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:
There are five 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.
● 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.
● Batik block printing is a wax resist technique.
Tie Dye (Bandhini)
Designs are carefully built up in a number of colors, starting with the lightest and working through to the darkest.
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.
The various villages and the prevelant caste system of Kutch have nurtured within their communities diverse types of embroidery. The secrets of these designs are affectionately gaurded. They are handed down as family heirlooms from mothers to their daughters and daughters-in-law.
Kutchi Folk DancesDandiya and Kutchi Gajiyo are the popular folk dances originally belonging to Kutch region. Disco Dandiya a modern form of dandiya started by Kutchi musician Babla is a hugely popular form of Dandiya as well.