Traditional Craftmenship > Mata ni Pachedi

Mata ni Pachedi

Shri Manubhai Chitara and his family has been following this tradition of making the Mata ni Pachedi for more than 10 decades. The style of this artwork is drawn from the Kalamkari paintings. The method involves drawing on a cotton cloth with a stick made from the date plant with natural dyes. The motifs are drawn from Hindu goddesses and the cloth is made to hang behind the holy idol of the goddess. Today this is a showpiece that is found in many an art lovers home. The cloth is something that is offered as a token of gratitude to the goddess by those who seek her blessings especially during Navratri.

The paintings have a lot of detail in their motifs of mountains, goddesses, animals, trees, rivers and the sun. All colours are natural and made from natural products. Yellow is derived from mango or turmeric, orange from the henna plant, blue from indigo, black from iron water and so on, through a carefully designed, meticulous process. Black and brown are prominent colours. All colours have a symbolic religious significance. The process involves treatment of the cloth and application of different colours in different stages and is a long and detailed one. It takes almost two months to complete a painting with a dimension of 60 X 90 inch. The practice of this art is kept within the family members and has been passed down through the generations. The interviewee's family has to its credit a 35 X 4 feet detailed painting which is one of the largest that has ever been made and has received several state and national awards.

Source: Personal conversation with Sanjay Manubhai Chitara

Contributed by: Shailesh Bhalani, CEE Ahmedabad

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Muslin Fabric

This gossamer light muslin fabric has found mention in the writings of many visitors to India, even as far back as the 3rd century B.C. A great deal of muslin was produced in and exported from Bengal. Dacca was the main region where cotton was cultivated due to the high humidity of the region, which prevented the delicate thread from breaking on contact with the air. The cotton spun was very white since the Brahmaputra and the Ganges Rivers have bleaching properties. The chikan workers in Bengal used this fine muslin for embroidery.

Stitches in Chikankari

Double-Star Earring, Peacock Feather's Eye, Sidhual, Makra, Mandarzi, Bulbulchashm, Tajmahal, Phooljali, Phanda, Dhoom, Gol, murri, Janjeera, Keel, Kangan, Bakhia, Dhania Patti, lambi Murri, Kapkapi, Karan Phool, Bijli, Ghaspatti, Rozan, Meharki, Kaj, Chameli, Chane ki Patti, Balda, Jora, Pachni, Tapchim Kauri, Hathkati and Daraj of various types.