwari andMarwadasub-casteswereinvolvedinweavingandleatherwork.WhiletheMaheshwarishavegraduallytransitionedtootherjobs.Thelocalart ofweavingprovidedfortheidentityandneedsofmanycommunitiesintheregion.Traditionallyeachweaverwaslinkedtoagroupofrabarifamiliesand wascalleda‘Rakhiyo’to thatparticular group.Theweavers alsosharedarapportwithAhirs,aHindu herdingclan, for whom they weaved colourful patterned shawls or dhablos in exchange for cotton grown in their fields. It was the Dhablo which was the design inspiration forVishramValji who weaved a shawl with pure sheep wool , which took him a year to complete and was was honoured with a national award .While some wool from locally grown sheep is still used, they also procure silk from Bangalore, acrylic fromLudhiana,woolfromBadmereandcottonfromAhemdabad,tocatertotheincreasingdemands.Thefinecottonhasenabledthemtocreatemore intricateandcolorfuldesigns.Suchpiecesmayhave70threadspersquareinchinsteadoftheusual24.Weavingofapiecemaytakedaystomonths, depending upon the intricacy and newness of the design. Whilethemensitfacingtheloom,weavingalwaysbeginswithwomen.Itistheywhoareresponsibleforpreparingthewarpthread.Sinceyarnthat’s boughtistoobrittle,itisfirststarchedinacombinationofwheatflourandsometimeswildonionswhichisalsoaninsectdeterrent.Theonionsareusually boiled, left to sit overnight and mashed before being mixed with wheat flour to make a paste. Pankandasarewhitecottonshapedtuberousroots,growninthehillyarea.IthasbittertasteandiswidelyfoundintheKutchDistrict.Thereitispopularly known as ‘DUNGAS’. These are grown in hilly area of Gir forest on Junagadh, border hill, Jamnagar and Rajkot and Surendranagar. The‘Dungas’are boiled and a milky liquid is extracted from it which is used for sizing the yarns .This process is specially used for the sizing of Deshi wool and Acrylic , while cotton and Merino wool are sized using wheat flour. After the yarns have been sized the women of the household sit down to preapre the warp thread on a wooden frame called the ‘Chaukhta’.

After the process of starching, the warp threads are laid out in the sun and dried . The yarns are brushed using a huge comb known as ‘Kilori’ to separate each single yarn from the other. 51


COMBING PROCESS: After being starched and dried, the yarn is combed and its time to prepare the warp; a job women are masters at. t is a tedious job to brush the whole lenght of warp yarns which are being dried . They are spread over the whole length of the field and usually 2-3 women of the household take up this arduous and painstaking work.Wild onions were used to starch woolen yarn.These were available between October and November after the monsoonsorinJune/Julywhenthereisdewintheair.Theweaverscollectedthese themselvesboiled/keptovernight,mashintojellyandstarchthewarpyarnsearly morning.Eventodaythemorediscriminateweaversusethiswhenweavingwool.


The whole length of the starched warp threads are combed using a heavy comb like tool , locally known as a ‘Kalori’ which is made out of the roots of a tree found in the Kutch District. This constant combing of the starched warp threads makes sure that the threads do not stick to each other , for this they have to be combed constantly and patiently. A Warp of the any number of length is set up under the sun. The warp is already wetted with starch. The yarns which come in a roll are unwound on the Chaukta, which is available in their house. Starch is made up of rice, water and wheat .The roll is completelyunwoundandisthensetupinthesun.TheKalori,isusedtostraighten thethreadsinordertoavoidthethreadstogetentangled.Abrushwhichismade up of roots of a tree which is available in Rajasthan is grazed over the yarns so thattheyarnbecomessofter.Thebrushingofyarnsalsohelpsintheiralignment. Afterthewarpyarnsarepreparedtheygotogetplacedonthereedortheranch.


The process of Bobbin making: Thearduoustaskofwarpingisfollowedbytheprocessofbobbinmaking.Theweftyarnsarepreparedbyrollingyarnfromthehanks.Once thewarpissettledonehastopreparethebobbininordertostarttheprocessofweaving.Twocomponentsareusedinthepreparation ofthebobbin.OneiscalledRetiyaandOneiscalledUbralocally.BoththecomponentsareavailableinKutchitselfandcanbesometimes sourcedfromoutside.When enquiredaboutthepreparationofthebobbin,Ombhai,theweaver workingattheValji’sfortwoyearswas preparing the bobbin for a tusser shawl. Tusser silk comes from Bhagalpur,Bihar and sometimes from Bangalore.The silk is provided to them in bunch and the whole bunch is first washed with normal water and then is wound on the ubra. After it is wound on the Ubra it is rolled up on the bobbin with the help of retiya. Retiya has a handle which has to be moved in a circular direction at a very regular and a medium pace so that the thread from the Ubra can be rolled up in the bobbin easily. The speed of moving the retiya has to be medium paced because the threads arebrittle.ThethreadsontheUbrahavetobekeptadjustinginordertoavoidentanglement.Thewholeprocessofpreparationofbobbin takes 15-20 minutes approximately.Once the whole bunch of thread is wound on the bobbin the bobbin is set into the shuttle which then goes for warp setting.

Tussar bobbn




retiya and ubra

RETIYA: Retiya has a handle which has to be moved in a circular direction at a very regular and a medium pace so that the thread from the Ubra can be rolled up in the bobbin easily.The speed of moving the retiya has to be medium paced because the threads are brittle.The threads on the Ubra have to be kept adjusting in order to avoid entanglement.The whole process of preparation of bobbin takes 15-20 minutes approximately. Once the whole bunch of thread is wound on the bobbin the bobbin is set into the shuttle which then goes for warp setting. Thesilkisprovidedtotheminbunchandthewhole bunchisfirstwashedwithnormalwaterandthen iswoundontheubra.AfteritiswoundontheUbra itisrolleduponthebobbinwiththehelpofretiya.

