Ahir embroidery is mostly bold and their motifs are geometric shapes, floral patterns, animals and birds. Their embroidery also has Krishna motifs. Their style predominantly has an outline called Sankdi around the mirrors with filling stiches called Vano. Characteristically, Ahir embroidery has round mirrors.

Yadavas are known as Ahirs in Gujarat. Legend goes that, of the followers of Lord Krishna who left with him from Mathura for Saurashtra, some Ahirs settled down in the Vagad region of Kutch. Traditionally, Ahirs have been cattle herders and a few are shepherds.
This is one of the most commercialised embroidery styles of Kutch.


DhebariyaRabariare one of the sub-sects of the Rabari community, and are traditionally shepherds. Since sewing embroidery for dowry was creating pressure on women, this traditional and ancient craft has been banned within the community for personal use over the past 20 years. They are known for their exquisite applique, katab (cut-work) and embroidery. Their embroidery includes birds, floral patterns, animals and mirrors of different shapes and sizes.

Currently, most Rabari women who do embroidery are of the older generation and Qasab engages with the community for revival of this distinct artwork.


The Meghwar women are highly skilled embroiderers who follow their traditional centuries-old designs and innovate new onesthrough improvisation. Their motifs are mostly floral and geometrical; with scorpion and peacock patterns being used frequently. Embroidery styles are mainly Pakko, Neran, Kharek and Kambhiri.

Pakko, translating to “Strong”, is portrayed through bold floral and geometrical designs that are fairly large. Neran, translating to “Eyebrow”, is a much smaller stitch and appears as tiny, chaotic representations of the eyebrow shape. Kharek means “Date fruit”, which is incorporated as such in their embroideries. Kambhiri is the name of a stitch with a strong linear design.


Jatare very conscious of their identity as a group. Their embroidery is exquisite and labour-intensive. The distinct characteristic of Jat style comes from the closely stitched patterns that completely cover the cloth. They take pride in the fact that their stitches outlive the cloth on which they are sewn.

In this community, the marital status of a woman is identified by the costume she is wearing. They have special designs embroidery designs for an unmarried girl, a married woman and a widow.

Jatarea conservative community and hence, embroidery is the primary and only livelihood option for the women of this community.


KachhiRabariconsider their Kapdu (Choli) the most important art form because of its heavily embroidered ornamentation. The Rabari women wear woolenPenu (Skirts), Kapdu and a Loni (Veil) to cover their heads and shoulders. The embroidery is sewn around different shapes of mirrors such as round, oval, square, rectangle.

Intensity of the embroidery varies based on the age and marital status of a woman. Unmarried girls wear the Kapdu (Blouse)that is un-pleated, married women wear the Kapduthat is pleated and the widows wear the simple black woolen dress.


Traditionally cattle herders, the Mutwas are a sub-sect of Muslims, who came to Kutch from Sindh around 400 hundred years ago. Their embroidery is unique in its own way given its highly intricate work with tiny mirrors. The exquisite work distinguishes their patterns from all other embroideries. Their motifs are only floral as Islamic communities refrain from depicting human or animal forms on their embroidery.

Halepotra and Pathan

The Halepotra are cattle herders and breeders and are a sub-sect of Muslims. Theylive in the Banni region of Kutch and the women artisans here do exquisite stitches called Sebhaand Khuddi-Sebha work along with embroideries. Their embroidery is not as commercial as that of most other communities.

The Pathansare also a Muslim tribe living with the Halepotras in the Banni region and are cattle herders. The Pathan women do exclusive embroidery and stitches, but again rarely for the commercial purposes.

Sindhi Memon

Sindhi Memon embroidery is done by the Sindhi Memon who migrated from Sindh in Pakistan many years ago and settled in Kutch. This is a Muslim tribe and they mostly enageg with floral motifs. They do very fine embroidery with a single thread and hence, their work is highly intricate.

Sindhi Memon

In this community, the marital status of a woman is identified by the costume she is wearing. They have special designs embroidery designs for an unmarried girl, a married woman and a widow.

Sodha Rajput

Traditionally cattle herders and agriculturists, they are the most recent migrants to Kutch. In this community,women wear an embroidered Choliand jacket after their marriage. Widowed women wear plain cloth mainly in black, blue or maroon. Their embroidery style is mainly referred to as Pakko(which is predominantly used) and also comprises other stitches such as Neran, Kharek, Kambhiri. Their patterns are similar to that of Meghwar.Other than the embroidery, they do patch-work and applique.

The Rajputs, who are historically the protector-warriors, as a community are conservative. The women of these clans are not allowed to go outside their faliya (colony). Embroidery is the only livelihood option for women of this densely populated community and hence comprises a fairly large share of Qasab’s creations.