This exquisite exhibition piece showcases the incredible hand embroidery work of multiple Kachchh desert communities including; Dhanetah Jat, Meghwar, Sindhi Memon, Mutwa and Sodha Rajput.
Dhanetah Jat women design and produce exquisite, labour-intensive embroidery. The power of Jat embroidery comes largely 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’re sewn."
The women of the Meghwar community are highly skilled embroiderers. Just as we learn to write each letter before making a word, they learn each stitch to make the pattern. Following their mothers lead, they learn the designs of their community slowly as they grow. The Meghwar motifs are tightly stitched and bright, bold and colorful.
The Sindhi Memon community migrated into the Kachchh Desert of Gujarat from the Sindh region of Pakistan many years ago. They are a Muslim tribe who prefer floral motifs and fine, detailed embroidery which they complete with a single thread. As with many of the communities in Kachchh who maintain a vibrant stitch tradition, the women may be identified by their costume and embroidery. They have special designs which may be worn by an unmarried girl, a married woman, or a widow.
Mutwa communities, originally from the Sindh region, now live in remote villages scattered through the Banni region of Kachchh. The embroidery of the Mutwa women is ethereal and intricate. Tiny mirrors and minuscule stitches distinguish them from other communities. The sparkle reflected in the mirrors dance in the light.
The Sodha Rajput community used to live in Sindh, Pakistan but have now mostly migrated to Kachchh, India. They are primarily farmers but with their migration from Sindh as late as 1971 during the Indo-Pakistan war, they have been left with some of the least fertile land. They brought with them their embroidery, and most importantly their exceptional embroidery skills and designs. Sodha embroidery is strong and durable with geometric, curvilinear lines and full of flowers, birds, animals and figurative motifs.
The work these communities do for Maiwa is extraordinary in its quality and robust beauty.
Bring the richness of desert cultures into your hands — an heirloom for the future. Each embroidery is a unique expression of the woman who made it.
Size is approx. 55" x 29.5" (140cm x 75cm).
Features: Hand embroidered piece set on a silk border. Featuring 4 loops across the top for hanging on a dowel or however you like.
*Colours may appear different on different monitors and in different lighting conditions.
For centuries embroidery has been an expression of personality ...
The language of stitches builds within a community over hundreds of years. It is a source of identity that is transferred from one generation to the next. It is learned in the same way a spoken language is learned; with children sitting beside the adults. In an oral culture the stitched language records everything of importance from the epic to the personal.
Maiwa works with embroiderers through many co-operative structures within India. The women embroider, design, market and innovate as entrepreneur artisans. The goal is financial self-determination and empowerment through education and a clear sense of the value of their work.
As part of our commitment to encouraging exceptional needlework we commission large format embroideries. For many ambitious stitchers, these works give the necessary breadth to express themselves. They design the play of motifs, the border elements, the colour palette and they set to work. Embroideries of this scale may take many months to complete, as the woman do not embroider as a full time occupation. Rather, this embroidery is done among other family tasks, or while visiting in groups with other embroiderers.
This embroidery piece is one of a kind.
Meet the Artisans.