The Retiya


Sudarshan Bhai working on the Retiya


PEDDLE-SHAFT-SHUTTLE COORDINATION In the process of a shuttle loom weaving. The peddles are coordinated with the shaft. The shaft moves up and down when the peddles move. The shaft creates a space or ‘shed’ for the shuttle to move to and fro i.e from one side of the loom to another. The operator does not need to touch the shuttle until it needs to be reloaded, so fabrics of great width can be woven; but more importantly, the movements needed are greatly reduced. Earlier the shuttle were moved to and fro by hand.This shuttle could be thrown through the warp, which allowed much wider cloth to be woven much more quickly and made the development of machine looms much simpler. , as against the slow process of passing it through the warp manually. The fabric got finer with speed and variety of yarns available. The motifs however remained traditional and characteristic of communities.


Weaver at Vankars weaving plain fabric


movement of shuttle and reed



MOTIFS The motifs used in the weaving process in Kachchh are used since the time of the forefathers of the weavers here. They do not have to memorise the calculation of the weft or draw the design on paper before the weaving process as the technique has been imbibed in their hearts and souls since they were small children.


woven motifs in kachchhi shawls


The motifs which are used in the weaving process are 1. Satkadi 2. Wankia 3. Panchko 4. Chaumar 5. Chaumak 6. Hurdi 7. Dugli 8. Damru 9. Miri 10 .Sanchkor


Satkadi and Wankia are most commonly used design motifs in the weaving process. Panchko is a diamond shaped motif which has been derived from the ancient 5 paise coin. Chaumar is the name given to any square shaped design. Hurdi is a grid like structure motif which is has alternate boxes sometimes filled with colour. Dugli is a strip of tiny triangles . Miri resembles a structure of a braid and it is usually used at the starting and the end of the design of the textile. Sanchkor is not really a motif but huge or small stripes which are used as borders. Sanchkor is a comparatively new technique used by the Vankars.




Motifs enhance the beauty of the textile . They are a direct depiction of the state they belong to and we can comprehend the roots of the tradition when we look at the beautiful motifs. They are a narrative of the place and the civilization and sometimes they also narrate the story of the place or the weaver who weaves the textile. Especially in Khadad weaving where the motifs used portray the story about the earthquake of Bhuj, their fields, their progress etc.


Panchko and chaumar in the centre

Saanchkor Satkadi


CLOSING AND OPENING OF THE LOOM CLOSING OF THE LOOM At the end of the day the loom has to be closed in order to harbor the yarns from any sort of damage which can be caused while the workshop is closed. In order to do that the ropes are untied from the ’Ganesh’and‘Khoonta’.Thentheyarnsareuntiedfromthe‘muthiya‘andthetheyarerolledbacktothebeginningoftheloom.


Closed loom at the Vankars


OPENING OF THE LOOM. When the yarn is arranged through the ‘Kanghi ‘(comb) and the ‘Raanch’ (shaft) it is then aligned with the help of a ‘Charh’.’ Charh’ separates the yarns and keeps them aligned. It is further aligned with the help of Fartha which is closer towards the end of the loom. Both the ‘Charh’ and ‘Fartha’ segregate the yarn and align them properly. After all the yarns have been arranged they all culminate to one end point i.e a muthiya. Muthiya is a small rattle toy shaped object to which all the yarns get tied.

Unwinding of warp yarns


Yarns tied to Muthiya

Pulling the warp yarns towards Khoonta


‘Ganesh ‘has been name after the Hindu God ‘Ganesh ji’. Every morning the weavers worship the Ganesh along with the other idols of God.



“It is morning whenever you wake up.” Rabari Saying



For almost 1,000 years, the Rabari have roamed the deserts and plains of what is today western India. They are Hindu pastoralists who associate wool with Lord Krishna. They celebrate the second attribute by clothing themselves throughout the year. Rabaris are nomadic herders who live scattered throughout Gujarat and Rajasthan. Originally only camels were their source of livelihood. However, now, they keep goat, sheep, cow or buffalo.The Rabaris have permanent villages, which are occupied half the year. Also, women live in the villages as men go out with their cattle. One of the most striking features of the Rabari community is their artistic embroidery.Their name, meaning‘outsider’, refers to the fact that as nomadic herders, they would be found not within town walls, but in the periphery and further, where there was enough land for their grazing herds.


