(Note: This is a special post created for ahmedabad4whc facebook group and its not a regular post of this blog)
Mata ni Pachedi (Cloth of Mother Goddess) – A rectangular piece of fabric offered to the goddess. The fabric is offered in the temples when any wish is fulfilled by the blessing of the deity.
1. Sanjay Manubhai Chitara and his brother Vasant Manubhai Chitara are only a few families (5 to be precise of the same clan) that are carrying on this 300 year old tradition of painting clothes. Seen here Sanjay and Vasant Manubhai filling colors to the design.
2. As this craft is preserved by the family system, it is necessary that each member of the family knows the craft well. Wife of Sanjay Manubhai filling the colors to the same design.
3. Don’t you expect the children of such families learning the craft at a very young age? Sumit, the six year son of Sanjay bhai is all focused on filling color to the design while his mother looks at his budding skill affectionately.
4. He is the new face of the family (still unnamed). The parents are very hopeful that these two kids will carry on the family tradition of making mata ni pachedi.
5. Traditionally, the pachedi was made in just three colours – white, black and deep red. Still the colors used for temples are the same but they are now made by block prints (and not hand printed). The price for these cloths starts from Rs 200. Seen here a block printed mata ni pachedi used for temple offerings.
6. The art is no longer limited to the temples, as most of the costly and finer hand made mata ni pachedi’s are purchased by art connoisseurs to be used as decoration for their drawing rooms / offices. For these creations, the colour range has gradually expanded to include orange, yellow, indigo, grey and pink. These hand printed designs sell from Rs 10,000 to Rs. 30, 000 (with marketing support from NID/NIFT/craftsmelas) depending on the cloth size and intricacies of the design. Seen here a large hand printed design along with a small one (Sells at Rs 400).
7. As the big designs are costly people ask for hand printed smaller designs. Seen here a small design that sells at Rs 100.
8. They have diversified to make hand printed silk stoles which sell at around Rs 1000. These stoles do not carry the image of goddess.
9. They are felicitated with the National Award – Sanjay Manubhai Chitara in 2000, his brother Vasant in 2001 and their parents Manubhai Chunilal and Manjuben Manubhai jointly in 2004. Sanjay Manubhai thinks that had there been support to provide the basic infrastructure required for mata ni pachedi (Table, blocks etc) along with marketing, other families would not have left this work. He talks about a special government project aimed to revive mata ni pachedi as a art, but was never implemented.
This family has now build a new beautiful house. The market for these products is increasing and hope they continue to cash in on the rare art expertise they possess. Leaving you with a family picture. Hope every craft family can be so happy 🙂