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History of Kutch Embroidery Starts with the Kathi

The roots of the Kutch embroidery can be traced to the 16th and 17th centuries. The earliest form of the embroidery is believed to have been introduced by a herding clan called ‘Kathi’. This community of cattle breeders is related to Karna, the warrior from Mahabharata.

It is believed that Karna led the Kathi wanderers to this region. They laid the foundation of the various themes, patterns and designs that collected to form the later cohesive Gujarati embroideries.  The prevalent form of Kutch embroidery is believed to have been taught to the ‘Mochis’ or the cobblers by a Sufi saint of Sindh around 300 years ago. Over time the embroidery got specialised under various clans creating their own kinds of creations. As a result, the embroideries reveal a great deal about the social status of a clan.  

The region of Kutch      Members of the herding clans who run the tradition of hand embroidery

 
Image sources: Hands-Across-Sea-Samplers, UnnatiSilks, Isha.Sadhguru, Pinterest, Kutchimaddu, Instagram, VibgyorCollections, HeritageTrading, MatsyaCrafts