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Ahir Embroidery of Kutch, Gujarat

     Ahir Embroidery of Kutch, Gujarat was practiced by a group of Ahirs who migrated from Mathura with Lord Krishna and later settled down in North Western part of  Gujarat including Kutch. Embroidery researchers believe that this embroidery is at least 500 years old.

           Ahirs were inspired by nature which reflects in their embroidery. Like Sachu phool ( real flower), Zad ( tree), Sedh phool, Mor (peacock), Tunaro Phool, Chatoodiya phool, human figures, Deities like Lord Ganesh and Lord Krishna which formed their spiritual motifs.


                      A circular motif created using mirrors was known as " Dhungo".

Dungho Motif Variation ( Half Dungho)

                       Ahirs firstly, "Aarekhani", ie., they draw the pattern using Geru stone from river shore or Golaado leaves with which traditional ink is prepared. Then outline of motif is worked using "Saankdi" (open chain stitch), later filling is done using " Vanno" ( herringbone stitch) and lastly highlighters are added using Back stitch. Aablas ( mirror) are widely used and most important aspect of this embroidery is , Ahirs use varied shapes of mirrors like round, square, triangle and almond ( tear drop shape). Aablas are worked using buttonhole or herringbone stitch. "Baavadiyo" ( interlacing or maltese cross stitch) are also used as highlighters.

                  Ahir embroidery is done using "pat" thread ( untwisted silk threads) and they also do use twisted silk thread for Saankdi stitch.

Depicting Lord Krishna Motif

Lord Krishna Motif, Ahir Embroidery

                 Ahir embroidery is very dense and  hardly base fabric is visible. Even if a small space is left they cover blank area with highlighters like 'Danno, Baavadiyo'.


  1. Besides being such an amazing embroiderer I can see you are a generous teacher as well. Thank you for sharing all the information.

  2. Thanks a lot Liana D, my pleasure !!! Glad you liked my page .

  3. Love this post. So much details and wonderful pictures.


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