Bucket List Series: Shopping in Kutch

Bucket List Series: Shopping in Kutch
A piece of embroidered fabric from Kutch, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Amidst the monotonous browns of the desert, the district offers you a strikingly contradictory clothing experience

Sahana Iyer
August 18 , 2019
02 Min Read

When you have a tour to Gujarat on your bucket list, a trip to Somnath temple, gorging on massive vegetarian thaalis and splurging on the decorative fabrics are a must.

Those who are seeking sober, sleek clothing are at the wrong place. The Kutch district in India has a lot to offer-- Dry yet stunning landscapes, hospitable locals, delectable food and best of all, vibrant and pleasantly kitsch clothing. 

 A traditional chaniya choli worn by the women of Gujarat

Kutch embroidery is arguably the most popular attraction in the district. People from different states and even countries visit the dry lands to take back the classic chaniya choli with mirror work and colourful handwork. 

 Handmade colourful embroidered clutches in Kutch

No store you walk into, will sport anything but bright and intricately worked items, a heavily inviting contrast to the surrounding landscape. While shopping for embroidered clothing is what people understandably most often pursue, there are various other charming knicks-knacks wrapped in the traditional embroidery style that are irresistible. You could find umbrellas, wallets, book covers and even shoes tailored to fit the flamboyant personality of the West. 

 An image of a local working on the embroidery

Large motifs sewn on fabric with pieces of mirror are very typical of the textile art found here. However, every community in the district has their own style and specialty. Skirt work is generally the focal point of the Rohana tribe, while the Sodhas make use of geometric styles in their clothing. Garcia Jats specialise detailed embroidery of the yoke, while mirror work (pear-shaped) is the strong suit of the Dhanetah Jats. 

 An example of the Kutch embroidery on a piece of fabric

An experience like no other, a Kutch shopping spree is an overload of colour and patterns.




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