Embroidery is integral to the Kutchi cultural identity, and this elegant craft is passed on from generation to generation by Kutch’s ethnic communities. Since centuries, the women in Kutch’s rural communities have been creating exquisite embroideries and Dhadkis (quilts), which are included with love and affection in their daughters’ wedding trousseaus. Embroidery was also done in garments for women and children, bags, pouches, and purses, and adorned their homes and cattle until a century ago.
Over the past 50 years, increasing interest in embroidered articles from tourists, garment boutiques, and also due to craftsmen exhibiting them outside Gujarat, has led these to markets outside the state and designers and traders offering to commission work for embroidered garments and other products. Gradually, unplanned market growth and the sprouting of middlemen and traders led to inequities that deprived craftswomen of the real worth of their creations. Interventions by the government and development organisations to correct this trend are now bearing fruit.