Embroidery: TheRabariwomendedicatelonghourstoembroidery,avitalandevolvingexpressionoftheir craftedtextiletradition.Theyalsomanagethehamletsandallmoneymatterswhilethemenare onthemovewiththeherds.Thelivestock,wool,milkandleather,istheirmainsourceofincome. From a age as early as that of seven years , young girls are taught the traditional art of making beautifulstitches,practisingtheirnew-foundskillsbyworkingonacollectionofembroidereditems thatwilllaterbecometheirdowry.Thiscollectioncansometimestaketwoorthreeyearstocomplete. Embroideryisavital,living,andevolvingexpressionofthecraftedtextiletraditionoftheRabaris. Rabari women diligently embroider on textiles as an expression of creativity, aesthetics and identityasfarbackasthetribe’scollectivememorygoes.Afternoonsaretimeforembroidery inallRabarivillages,wherewomenroutinelyembroidertrousseaus,everydayapparel,dowry bags,bride’sghagro(skirt),kanchali(blouse)andludi(veil),thegroom’skediyanorshirt,children’s cradleclothsaswellasdowrybagsandauspicioustorans.Rabariembroideryisveryvigorous,with manyboldshapes.Designsaretakenfrommythologyandfromtheirdesertsurroundings.Theyuse glassmirrorsinvariousshapes:round,lozenge,rectangular,square,triangular,andbeakshaped. Men and women have their own distinct roles and duties, the demarcation between their respectivefunctionsbeingsharplydefinedWomendoallthesewingandembroiderywork.The menalienatethewomencompletelywhentheyarepouringouttheirproficiencyonthetextile. Thewomendedicatelonghourstosewingandembroidery. Inthismagicalworld,withoutany rigid designs to be followed, she gives free rein to her talents by visualizing, the realm of her fantasy,shapesandcoloursfarbeyondtheboundariesofherdilapidatednaturalsurroundings. Throughthismedium,theRabariwomanfindsameansofexpressingherpersonalityfully,wherein theperceptionofbeauty,precision,manualandtechnicaldexterity,allblendintooneharmonious whole.Proofofthisreadilyavailableinthegarmentsembroideredwithinfinitelyvariedstitches,the quiltsdecoratedwithclothappliqueworkandemblazonedwithtinymirrors,thesmallobjectsof dailyuseadornedallovertheirexteriorsurfacewithcloselywovenbeadsinvariegatedcolours.







The finishing includes tassels, decorative embroidery, new weaved designs and mirrors among others. The fabrics that used to be extremely thick when woven for the locals have now put on a finer and thinner front, he explains. While innovation is at the crux of the trade surviving, Ramji says one must never forget that this is a skill of the hands, done at the altar of a simple loom. Speed is never the goal as much as warmth is. Apart from Bhujodi, Vannora, Kota, Jamthara, Sarli, Bhuj, Kadarthi are other villages in Kutch region where weaving happens. Weaving as a process goes around the year apart from the rainy season, when work hits a lean because of practical reasons. Not relying too much on today’s education system, the vankars train their future weavers from a very tender age. Growing around the traditional looms in the household, the kids learn by seeing, even before they develop conscience.


Lachchhu ben doing embroidery


EMBROIDERY Gujarat is famous all over the world for its embroideries and mirror work. There are about 16 different types of embroideriesdoneintheKutchregion,butthemostwell-knownone, withitschainstitchesandcountlessmirrors,istheRabariembroidery Each weaver is affiliated with a rabari family and is known as the RAKHIYO of that family. Rabari, or“Rahabari”means one who lives outside or “goes out of the path”. The rabari myth of origin is that shiv put them on earth to tend to the camels owned by Parvati. After the completion of the fabric piece at the weaving workshopthispieceissentforitsembellishment.Therabariwomen areknownfortheirembroideryskillsandarethusassignedthistask. The weavers provide them with the threads and needles and even sometimes specify the design to be embroidered on a specific piece. But most of times they use their instincts and the passed down skills to embroider.They mix match colors according to their liking. They use a variety of mirrors of various shapes


Rabari woman holding shawl for embroidery


TASSELS Weaving is strictly a man’s job. However it always begins with the women – it is the women who are responsible for the preparation of the warp, and even the end process- tassels and embroidery. After the process of weaving is done with the whole fabric is pulled off of the loom leaving loose unwoven yarn threads of about 2-3 inches.This fabric then goes for the finishing process which is worked on by the women in the household.The young girls sit and make tassels out of these loose yarn thread They segregate these strands and twist the strands into thin ropes/ strands and tie the loose ends to secure it and continue this process till all loose yarns are made into tassels .


woman at ramji bhai’s place making tassels


Unfinished ends of a woven shawl


Twisting of loose threads done by the women

Loose ends finished into tassels


KUTCHHISAREEWEAVING Khimji Siju is one of the adroit weaver of Bhujodi who has been weaving shawls since he was in class 4th. We first met him at the ashapura crafts museum. He has his own stall which is adorned with his beautifully woven shawls and sarees. Khimji Bhai specializes in the weaving of sarees. Khimji bhai’s family is also engaged in the practice of weaving. He has two looms at home which enables him to get some additional income over what he gets by weaving for Ashapura crafts museum. His aim is to make more wearable sarees by varying patterns and yarns. He is trying to incorporate the traditional motifs, and techniques used in shawl weaving into sarees which could be worn by the people. He has taken training but now goes to different places to give training to groups of people.


Frame loom at Khimji bhai’s place


Recently, Khimji Bhai had gone to Bangalore to train a group of people .they were architects but were keen on learning weaving so they had requested khimji bhai to teach them the art of weaving. He had also undertaken a projec inUttarakhand.Inchamba,thepinetreeswould release a substance which would lead to fire in the forest. Khimji bhai was asked to train the people to do somethingwhichitsothatitcouldbeusedandthey couldgetridoftheforestfires.Khimjibhaitrained thesepeopletousethatsubstance,turnitintoyarn anduseitintheweftorfordesignswhileweaving. He had also worked for fab india. He had made shawlsforthecompany.Earlier,hegotpurewool yarn of 2/60 count for rs. 500 per kg and would getrs580fromfabindia.Laterthepriceoftheyarn increased to 630 and then to 1300 per kg but the companyrefusedforanyincrementintheirshare. So the y eventually stopped producing for fab indiaNowtheyareonlyinvolvedinsareeweaving.


saree pallu

Khimji bhai weaving on frame loom


THE FRAME LOOM In the olden days they used pit looms. Pit looms use a combination of 4 pedal-operated heddles and several hand-operated wooden swords to create the variousshedsneededfortheirwefts.After Domestrustcameintoexistencetheyhelpedtheweaverstoobtainframeloomswhichcomparativelyfacilitates the weaving process . Khimji Bhai has started weaving sarees 8 months back. Domes trust financed one of his looms which has the facility of a cycle .This enableshimtomakea 5.5metrelongsareeinonego.Hisbrotherandbrother’swifedidsareeweavingbutwouldmakeintricatesarees(oneinayear).Theywere notmeanttobeworn.Theyweresointricatethattheymadeforthenationalawards.Hisbrotherreceived2awardsfortheintricatesareeshemade6yearsago.

