Rabari Embroidery


Rabari Embroidery

Rabari Embroidery (Source: textiletrails)

Defined by the Rabari community residing in Kutch, this variety of embroidery is known for the use of mirrors in various size and shapes. The variety of stitching styles defined in this embroidery has made the tradition of Kutch Rabari embroidery famous across the world. Along with mirrors, the chain stitch method used to outline the garments decoratively has given this style a unique and beautiful edge over various others in the league.

Origin & History

For as long as the Rabaris have been on this earth, the Rabari traditional embroidery has been in existence. The difference in the styles gives out the differences in the various Rabari communities that range from Kutch to Rajasthan. The Rabari embroidery variety is mainly defined by the use of mirrors. Colorful wear defines traditional Rabari wear. Most of the designs are inspired by mythology and desert habitation. It’s an interesting collaboration of style, design, and colors.

Sources of Inspiration

The beautiful mirror work, aesthetic designs and the exquisite choice of colors along with the touch of tradition has worked as a source of inspiration for this embroidery culture. This artistic piece of clothing gives out a completely different experience to the people. In fact, the value of these artisans and their work has gone up in the recent times with people becoming traditionally bound. This work has been passed over generations and enjoys its own stature.

Rabari Embroidery

Rabari Embroidery (Source: textiletrails)

Faces Behind the Fabric

The Rabaris occupying the postural regions of Kutch are famous for their embroidery creations. Across the world, this Rabari embroidery from the Kutchi quarters has gained popularity due to their ornamental designs and aesthetic placements.

This is a tradition that is especially taught to the womenfolk. Very local yet very beautiful, this tradition has its roots somewhere in mythology as well. The Rabaris, in spite of being nomadic, have not shared their traditional embroidery secret with anyone. It is still very much Kutchi in nature.


The embroidery is imbibed in the garments as well as the handicrafts and other cosmetic items in the regions of Kutch. The varieties in this embroidery are mainly observed in the placement of the mirrors and the fascinating stitches made along the borders. Moreover, the various different styles of stitches which include the famous back stitch form a variety in this embroidery tradition.

Present Day Scenario

This embroidery has formed the basis of economy in the Kutch regions of Gujarat for the Rabari folk. With the Kala Raksha in full form, more and more artisans are getting monetary benefits from this culture. The demand for the Kutchi embroidery has increased in and across the world. Today, Kutchi embroidery is one of India’s largest exports.


Without giving up on the tradition, the Rabari embroidery of Kutch has imbibed within it a lot of contemporary designs and fashion. Keeping itself abreast with the current fashion and designs, this art has innovated itself to match up to them. The way the Kutchi embroidery is portrayed or produced bears resemblance to the current fashion requirements. Innovation has been observed in the adaptation of this embroidery in horizons beyond garments.

Wearing Rabari 

Marriages or traditional functions are ideal occasions for the Rabaris Embroidery of Kutch. The Rabari marriages spread a lot of colors because of this embroidery wear. One can even wear this embroidery wear during festive seasons apart from marriage. The purses and other cosmetic items produced using this embroidery can be used during regular occasions.


Winters are the best time to wear the Rabari Embroidery of Kutch. Of course, for the Rabari folk this is their attire for all seasons. But, one cannot survive this wear due to the thickness of the material during summers. Also, the heaviness of the material of this garment would make it suitable for special occasions only.


This garment should be dipped in luke warm water and, should not be exposed to too much of chemicals and soap. The ideal way to maintain this material would be getting it dry cleaned.


The Kutchi jewellery is beautifully designed and matches well with the Rabari embroidery. In fact, the oxidized jewelry which includes the huge chokers, bangles and earrings gives the attire a bedazzling appearance.

Interesting Facts & Comparisons

  • The style of embroidery may be traditional but has been evolving continuously to match up new trends.
  • The styles are defined by not only the community by also the socio-economic stature and culture.
  • The dowry includes a lot of this embroidery work. The girl has to stitch her dowry on her own and, would be married when the dowry is ready.


Categories:   Motifs & Embroideries

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