Kutch weaving, also known as Marwada style, is a 600 year old tradition from the district of Kutch in Gujarat. Kutch, a word which signifies a mix of two different things both “wet” and “dry” simultaneously, is very much the essence of modern-day Kutch weaving. Like many other crafts of India, it has been passed down by generations of artisans who have profound knowledge and expertise, and whose children grew up in the nooks of looms imbibing all the traditions at once. As they grew up, they took up the responsibility of making the craft relevant to modern times.
Every community that works on this craft leaves behind a mark of their culture and livelihood. For example, many artisans replicate the footsteps of an animal or a musical instrument to take the form of motifs. Consumers can find traces of ancient Harappan civilization, too. Some examples of the motifs include vakhiyo, chaumukh, satkani, hathi and dholki.
Kutch weaving is done using an extra-weft weaving technique, where a weft yarn is used in the warp of the loom. The weaving with extra weft creates distinctive designs with geometric patterns and intricately hand woven motifs. These motifs have been passed down through generations of artisan communities, and were originally made from local desi wools and were traditionally worn as veils. Artisans continue to design and produce this weaving technique for both the local and international market.
Generation after generation
The famous craft of this type of weaving has posed as a canvas for generations of craftsmen to experiment and express through art. Culture and emotions are woven into the fabric by the hands of the artisans. Most artisans are heavily connected to the craft and carry a deep sense of pride with this art form, generation after generation.
Even as times change and technology advances, the artisans grow the craft to keep up with times. While the traditional weave and design remain deep entrenched in their roots, the younger generation has taken up the responsibility of evolving it via institutional learning and even incorporating new designs like checks and lines into the textiles.
Passion Lilie’s scarves are Kutch woven
This season Passion Lilie has 6 new scarves, all of which have been created via Kutch weaving. The process is quite tedious and intricate - imagine separating each thread of yarn and placing it on the bobbin. The simple task of setting up a loom is also long and involved - setting up a pit loom can take up to 10 days! Weaving a saree, on the other hand, takes up to a minimum of two to three days.
How you can help preserve this technique
Even after such extensive and varying work, the craftsmen suffer as the cheaper mill made cloth (think: fast fashion) ends up dominating the market and the value of local handmade crafts continues to decline. That’s where you come in! By supporting Passion Lilie, you are supporting the craftsmen and women and artisans who make our garments by hand. The undying spirit of the artisans is a testament to the love of tradition. By supporting Passion Lilie, you also help to ensure these ancient traditions and craftsmanship can carry on for years to come and can continue to be passed down from one generation to the next. Shop now.