A vibrant state like Gujarat has a rich tryst with history. Over thousands of years, Gujarat has developed deep cultural values through rich art forms and crafts that are still followed to this day. The handicrafts prepared in Gujarat are world famous. Initially they were created for domestic use, but over time the stature of these crafts grew as they became increasingly varied and complex to produce striking works of art. With time, the handicrafts industry in Gujarat became a full-fledged one with a treasure trove of highly skilled artisans, who could use their creativity in different ways to produce a range of products that were beautiful and also economically viable.

Gujarat Handicrafts

Gujarat is renowned for its rich cultural heritage which has blossomed over many years of ancient Indian history. No wonder arts and all other craftworks related to Gujarati handicrafts have managed to successfully stand the test of time. The people of this region take pride in their craftsmanship and it is to this reason that the handicrafts are still practiced widely all across the state. The level of detail, the use of colors, intricate designs and the artistic touches involved in the making of these handicrafts have made them popular the world over.

The handicrafts industry in Gujarat received timely assistance from the government and other private parties. There was a time when a lot of skilled craftsmen left their villages to take up work as stone crushers to make a living. Through these government initiatives, the craftsmen were brought back and encouraged to practice traditional arts once again. The products created by these artisans can easily be purchased from emporiums in Delhi, Gujarat or Mumbai. The origins of these handicrafts can be traced as far back as the Harappan civilization. In sites like Rozdi, Rangpur and Lothal, archaeologists have been able to obtain priceless artifacts that were used by the people of those times. The state is also known for its embroidery, bandhani, leather work and hand block printing. Even the famous Kutch embroidery owes its legacy to the craftsmen of Gujarat.

Famous Gujarati Handicrafts are


This unique fabric known as the Patola of Patan is a striking women’s attire. The dress is strikingly beautiful with a myriad of colourful geometrical patterns employed skillfully into the fabric. Unlike printed saris, the Patolas are not created through the block process. Instead the tie and weave method is used here which results in the formation of identical patterns on either end of the fabric. The designs employed are artistic and usually complicated and usually have a geometrical uniformity about them. These silk saris are highly exquisite and are known to be expensive. They are prepared by craftsmen hailing from Patan.

Zari Work

This type of embroidery made popular by the artisans of Suratis one of the oldest handicrafts where its origins date back to the Mughal era. It relates to the use of gold thread embroidery in fabrics and the city of Surat has emerged to become one the most important destinations for Zari related work in the country. Typical products of this type include silver and gold threads, silver and gold imitations and other embroidery variations such as Kangari, Chalak, Tiki, Salama, Katori and Ring for the process of mortification through the Kinkhab. The Zari work is carried out on fabrics like saris, turbans, caps, blouses and also laces. You can spot intricate designs of animals, birds, fruits, leaves etc through the Tanchoi method which is usually weaved on silk cloths. The Indian brocade like the Kinkhab is a piece of Zari work with either silver or gold threads woven on silk. Kinkhab gold brocades prepared in Surat are world famous.


This type of art has been handed down over many generations and has its own unique cultural value. Earlier the fabric was dyed by using color extracts from the barks of trees and certain flowers. One of the important export and manufacturing centers for indigo was from the Sarkhei suburb in Ahmedabad. Among the women’s wear, the tie and die method along with Bandhani are extremely popular. The process involves in tying knots in piece of white fabric upon which it is dipped in a pool of colours to create a rich myriad of colours in varying depths of shades. The process is repeated in different ways to create colour depths in the fabric.

Cloth Printing

Cloth Printing is a complicated process which requires people with technical expertise to handle production duties. The process involves the use of screens and engraved wooden blocks. The styles can have subtle variations depending on the methods employed by the artisans. Some of the popular varieties of cloth printing are locally known as Lehria, Chundadi, Pomcha, Patola, Bandhani, Plain Gala and Nagaria. Even house hold decorative items like bed covers, table cloths, curtains and tapestries can be prepared through this method. Those fabrics which are painted by hand are usually inexpensive and are typically available in shades of maroon, red, black and ochre. These fabrics are known round the world for these striking variety and durability. Another type of printing method known as Mat-no-Chandarvo is used to prepare temple curtains. The origins for this method are owed to the Vahari –Harijans hailing from Ahmedabad. It’s a traditional printing method through which Goddess Durga is sitting on a throne or is seated on the back of a tiger thronged by several of her devotees.

Wood Carving

This is an ancient art which over the years produced craftsmanship of sublime skills. Some of the best examples of wood carvings can be found on the grand doors of temples and houses all around Gujarat. Highly skilled wood carvers manage to create life sized carvings of even day to day objects like tables, tea pots, stools, toys and lamps. Animal wooden toys are specifically popular items that can be used for decorative purposes in your homes. Idar and Mahuva are popular for their lacquer based too works. A place like Sankheda within the Baroda district is known purely for their expertise in lacquer craft. Country wood is ideally used to create the products as it provides darker variations and shades when compared to the rest.  Fine lac is used to add coating to the items. Saurasthra is popular for it toys, toilet boxes, lamp shades, bamboos, idols, banana stumps and other artistic products like water pots or jar that are made from clay. It’s the women folk from this region who usually do the wood work on these products.


A little village called Banni along the Rann of Kutch is popular for its artistic embroidery culture. The fabrics involve the incorporation of tiny mirrors that are carefully weaved to create a glitter effect. This is one of the finest kinds of embroidery methods in existence and is known as Abhla-Bharat. When a bride goes to live with her husband, it’s a part of tradition to see her off with a new set of cholis and skirts that have been embroidered in exquisite detail.

Inlay Work

Ivory is a popularly used to create inlay work. It is ideally used on sandal wood and bangles where it is artistically inlaid within carvings.

Bead Work

This is specialty of places like Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Rajkot and Jamnagar. Bead work is carried out in products like carpets, belts, torans and chopats.


Jewellery making has always occupied a special place in the heritage of Gujarati handicrafts. The process involves stone cutting, open wire work, filigree work and carvings as well. Each region in Gujarat has adopted its own characteristic approach to jewelry making. In Kutch, silver craft is famous where the artisan silver plates are created by incorporation of methods like embossing, scrapping and etching. Some of the popular items belonging to silver craft include flower vases, Gulsbadanis, Attardanis, trays, powder and jewelry boxes, ash and cigarette boxes. Thee craftsmen are highly skilled and employ techniques such as chiseling, heating, surfacing, drilling and polishing to create work of arts like necklaces, bowls, studs, ear-rings and trays. This industry can be traced to Cambay.

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