The shuttles and the bobbind used are of the same size as used in pit loom as the width of the loom is more or less the same.



Frame loom at Khimji bhai’s place


the warp yarns are wound on a roller in the frame loom whereas there is no roller in a pit loom

THE STEPS INVOLVED 1. Khimji bhai procures mill spun yarn from nearby local markets or ahmedabad. 2. Warp setting done by the women of the house. They use pure cotton of 2/100 count for rs.800 per kg 3. warp yarns are spread out in the open and tied to a khoonta or a pole. 4. These are brushed properly to align them horizontally. 5.The warp yarns are then wound on a roller. (which is the only difference between a pit loom and a frame loom, the warp yarns are wound on a roller in the frame loom whereas there is no roller in a pit loom and the warp yarns are tied to pole called khhoonta). A roller takes the yarns required for weaving 4 sarees at one time. This takes 1 day to prepare the roller for the loom. Another difference is that in shawl weaving 22 yarns pass through one space in the reed whereas in saree, 70 warp yarns pass through a single space in the reed. 6.. The new set of warp yarns are then joined with the warp yarns on the loom which are about to get over. 7.Whenthewarpyarnsareabouttogetover,acrylicthreadsaretiedandwoundsaroundtherollerpassingthroughholesinthoserollers.These acrylicyarnshelpthewarpyarnstoreachneartheshafts.Astherollermoves,theacrylicyarnsunwindandelongate,facilitatingthewarpyarns to reach closer to the shafts. 8. Here, the new set of warp yarns are joined to the old yarns by carefully twisting the two yarns together.There are about 3500 warp yarns in the length of the saree so it takes two days to do the joining. And 2200 yarns in the warp for a dupatta




9. Once the joining is complete, the old and the new yarns joined together are pulled through the shafts and the reed so that the new yarn paces through them and weaving with the new warp yarn can start . 10. About 20 inches of yarn gets wasted when pulled through the shaft and the reed (10 inches of the old yarn and 10 of the new yarn.) 11.. It should be kept in mind that when the yarn breaks during weaving, it is joined by twisting the two ends together. So the twisted part should be as small as possible. The smaller the twisted part, lesser is its presence felt on the woven fabric. 12. Any washing of the ready saree is not required. customers are suggested to was the saree at home in eezee or with salt . salt assures that the color doesnt bleed. also the saree should not be dried in the sun.

Inshawlweaving22yarnspassthroughone spaceinthereedwhereasinsaree,70warp yarnspassthroughasinglespaceinthereed.


Roller carrying warp yarns


Khimji Bhai used various traditional motifs in the textiles he weaves. Pupti is a motif which is made by using patli is a very old traditional motif. Dugla,done by hand is also used. Damroo,chowmaar,wankia,satkadi,gurdi,paagdi(generallyseenintheturban ofmen,itismadebyvaryingthethicknessofthewarpyarnsforexample.A60count yarn with a 2/100 count yarn would gave a raised effect where ever the 2/100 yarn is used in the weft) are also used. The border of the saree is called saanchi kor.



CARPET WEAVING Carpets and floorings are an integral part of Indian homes and the historyofIndiancarpetsfeaturesitsdevelopmentusingmatsanddurrieswith avarietyofmaterial,rangingfromwool,cotton,jute,coir,bambooandgrass. Narayan Bhai of is the only person in bhuj doing Carpet weaving in Bhujodi. Earlier his kin was involved in making blankets and shawls. The art of Carpet weaving was initiated in 1965. Narayan bhai has been into the art of weaving carpet for 3o years now. The art of carpet weaving was endowed to himby his father who learnt it from his forefathers. It is their family tradition that the son learns weaving from his father and starts weaving as soon as he understands the working of the loomIn childhood the loom was his toy and by the time he had to take responsibility he was so adept at weaving shawls, blankets and carpets that weaving such 8-10 items a day is now a cake walk for him.


Carpet weaving at Narayana bhai


In carpet weaving, Narayan bhai uses cotton yarns for the warp and woolfortheweft.Incaseofshawlweaving,woolisusedevenforthe warp. He buys sheep wool for 300 rupees per kg(white wool) and 180 rupees per kg( black or grey wool), cotton for 130 rupees per kg. Count of cotton yarn is 7singles 4 ply. And the count wool is 2/60 or 2/80. They use 2 ply or 3 ply for wool. The size of the loom for carpet weaving is bigger as compared to the loom for shawl weaving. It is heavier also. The reed used in this loom is thicker than the one used in shawl weaving as it needs strength to hold the heavy warp yarns. Warping is done by the ladies of the house. After the warping process, starching is done.Starch is made of rice water and wheat or flour. Water is added to any of these and boiled. The yarn is then dipped in the solution in rope form. Once it absorbs the solution, it is spread out in the open to dry. A brush called kalodi, made from the roots of a tree, is used to spread the yarns evenly.When the starched yarn gets dried it is brought to the loom. Whatever carpets he had are either sold directly to the customer or to khamir NGO on order.


