The Kutch Embroidery is a handicraft and textile signature art tradition of the tribal community of Kutch District in Gujarat, India. This embroidery with its rich designs has made a notable contribution to the Indian embroidery traditions. The embroidery, practiced normally by women is generally done on fabrics of cotton, in the form of a net using cotton or silk threads. In certain patterns, it is also crafted over silk and satin.
The types of stitches adopted are “square chain, double buttonhole, pattern darning, running stitch, satin and straight stitches”. The signature effect of the colorful embroidery sparkles when small mirrors called abhla are sewn over the geometrically shaped designs. Depending on the tribal sub groups of Rabari, Garasia Jat, and Mutava involved with this craft work many hand embroidered ethnic styles have evolved. These six styles: Suf, khaarek, paako, Rabari, Garasia Jat, and Mutava
History of the Kutch Embroidery is traced to the 16th and 17th centuries when people migrated from the countries such as Afghanistan, Greece, Germany, Iran and Iraq to Gujarat. It is also said that cobblers known as Mochis were trained in this art form by the Muslim sufi saints of Sindh. The art form became a vocation for women of Kutch not only to meet their own clothing requirements but also to make a living, in view of severe dry and very hot conditions of Kutch. It became a generational art with the skills taught from mother to daughter. They embroidered clothes for festive occasions and to decorate deities and to create a source of income