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Showcasing works of Kutch craftswomen

Madhur Tankha

Exhibition to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to them



ALL SET: Craftswomen from Kutch preparing for the upcoming exhibition in Delhi.

NEW DELHI: To provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for craftswomen from remote villages, the Qasab-Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan is hosting a four-day exhibition which opens at the Aga Khan Hall on 6 Bhagwandas Road here on December 10.

Bringing alive resplendent embroideries and quilts from Kutch, the exhibition will showcase vibrant and colourful creations. The highlight of the show will be a collection of hand-made quilts called “Dhadki” with or without wadding, some from pierced blocks, whole cloth quilts in an array of colours, designs and techniques.

The works draw on the traditions of Kutch made by the craftswomen with a choice of colours combining the charm of their tradition and the needs of contemporary lifestyles.

Each piece is uniquely hand-quilted using decorative stitches, light embroideries, patchwork, appliqué that make them special. There is minimal use of home sewing machines in piecing together some of these quilts.

Extending the rich traditional skills of quilt-making from home use to making of quilts for contemporary markets, the “Dhadki” will become a livelihood option again for hundreds of village women who are skilled in this art.

While capturing the essence of the timeless traditions of Kutch, these creations reflect the journey of the craftswomen of Qasab-Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan that began in 1989.

An organisation of rural women from arid villages of Kutch district in Gujarat, the Qasab-Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan is gaining popularity every year. Of its 12,000 members, 1,200 are traditional craftswomen who have organised themselves to operate as “producer groups”.

To showcase their extraordinary craft skills, they embroider, design, innovate, produce and market together as “artisan entrepreneurs” and not as lowly-paid piece rate workers.

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