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Gujarat is famous for its handicrafts. Find out more about Gujarati handicrafts of India.

Gujarat Handicrafts

Gujarat has an ancient history and a glorious cultural heritage. The age old crafts of the place have survived till date. The art and crafts are preserved and are even practiced widely across the state. The handicrafts of Gujarat are famous for their color scheme, detail and intricate work and artistic appearance. These handicrafts are a product of skilled craftsmanship of India. There is a wide variety available in handicrafts. One can choose from silver jewelry, embroidery, furniture, clay items, handmade durries (carpets), stone crafts and other materials.

Brass and Iron Items
One of the popular craft of the region is items in Brass and Iron. These items are best found at former princely state of Saurashtra and Kutch. The items available here are fine beetle nut crackers, copper coated iron bells, knives and cutlery. These are made by descendents of the erstwhile court sword smiths and jewelers. Brass items are also manufactured at a large scale here. The brass industry of Jamnagar is one of the largest in India. The items offered here are brass and iron utensils, cutlery, knives and scissors. One of the best places to buy such stuff is Anjar.

Clay Items
Pottery is one of the oldest handicrafts of the state and is being practiced since the ancient times. The creativity of the potter in molding the clay in a well proportioned utensil is just amazing. Later, these utensils are painted with vibrant colors to make them attractive. Potters in the Kutch region also make beautiful Terracotta toys. Those in the Aravallis and Chhota Udepur tribal lands are proficient in making long necked terracotta figurines of the Gora Dev (tribal Horse-God). Another place to buy good decorative pieces of terracotta is Poshina. You can pick a host of other items from Kutch, like mud wall paintings, plaques, inset with mirrors, etc.

The art of making wooden furniture is practiced primarily in southern Gujarat. Sankheda, near Vadodara, is known for its lacquered wooden furniture. The craft of making wooden items includes rounding the wood with tools. This is followed by painting it with floral and abstract designs in bright shades of gold, silver, maroon, green, vermilion, and brown. This is done with the help of sticks dipped in a colored mixture of dyes, powdered zinc, lac and resin. Mahuva, Surat and Kutch are also famous for making lacquered furniture similar to that of Sankheda.

Apart from this, the artisans at Surat, Kutch and Saurashtra are skilled at making beautiful designs and intricate filigreed appearance of lace on wood. Rajkot is famous for its Minakari furniture and offers attractive low slung chairs, Indian style sofa sets, chairs, centre tables and settees. Wood work is also practiced at places like Jetpur, Kutch and Pethapur village of Gandhinagar district. Here you can buy old wooden blocks used for printing fabrics which can be joined into a table top, decorative screen or a partition or used as door knobs, ornamental pieces or paper weights.

Embroidery is one of the most delicate handicrafts practiced in Gujarat. The art of embroidery is primarily practiced by the wives of herdsmen, nomads and agriculturists, as a second source of income. The patterns vary with the community and region. There is a wide variety to choose from, like Bavalia embroidery, Banni embroidery, Rabari embroidery, as well as the embroidery done by the communities of Ahir, Jats, Sodha Rajputs, Mutwa and Mukka. Apart from the usual embroidery work, the state is also famous for the Gold embroidery done on fabrics.

Gold Embroidery is an ancient craft, practiced since the ancient times. The Zari work (gold embroidery) of Gujarat dates back to the Mughal period. Surat is the biggest and the most significant zari manufacturing centers of India. The Zari work is practiced mainly in gold and silver threads. It is a detailed and meticulous process. The items available in the market range from decorative boarders, shoe uppers and evening bags to accessories. One of the most popular items here is Kinkhab, which is woven using gold and silver threads.

Dhurries, carpets, blankets and rugs are still woven on primitive pit looms in the villages of Kutch. The artisans weave the designs with their hands and work on the machines operated by foot pedals. These carpets are known for their beautiful patterns, contrasting color schemes and intricate weaving. The durries available here are made from wool, goat hair and cotton. As a result, handloom weaving is an important occupation in villages, situated on the Ahmedabad - Bhavnagar highway.

Silver Jewelry
Silver jewelry is the specialty of the state of Gujarat. The premier centers of silver ornaments are Rajkot and Ahmedabad. Other than this, Kutch is also known for silver engravings and ornaments. You can also pick tribal jewelry in silver from Poshina. Some nice daggers and knives with beautiful sheaths and hilts can also be bought from here. Khambhat (Cambay) is known for the ancient craft of stone cutting and bead making. Many precious and semi precious stones are cut and polished here along with Agate. It is mined in the hills along Gulf of Kambhat. They are finally converted into polished ornaments and utensils.

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