Shuttle and length adjusting stick


7 threads pass through one inch of the reed in carpet weaving. The reed is supposed to be thick to withstand the pressure and hold the yarns in place

After the completion of the starching process the warp is set on the loom. 7 threads pass through one inch of the reed in carpet weaving. Before 2007, they had 10 threads in one inch but since the size of the spaces got reduced, then only 7 threads per inch were passed through the spaces.The new reed which he has today is made from either bamboo or from the bark of a tree. They are supposed to be thick to withstand the pressure and hold the yarns in place, as the yarns used for carpet weaving are thicker than the ones used for shawl or saree weaving. The yarn which is used by Narayan bhai is machine spun yarn. The patterns and techniques that his ancestor used for blanket weaving was incorporated into shawls and further into carpet weaving. There is an abundance of patterns and designs which narayan bhai assimilates in weaving of carpets. It takes Narayan bhai 4 days to weave one carpet with different patterns and 2 days to weave a plain carpet. Narayan bhai sells his carpets at 60 rupees per sq. feet for a plain carpet and 140 rupees per sq. feet for a carpet with different patterns.


7 threads passing through an inch of the reed


JOINING In case of frame loom, the yarns are wound around a roller. In case of pit loom,theyarnsarecarefullyjoinedwith the previous warp yarns by knotting. For joining of the warp yarns- once a carpet is about to finish, its warp yarns are allowed to reach at 5 inches near the shaft. The new, starched warp yarns are knotted with every new warp yarn tied with the old warp yarn. This tied part is then pulled towards the weaver through the reed, and weaving is resumed .

The techniques, pattern and material for the warp and weft are different for saree, carpet and shawl weaving.



The carpets of Narayan Bhai are considered most technically skillful classical craft. He has grown artistically and is renowned for his exquisite designs, patterns and their elegance.


Frame loom at Narayana bhai’s place


Narayan bhai came up with a honeycomb pattern while he was trying to make vertical zig-zag The pattern that he used for honey comb was1. Press 1 and throw the shuttle and align the weft yarn will the help of reed


2. Press 2 and throw the shuttle and align the weft yarn

The pattern of the shaft movement for weaving a plain blanket is –

3. Press 3 and 4 together and throw the shuttle and align the yarn

1.Pressoneandtwotogether,thenthrowtheshuttleandaligntheweft towards the ready fabric.

4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 again 5. Press 3 and throw the shuttle and align the weft yarn

2. Press three and four together, throw the shuttle and align the weft yarn towards the ready fabric. Similarly 1,3 – 2,4 is used in shawl weaving

6. Press 4 and throw the shuttle and align the weft yarn 7. Press 1 and 2 together and throw the shuttle and align the weft yarn 8. Repeat 5 to 7 again 9. Weave to lines of grey with 1,2 and 3,4 pattern 10. And repeat above steps.


Honeycomb pattern on the carpet


Kharad Weaving The art of weaving Floor Rugs

‘Kharad’ or “ Carpet Weaving “ is a natural process, literally a process only hand done. The name is derived from the fact that the materials required for this craft are only produced naturally; i.e. the thread for the carpet weaving is originally procured from sheep wool. This craft was introduced to us, by the esteemed craftsman / weaver Mr. Tejsi Bhai of the village Kukma, which is 14 km from Bhuj city on the Bhuj - Anjar state highway.

Carpets and Floor rugs at Tejsi Bhai’s.



Mr. Tejsi Bhai had inherited this beautiful craft from his forefathers and had been practicing this since many years now. They started with this craft under their own roof, and did not posses any type of mill or factory in the beginning. In their local language they call the process of kharad as “KATAI” which literally means floor arts (rugs) / carpet weaving.

Insight to the Basics of KHARAD:

A Kharad rug is to be woven on a very basic horizontal loom, which doesn’t have the use of any, peddles like the other looms. It cannot be carried out on a shuttle loom, like that used for weaving shawls or dupattas. Natural hand spun wool obtained from goats, sheep, and camels are used.After the thread is spun, “PINJAI” i.e. the beating of these threads is done. This can either be done by a machine or with hand. Usually, it is done manually by using a wooden tool to beat the cloth and simultaneously sprinkling water on the threads. It’s literally, as though you were washing clothes.

In the beginning, the nomads of the Meghwal community used a basic horizontal loom, as it was easy to set up and dismantle once the piece was woven. In the past the warp was made of yarn obtained from the stems of the Aakda or milkweed plant (caltrop’s), which grew in the wild. The bush would be cut and dried for a couple of days. The dried stems were beaten to extract the fibre, which was then spun into yarn. The pilled yarn was very strong and could withstand the tight wrapping and the heavy beating while weaving. Today a six-ply cotton thread is used to make the warp. Simple geometric patterns are interlaced and woven using natural shades of goat and sheep wool or camel hair. This is a time consuming process and a rug of say about 3 by 5 inches could take almost 20 days to weave.



Tejsi Bhai’s one of the many designs showcased in Sydney.


CAMEL BELTS The craft of makingcamelbelts inGujarat, was practiced inthe areaof Bhuj-Kutch, namely inthe village of KUKMA. KukmaorKookmaisavillageneartheBhujtown,talukainKachchhDistrictofIndianStateofGujarat.Itislocatedat adistanceof16kilometersfromBhuj,theheadquartersofKachchhDistrict.Thereputedcraftsmencarryingoutthis beautiful craft in the village of Kukma, was Mr. Tejsi Singh


Tejsi Bhai with his award winning camel belt which took a month to complete.



