Leather Embroidery & Applique of Gujarat

The artisans of Bhuj create the most strikingly vibrant leather panels using multicoloured threads, mirrors and cotton cloth. The raw material is procured locally with leather from Ahmedabad and mirrors from the village itself whereas the products are being marketed and sold internationally.

The men are involved in making leather products while the embroidering is done by the women folk.

The manufacturing process is simple. The leather, goat hide for mirrors/ panels and camel hide for footwear, is cut into the desired shape if the product already has embroidery on it while in case the leather is to be dyed a different colour, the dyeing is done before making the final product. The leather is then punched with designs after which coloured cotton cloth is attached behind the punched patterns as a backing. The leather is finally hand-stitched into the shape and decorated further by hand- stitching along the seams. The tools used are needles for stitching leather seams and punches with different shapes to make holes and patterns in the leather. The entire community of harijan artisans practice this craft.