January 03, 2012

Matani Pachhedi -Kalamkari art from Gujarat, India

Making of Matani Pachhedi(backdrop) is traditional craft from Ahemedabad,major town of Gujarat,India. Matani Pachhedi is kalamkari art similar to one which is practiced in south India. "Kalam" means pen and "kari" means craftsmanship or artistry. so roughly speaking this art is "artistry with pen" or "drawing with pen". Matani pachhedi is dedicated to goddess Amba or Durga. Drawing depicting stories from mythology related to Goddess Amba, is made on cotton fabric. This cloth is used as a backdrop in temple of Goddess. Idea very similar to "Pichhevai" art form of Rajasthan.

Photo description: Matani Pachhedi with its intricate drawing

This 300 years old art form is tradition of "Vaghari" community of Gujarat. Traditionally,only Maroon and Black colours were used for motifs, in this sacred cloth. Black was also used for giving outline to motifs.Today they have become riot of colours,thanks to their demand as wall hangings for homes. Maroon denoted mother earth and Black was used as a protection against evil eyes. Background colour used to be White traditionally. 

Photo description: Traditional colours were Maroon and Black.

I had an opportunity to meet Mr, Sanjay Manubhai Chitara ,master craftsman, who has won state as well as national award for keeping alive this traditional craft. 

Drawing is done by Bamboo tip, finely sharpened, to draw fine outlines. 

Photo description: Drawing by Bamboo Tip

Photo description: Outlines were drawn using Black colour

Intricate basic drawing is done by males of the family while colours are filled in by female members.

Photo description: Maroon colour is filled in drawing

All colours used for Pachhedi are vegetable dyes. Making it eco-friendly product. Once this piece is ready it is washed in river water before it is used.

Photo description: filling the colours

Photo description:  Plain border on all sides.

All pachhedis have plain border which is also known as Lasso Patti.

Photo description: Traditional colours of Matani Pachhedi

My fascination with India's traditional arts,crafts and textiles gets stronger with each foray into their wonderful world.


  1. Beautiful. Art & Photo essay. Loved the detailing.

  2. amivarsha patelJanuary 05, 2012

    Very informative. Nice detailed photos. exclusive craftsmenship!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Hi,

    Brilliant artwork, never heard of this before. Thanks for sharing the link. Liked your blog too.

  4. Hi, its beautiful. Liked the detailed form of art that your photographs depicts; its brilliant!!

    1. is there an email id where we can reach you ?

  5. Quite informative ..throws light on our culture ..post some more information...
    on arts and craft of gujrat..

  6. Very interesting to read about the art form, Sonali. A beautiful series of images illustrating this, too.

  7. I understand your fascination with these crafts!

  8. AnonymousJune 06, 2012

    Fascinating to the works in progress

  9. Lovely insight into this process.

    Thanks for following my blog

  10. can i get the address of these craftmen?