Hand embroidered wall hanging, Chakla, Kutch (Gujarat)
Early 20th century
Dimensions–51 X 51 CM
This square-shaped wall hanging locally known as ‘Chakla’ meaning a cloth having four angles, is embroidered using Mochi embroidery. Chaklas are also used as ceremonial cloths or table cloths.
‘Mochi’ is the local word for the shoemaking community in Gujarat. The Mochi community from Kutch and Saurashtra were traditionally cobblers and leather workers by trade, but eventually developed the art of embroidering chain stitch in fine silk using ‘Aari’ (needle) so it is known as ‘Aari’embroidery.
The craft of Aari embroidery existed in India from the 12th century and was patronized by the Mughal courts. Butti’ of Persian origin peacocks in beautiful forms, stylized flowering scrubs, and ‘Patli’ were some of the decorative designs commonly used along with animals and human figures. It is said to have developed their methods of Aari-work embroidery from the craft tradition in Sind of embroidering leather belts, shoes, and bags.
This Chakla is hand embroidered using multicolored threads on pink and green silk fabric. Motifs of parrot and floral patterns are used. The edges of the Chakla are laced with different borders.