Embroidery has long been a tradition in India . Each place banners their unique style which has characteristics that describe its origin. Ahir Bharat Embroidery is an Indian embroidery style that is known for its flowing style. This traditional fabric ornamentation was derived from the Ahir tribe of Kutch , which includes Bhuj, Anjar and Mandvi talukas. Ahir women from these communities had worked on this handicraft tradition since the early centuries. Kutch was even a part of Central Asia ’s trade route with the Far East .
Having originated in the home of handicraft traditions, Ahir Bharat Embroidery has been weaved magically with colors and life. Often compared with other embroidery styles like Mochi and Aari embroidery, Ahir Bharat Embroidery is notable for its predominant color combination of white, yellow, green, red and blue patterned and weaved on a white, yellow or orange background.
Fabric designs for Ahir Bharat Embroidery are first sketched free hand before they are transferred onto a cloth using stencil and embroidered. Peackocks, parrots, scorpions, elephants, flower, and tear drop shapes are some of the signature motif Ahir Bharat Embroidery as inspired by the flora and fauna environment that surround them. Before these patterns are created, several stitches are used. To create a flower pattern, it requires a repetitive use of circles. For bird patterns like peacock and parrots, blending of colors is stitched. The detail found on the outermost part is called the ‘Kanta’ as it resembles the babool tree thorn. ‘Dana’ is the stitch for filling gaps while ‘Bakhiya’ is what the detailing stitch is called. The chain stitches or ‘Sankali’ serve as outline for the herringbone stitch or ‘Vana’.
Ahir Bharat Embroidery is commonly used in creating embroidered bags, Chaklas (wall hangings), and embroidered strips (Sanklas or Bardanklas), which is placed on every side of the doorway with a hanging Toran over it. Ahir Bharat Embroidery is often made of Rayon, Polyester, Silk, Cotton and wool fabrics. These cloths require colorful embroidery threads and circular mirrors or Abhla.
It is considered that the Ahir tribe are descendants of Lord Krishna and it is supposed that centuries ago, the community migrated with him from Mathura .
More than a tradition Ahir Bharat Embroidery is a way of life in the Ahir community. From households, quilts, chaklas, pillow cases, godali, and other items made from embroidery, the Ahir women had popularized their local embroidery with how their clothing. From birth, an Ahir child experiences his first embroidered cradle cloth (ghodiyu). Younger women showcase contrasting colors like red, green, brown, orange and yellow with white. Older women in the community wear plain and simple embroideries. Not only women, but men also wear colorful Ahir Bharat Embroidery until they turn 15. Colors represent ones subgroup depending on the head shawl and skirt.
Aside from Ahir Bharat Embroidery, other Indian Embroidery styles include Aari Bharat Embroidery, Banni Embroidery, Banjara Embroidery, Bidri Embroidery, Kantha Embroidery, ChikanKari Embroidery, Kathi Embroidery, Kasuti Embroidery, Kashmiri Embroidery, Mirror Embroidery, Rabari Embroidery, Phulkari Embroidery, Zardozi Embroidery and Soof Embroidery.
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Ahir Bharat Embroidery, Aari Bharat Embroidery, Banni Embroidery, Banjara Embroidery, Bidri Embroidery, Kantha Embroidery, ChikanKari Embroidery, Kathi Embroidery