Bringing together crafts from Kutch

Kutch Craft Collective is a combined effort of craft organisations in Kutch to maximize on development interventions and create unique identity of authentic Kutch crafts at Global Level. Kutch Craft Collective presents its first exhibition bringing forth a showcase of curated textile and non-textile craft products from Kutch. This 3-day exhibition will be held from February 14–16, 2020 at The Aga Khan Hall, 6, Bhagwan Das Road, New Delhi.

It will present a rare opportunity for the Delhi audience to appreciate the prized artisanal crafts of Kutch region under one roof in a never before manner. Kutch Craft Collective builds a unique global identity for Kutch crafts, while continually working on the ground for its development. Comprising of five organisations – Kala Raksha, Khamir, Shrujan, Qasab, and Vivekanand Rural Development Institute (VRDI), KCC members reach out to more than 8000 artisan families associated with all the vibrant craft forms of Kutch.

The organisations were established over past few decades to conserve traditional crafts and support artisans of Kutch and create livelihood opportunities for artisans. They play a vital role in sustenance of local craft practices and its transition to contemporary markets through design evolution.

These five organisations share common vision, values and collaborate with each other on a regular basis. They also interact with the government for craft development activities, ensuring the growth of creative cultural economy of Kutch.

Artisanal sarees, handloom and printed fabrics, bags and accessories, lifestyle products, art panels, home furnishings and more products from Kutch region will be on display and sale.

The event also includes ethnic embroideries from more than 14 ethnic communities of Kutch. The hard material crafts (3D crafts) includes traditional lac-tuned-wood craft from Kutch's semi-nomadic Vadha community. The melodic metal bells tuned by Luhar artisans with their skills to add melodious tunes. They are also bringing the artistic and hand crafted leather craft products made by gifted skill of the Kutchi Meghwal craftsmen. The artisan communities are abreast with the need of the day as they recycle plastic by a technique called plastic weaving through which they craft products of daily use. The distinctive block prints of Ajrakh and unique centuries-old block printed and hand painted Batik, Bandhni (Tie Dye) will be brought to Delhi for sale. There will be exquisite Handloom items such as the Kutch weave, kala cotton, carpets, rugs, tangalia weave items crafted using a 700 years old traditional hand-weaving technique, and desi wool items.

"We are happy to see what began as initiatives to support the traditional crafts and artisans in distress, has taken the shape of a full-fledged social enterprise. We take pride in the fact that our efforts have enabled second generation of artisans to continue with these traditional methods of earning livelihood as a viable option rather than option for more lucrative modern jobs," says Amiben Shroff of Shrujan, Mentor KCC.

"We are happy to have revived traditional craft eco-systems and redefine them for a local to global shift of customer base," says Ghatit Laheru, Director, Khamir.

Qasab Kutch Craftswomen Producer Co. is one of a kind initiative where ownership of the business is held by rural craftswomen from cultural communities as shareholders and management is done by a professional team," said Punit Soni, CEO Qasab.

"At KCC, we interact with the government officials, policy makers and other agencies on common platforms on behalf of these artisans to provide them a bigger platform for their crafts. We are happy to see them thrive and take on a National role," says Kishor Bhadra of VRDI.

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