First Step:

The process starts with Obtaining the thread used to make the belts for camels, either from the sheep or the camels and is then converted into its thinnest form (Single ply thread.) The second and the most important step is the use of - “KHILI” as they call it in their local language, a tool made of wood


The second:

The Khili is used to wound the thread, which further will lead to the weaving of the belt. This step locally, is known as“GOOTHNA”.Repetition of these two steps leads to the formation of camel belt either plain or with design.


ABOUT KHARAD: He has been engaged in this craft since a child. In fact, it was ancestral for him to be engaged in the crafts of making camel belts & Carpet Weaving. The practice of camel belts is not carried out on any sort loom or machine. Literally, it’s a fully hand done process. The threads used to obtain the belt are procured either from sheep or camel itself. In some cases cotton yarn maybe used in its thinnest form. It involves a lot of time to prepare these camel belts. For example: 6 months for a camel belt with design and 2 to 3 Days for a plain-woven camel belt. Due to this reason, a lot of people including the weaver / craftsmen we got introduced to Mr. Tejsi Bhai have stopped using this process as their means of earning.

DESIGN: The most important characteristic of these belts is its design.The design appears the same on both the front and back,but in opposite colors. For Instance: If an elephant in black in made on the front side of the belt with a black background,the exact elephant but in vise versa color would be made at the back of the belt. The designs made on these belts are usually inspired from the old traditional stories. They depict scenes that of: -Farm houses,Rainy days, wedding scenes, pollution, earthquakes , their old houses, festivals like Holi and Deepawali, burning of holika. They also depict birds, animals, rann of Kachchh, harvesting of camels.Their farmhouses are also depicted sometimes.


KHILI is the only tool used to make these intricate belts.

Camel belt roll


PRESENT DAY SCENARIO: Presently the Kharad craft is a diminishing craft. Out of the 10 families practicing this craft untilthe1990s,thereareonlytwoleft.Allothershaveshiftedtootherlivelihoodoptions.These2 artisan families are also finding it hard to get regular orders. .The reasons are many. The local linkages have completely broken. Local communities no more buy Kharadproducts.Andafterthepartition,theartisanslostthehighlylucrativeSindhmarket. ThehandspinningofcamelandgoathairintowoolhasbecomeextincttodayinKachchh.


Today, the Kharad artisans are dependent on external markets both for buying the wool and selling their produce. The Kharad artisans buy wool from Rajasthan. With no proper means and resources, the Kharad artisans are not able to reach the right market segment who can appreciate the work involved and are willing to pay the premium.The Kharad artisans feel that if the customer can be educated on the Kharad process(only 3-5 Kharad pieces can be made in a month) and the longevity of the carpets (the ones made from hand-spun wool will last more than 100 years) the market for them can expand and more artisans who have left the craft will come back.



Tejsi Bhai demonstrating the process.



“When The wall enclasps the beautifully smeared mud it enlivens with allure.”

Mud and Mirror work is part of rural Kutchhi life style. Traditionally this art work is done on the inner walls of the circular houses called‘Bhunga’, which are seen in the desert of Kutchh.The women of the house make mud and mirror murals.These murals have various patterns and designs.The common motifs are flowers, leaves, animals, Human figures etc. Apart from being a decorative art for inner walls of the houses, the raw materials used in this art form act as natural cooling agents for the house. This art form or the craft provides a cool home environment and makes life livable in the hot Kutch desert.


Heera ben moulding clay


Lippan ka kaam: Originalityoflippankamormudworkliesinaddingnocolororonlywhites.Designsinclude–Ganesh,elephant,festivals, birds,trees, animals, peacock, marriage scene, Diwali, human figures etc. in lippan kam.Fevicol is used for the paste to stick on the wall.If it’s a plaster wall then, water is mixed with dung ( cow) and is spread all over the plaster wall and let to dry for two days. Then the work resumes.The paste is rolled in between palms and shaped using fevicol and water and by evening it dries. This whole design on the wall will last up to 15-30 years at best

Tools and Materials:

Clay or chikki mitti, cow dung, Adhesives, White Clay, Water, Mirror.

The process: 1.Clay(orchikkimitti)whichiseasilyavailable andcowdungismixedtogetherinalmostequalproportionstomakeathin slurry. This slurry is applied as the base of the artwork. 2. To the slurry further the artisans add clay and cow dung to get a dough like consistency. 3.This dough is then used to make balls and cylindrical stripes of various sizes.These balls and strips are made either by rolling the dough on the floor or between the palms. 4.Thestripesandballspreparedarepastedtomakevariousshapesandpatternonthesurface.Mirrorsarestuckontothe muralforfurtherembellishmentswiththehelpoftheadhesive.Oncethedesignsaremadeonthesurfaceandispartially dried a coat of white clay, which is locally available is applied on it.

Fine details of Lippan Ka Kaam done by Argaben on the walls of ‘Shrujan’.



PRESENT DAY SCENARIO Cultural,Social and political scenario of Bhujodi Bhujodi is one of the oldest and biggest artisan villages in Bhuj. You can easily hop on a ‘ Chakra’ from the auto rickshaw stand in Bhuj and reach Bhujodi. This village is more than 500 years old and is called the weaver village of Bhuj as there is one loom in every home here. Men, women and children all are involved in the process of weaving.


Mandvi beach


CULTURAL SCENARIO The Desert Festival coincides with the Shivratri festival which is celebrated from 29th February-5th March. Participants get to hear ballads with the traditional songs of desert during Shivratri. During Rann Utsav, stalls are setup with traditional handlooms and handicraft items. The entire desert area gets covered with tents where guests could enjoy some days of wonderful and unique staying.

Bhujodi has fascinating culture and rich heritage that mesmerizeseveryonewhogetsanopportunitytoexperienceit. The apparels of people of Bhujodi depict their traditional practices Bhujodi boasts itself with different types of communities that include Rabari, Ahirs, Charan, and the Vankars. People here are warm and very friendly. Bhujodi is very famous for the hospitality of locals and also for the diversity of handicrafts and handlooms. We can get to see nomadic and semi-nomadic people in Bhuj moving in groups from one place to another. People of Rabari especially the Rabari women have got extensive tattooing done on their arms, legs and necks. The tattoos are done in black color and the patterns used are imagesof plants, animals and geometrical shapes. Most of the tattoos are not single images but these tattoos have repetition in alternate rows.

Every year during the Bhadra month (September), Ravechi fair is organized. During this fair people of diverse culture get an opportunity to come together and amalgamation of different types of communities take place. Communities like Rabari, Ahir and Charan take part in this fair every actively. New couples dress up in traditional wedding costumes and offer prayers to the Goddess. Activities like traditional ‘Garba Dance’; bhajans etc. are performed by the devotees on this

Rich cultural heritage of Bhuj is also visible through its various festivals that are not only the gathering of locals but tourists from all corners of India as well as from differentpartsoftheworldgatherheretoenjoyandwitnessthe tradition of Bhuj through these festivals and events.The most important festival here is the‘Desert Festival’or Rann Festival.


Other festivals that are celebrated with great pomp in Bhujodi and in the whole of Bhuj are the Navratri Festival during September-October, Makar Sankranti Festival in January Month and the birth of Lord Krishna, Janmasthami in the month of August. The people of Bhujodi keep a small gathering on ‘Ekadashi’ in their local temple and we were fortunate enough to witness the festival.

Swami Narayana Mandir



SOCIAL SCENARIO ThecommunitiesresidinginthevillageofBhujodiaretheVankars,Rabari, Ahirs and charrans.They all have their own traditional practices .The variegatedcommunitiesinthevillageiswhatmakesitbrimwithdifferent artsandcrafts likeweaving,embroidery,bandhanimakers,blockprint and tye and dye.

The people of Bhujodi are avid supporters of Narendra Modi and have actively participated in the elections which were held off late . They have an immense gratitude towards their former chiefministerandhavesupportedhimtogainaseatasthePrime Ministers. The disputes in the village are settled by the Panchayat of the village.

ECONOMIC SCENARIO Earlier Bhuj’s economy was mainly based on handicrafts especially the Bandhni designs, net works on leather, but nowadays many other industries are associated with this city. After the devastating earthquake of 2001, there are NGOs like Shrujan which are helping the artists to present their piece of work to the rest of the country as well as to the world and earning handsome livelihood. The village of bhujodi which consists of weavers, bandhani makers, tye and dye works and embroidery workers have helped the city to have boost in its economy through various fairs as well as by exporting their pieces of art.


Khimji Bhai’s wife who does tassel making

childen playing at Bhujodi, Bhuj


SHRUJAN Shrujan is a non-governmental organization working in the field of women’s self employment programs through the revival and development of traditional embroidery crafts since 1969, based in Kutch region of Gujarat State inWestern India. The Shrujan campus is situated in Bhujodi 10 kms from the city of Bhuj in Kutch. In contrast to the arid desert vegetation around, oneencounters a well tended orchard with varied fruit trees reminiscent of the ‘wadis’ or the orchards in the south-western region of Kutch. Shrujan began modestly as a small project in 1969.When Kutch experienced aparticularly severe drought, Chandaben Shroff went there to assist with a famine relief project.During this trip, she realized that the rural women excelled at the local art of embroidery.This culture of embroidery has been handed down from mother to daughter for generations immemorial. Each tribal group and community in the area has it’s own particular style of embroidery, and lexicon of stitches and motifs. Chandaben Shroff developed a unique, sustainable means of income generation for village women. She got the local women to produce saris with exclusive embroideries.The profits were re-invested into building the organization. Currently Shrujan works with 16 different styles of embroidery, done by 3,500 women across more than 140 villages.


Pottery done at Shrujan


THE PROGRAM The program incorporates an expressive public face with its main retail store, visitor’s lounge, an exhibition gallery, as well as internal workshop areas, textile design cell, offices, textile conservation cell, auditorium space, and residential quarters. The client brief demandedasustainablearchitecturalresponsetakingintoaccountseismicstabilityandtheharshdesertclimate.Theflagshipstoreforitsproducts was to be incorporated in an attempt to create a new face for Shrujan and provide a marketing platform for its wholesale international clientele. "A need to reassert the unique cultural milieu and the resilient spirit of the Kutchhi people in the wake of a devastating natural calamity provided the underlying sub-text for the project."

THE ARCHITECTURAL RESPONSE The architecture responds to the broad physical context of the region. It attempts to evoke the desert archetype through a vocabularyofmassive,continuousshieldingochrecolouredwalls,controlledopenings,thedeeplyshadedcourtyard,andthewindtowers.Thetwo overriding features of the plan are the inward looking courtyard and the enclosing walls with the wind towers on the south and the west. Theprotectivewalledenclosuresontheheatgainside,contrastwiththisopencourtyardthatcoalescesviewsandmovementinitsshadedprecincts. Workshop areas which require even daylight open towards the court with large continuous bay windows towards the north. Circulation is both through and around the court. The courtyard also offers a dynamic release of space at the corner on a diagonal axis to the main entrance. The entrance is signified by tiered plinths and a short flight of steps to access the retail store. A ramped corridor links the entrance to the visitor lounge, the workshops and the cafĂŠ, on the ground level. Space is modulated in its proportions as one moves through the building, providingvignettes ofthecourtyardand thesky.Theresultant architectural form is a layering of contrasting elements. Light in all its modulations was a constant concern, brought in through recessed openings and bounced off gently curving or sloping roof profiles. The sense of contrast is carried into the choice of materials and textures within the building. Rough pebblecrete of the copings and the plinth contrast with the ochre painted walls. All exterior areas are paved in exposed brick, and rough kotah stone continuing into the courtyard. The courtyard is designed as a multifunctional space, capable of informal congregations as well as quiet moments of repose for an individual.


