The state of Gujarat has always been an epitome of art work and its culture, a storehouse of vibrance! The following line by a writer justifies this fact:
“For the peasant women of Gujarat, a needle is her pen with which she gives expression to her creativity and reiterates her relationship with religion and nature.”
‘A needle is her pen with which she gives expression to her creativity’ explains how the art of mirror work, commonly called as ‘Abhala Bharat’ or ‘Shisha’ embroidery has dwelled, developed and beautified on the land of Gujarat. The shades of this embroidery change as we move across different regions, with one thing being constant – Shisha (or mirror). The creativity of mirror work lies in the colourful framework of stitches that hold these special mirrors (having variations like hand-cut antique mirrors, machine-cut embroidery glass and flat sequin mirrors) to the fabric. The darker the colour of the base fabric, exotic the embellishment look in the final outcome.
A trip to Gujarat will be incomplete without shopping. Items of home décor like wall hangings, bed spreads, Toran (doorway decorations that are believed to bring home good luck), tapestries, apparels and accessories like odhnies (shawls), gaghras (skirts), cholis (bodices) and bags are good options to choose from. Spending on any piece of art decorated with intricate motifs of needlework and sparkling mirrors would be a cherished decision.
Mirror-work indeed rule the handicrafts of Gujarat!
To know more about Gujarat you may refer to the following: