The crafts of Western India bear ample testimony to the rich cultural heritage of the region. It mainly includes states of Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra which are mainly coastal areas of the Arabian Sea. As tribal settlement is more prominent in the region most of the handicrafts are made using naturally available materials like wood, shells, etc. These crafts were mainly used as home utility items but with modernization transformed to home décor items.
Embroidery is a common craft of the region. Saurastra and Kutch region of Gujarat is known for lavish embroidery. The famous embroideries of Gujarat are kathi, heer, abhala that is mirror embroidery and appliqué work. Crochet lace work is famous in Jamnagar of Gujarat. The state is also well known for Bandhani, which is the craft of tie and dye. Jamnagar, Anjar and Bhuj are famous centers for this craft. Crochet and embroidery has a traditional mark in Goa. Rajasthan also has a distinct style of embroidery. The locals of Jaisalmer have a beautiful range of embroidery with every variety of stitch. The pichwai of Nathdwara and gota work are some exclusive embroidery of Rajasthan. Handloom craft
Handloom is another craft of the region and each state specializes in weaving some kinds of saris. Maharashtra is famous for Paithani saris, which has a magnificent pallu woven in brightly coloured rosettes and birds. The tussar silk produced in Maharastra is called kosa silk. Some varieties of kosa silk produced here are motha choukada, lahan choukada, gunja salai, teen dhari choukada and rasta choukada. Masuriya is a rare cotton fabric woven in Rajasthan, which has a lovely texture. Himrro is another type of brocaded material where the jala design is made. The jala design consists of intricate geometrical designs like circle, octagons, ovals, ellipses, and diamonds, flowers like rose, lotus, and jasmine. Gujarat is known for tanchoi fabric, which has bright base colours like blue, purple, green or red. Patola is a colourful saree, which has a figured body and a subtle merging of one shade in another.
Pottery, which is a traditional craft, has developed in to a full-fledged industry, which produces utility and decorative items. In Gujarat, Kutch and Saurastra are known for beautiful earthenware in attractive shapes and designs. In Saurastra a special type of clay is available which is called gopichandan. An item made of gopichandan has glossy finish. The pottery of Goa has a style of its own with its deep rich red and velvety surface. Although pottery is made all over Goa, Borde and Bicholim are two famous centers of earthenware. Rajasthan produces a variety of pottery like; Bikaner is noted for its painted pottery, Pokhran for its pottery with geometrical patterns and Alwar for its kagzi pottery. The blue pottery of Jaipur is also very famous.
Woodcarvings find a special place in the crafts of the western region. The woodcarvings of Gujarat have mostly floral and geometrical designs. The wood carvings of Goa are an aesthetic blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures and the designs are primarily floral, animal and human figures. Pipar and Bhari Sajanpur in Pali district is known for producing thin bowls from rohida wood.
Indian painting, also called Jaina Painting, a highly conservative style of Indian miniature painting. Largely devoted to the illustration of Jaina religious texts of the 12th–16th century are popular in the region of Gujarat.
Some of the crafts, which deserve a special mention, are the jadau and kundan jewellery from Jaipur where uncut precious gems are set in to twenty-four carat gold. Maharastra is famous for leather chappals called Kolaphuri chappals. The tradition of craft has evolved through generations and still the quest for innovation and invention continues to give each craft a contemporary look. (Last Updated on : 24-08-2022)
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