Sarees, Dupattas, Shawls made at Shrujan





Today, there are 1200 weavers all across Kutch in 210 villages. The number of women involved in the preparatoryandfinishingprocessesisaround2400.Atthe VishramValji loom, women are paid a daily wage of Rs125 whilewagesformenareRs225.Womenusuallymanageto getworkforjustacoupleofdayswhilemenwhoweaveare employed for longer stretches. Of the 80 looms in Bhujodi,RamjisaysthetheentrepreneurialVishramjifamily owns35.Fourweaversworkattheirloom,whereasothers take orders and specifications of what must be weaved, workfromhomeandreturnwiththeendproduct.Among the Kutch craftsmen the numbers of the bandhini and ajarkh artisans has risen, but the weavers have dipped, manyofwhomarenowemployedinfactoriesintheregion. Whilecraftsmenturnedbusinessmenthrive,independent weaversusuallystruggletomakeendsmeet,andthereturns for them are barely worth the effort and time they invest. Inwhatlookslikeaghosttown,touristscontinuetocrowdthe VishramValji’s‘emporium’that doubles up as a shop and a museumwhereonecanwitnesshowdesignhasintervened in the ancient craft.“Blue and red were a rage last year, we don’tknowwhatit’sgoingtobenextyear,”saysRamji.The finishing includes tassels, decorative embroidery, new weaved designs and mirrors among others. The fabrics that used to be extremely thick when woven for the locals have now put on a finer and thinner front, he explains. While innovation is at the crux of the trade surviving, Ramji says one must never forget that this is a skill of the hands, done at the altar of a simple loom. Speed is never the goal as much as warmth is.TheVankars are very confident about their growth and they wish to practiceitandendowtheirchildrenwiththiswonderfulcraft.







The weavers and artisans of Bhujodi are wrapped in the mist of antiquity .Their strengths are that they are adept at their work . They have a variety of fine products which are unique. They feel contentandsatisfiedbydoingwhattheyareinvolvedin.Theyhave yearsofexperienceandwanttopassontheirskillstotheirchildren. Their work is hand made and hence they have few competitors.

Inadequate market study and marketing strategy is huge weakness for the weavers and the artisans of Bhujodi. Lack of adequateinfrastructureandcommunicationfacilitieshindersthe growth prospects of their art. They have a capacity to handle only limited orders and they have an untimely delivery schedule. Also, they are unaware of international standards by many players in the market. Education plays a big role when it comes to marketing and advertising of their art on which they do not have an upper hand.



Rising appreciation for handicrafts by consumers in the developed countries opens doors for the weavers and artisans to produce more and procure more income.They sometimes use e-commerceindirectmarketingfacilitatestheirtrade.NGOsthey have been associated with helps in promoting their work and passion.

Better quality products produced maybe produced by competitors from Europe, South Africa, South Asia, etc. and they are also better in terms of trade. The international standards are now stricter which might become a problem in export of the fine crafts of Bhujodi.

POTENTIAL OF NIFT INTERVENTION IN CLUSTER Nift organizes a cluster initiative where they send the students to various clusters brimming with art, culture and tradition in different states of india . The knitwear department students had an opportunity to visit Bhuj, Gujarat this year where we were exposed to the rich tradition of art and craft of the people of Bhuj. In this way NIFT gives an opportunity to the craftsmen and artisans to gain an insight on new designs and experimentations. They get exposed to newer trends and mainstream fashion. The students interact with the craftsmen and the artisans about their work.They stay at the villages for a number of days and learn how they create their masterpieces. This makes the craftsmen and the artisans feel good about their work and they realize how fine and unique their work is. It also gives a great exposure to students as they learn about their lifestyles and the hard work they put into their work to earn a livelihood.


ARTISANS PROFILE Shyamji Bhai- Bhujodi village, Bhuj Linked with shawl,stole,cloth weaving,lac dyeing and indigo dyeing

Valji Bhai- Bhujodi village, Bhuj Associated with shawl,stole,cloth weaving,lac dyeing and indigo dyeing Associated with Shrujan and Kalaraksha


Khimji bhai- Bhujodi Village, Bhuj Associated with sari weaving at Ashapura crafts museum LinkedwithKalarakshaanddomustrust

Hera Ben-Bhujodi village, Bhuj Associated with mud art

Ramji Bhai- Bhujodi village, Bhuj Associated with shawl,stole,cloth weaving

Om Bhai- Bhujodi village, Bhuj Weaver at the vankars


Tejsi Bhai-Kukma village, Bhuj Associated with khadad weaving and camel belts

Arga behen Kukma village, Bhuj Associated with mud work


Lachu behen-Bhujodi village, Bhuj Associated with embroidery.

Narayan Bhai -Bhujodi village, Bhuj Linked with Carpet weaving Associated with Kalaraksha


Vanat- Kutchi Weaving  
Vanat- Kutchi Weaving  

I had Visited Bhuj, Gujarat along with four fellow students to study and document the traditional weaving craft (Vanat) of Gujarat under the...