Kutch has a wealth of traditional crafts, not only in textiles, but also woodcarving, cast silver work, lacquer work, terracotta pottery. Houses are often decorated with designs made from mud, cow or camel dung, clay slip, and mirrors. The major textile techniques for which Kutch is famous are listed below:

Block printing

There are four main block printing techniques done in Kutch.

    - Direct block printing is just that. The block is dipped into dye and printed directly onto the fabric.
    - Resist block printing is achieved when the block is dipped into a dye resist paste, usually tamarind seed paste and lime, then printed onto fabric which is then dyed and the resist paste is removed to reveal the undyed fabric underneath.
    - Complex patterns can be made with both direct and resist block printing using different blocks to build up layers of images and color . Ajrakh block printing is a special style of direct block printing for which Kutch is particularly famous. Traditional Ajrakh designs can be traced back several centuries to Persia (Iran). Real Ajrakh is done with natural indigo and madder dyes.
    - Discharge block printing is a chemical process whereby the fabric is first dyed with one color, then printed with another. It is rolled and steamed which causes the original dye to disperse under the block print, giving a two color design.
    - Batik block printing is a wax resist technique. The block is dipped into wax and printed onto fabric which is then dyed and the wax removed.

Tie Dye (Bandhini)

Tie dye in Kutch is extremely fine. Designs are carefully built up in a number of colors, starting with the lightest and working through to the darkest. Designs are usually lightly printed with block made up of small dots. The crafts man or woman will then tie tiny knots where the dots are shown. The parts of the design to be in the lightest color will remain knotted throughout the process, but as each new color is applied, some of the knots will be strategically untied allowing the color to penetrate.


Shawls and rugs are woven in cotton, wool, and even camel hair. Traditional designs are a distinctive style with bands of simple geometric shapes such as stripes, diamonds, triangles, star shapes, and chevrons. Although Ikat weaving is not traditional to Kutch, one weaver has recently introduced this technique, in which the pattern is achieved by tying and dying either the warp or the weft before weaving. In Kutch, Ikat is a luxury item, always done in silk.


See Types of Embroidery




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