an ancient Sanskrit
word meaning


sari exhibition


Women of Gujarati origin wear this colourful outer garment, wrapped artfully around the waist with one end draped over the shoulder.

The cloth is made of silk, cotton or synthetic material and can be up to six metres in length. It is often further embellished with gold or silver threads, mirrors, bells and glass.

Many different styles of Sari have developed across India, differentiated by where and how they were made, and the materials and techniques used. Gujarat, with its long history of handicrafts, trade and industry, produces a bewildering array of types of sari.

The sari in this collection belong to the women of Subrang Arts and therefore demonstrate contemporary styles, tastes and manufacturing methods.

Showing a sari in its full-length form emphasises the beautiful colours, rich material and intricate embellishment of these fabrics. It shows how these garments became an obvious choice for being traded outside Gujarat, to different parts of India and to the countries along the African coast.


Contemporary Embroidery Exhibition

All cultures have traditions of embroidery. Influences and cross-fertilizations can be traced along trade routes and patterns of migration. Trade and natural fabrics of an area affect the kind of stitches that are produced. The same stitches are found in countries separated by great distances, perhaps stitches migrated because of contacts made through trade or the migration of people.

To coincide with the ‘Gujarati Yatra – Journey of a people’ exhibition at the Museum of Croydon, Subrang Arts conducted workshops in Gujarati embroidery over a period of nine months with the local community. For this exhibition, the group has taken inspiration from the rich tradition of Gujarati embroidery.

A visual feast, this exhibition charts the generational art with skills taught from mother to daughter. They have embroidered clothes for festive occasions and to decorate deities and in addition to create a source of income. In Gujarat, women not only embroider their garments, but also use them as items for decorating their houses such as chaklas, wall hangings, toran, pillow covers, or cushion cover.

Each of the 30 crafts women have developed a very distinct style, using different techniques to interpret the artefacts and to show an individual style. They have created a diverse and creative range such as running stitch (thebha), back stitch (bakhiyo), stem stitch (amlo), fly stitch (bhat no tankoudan), chain stitch (sankari), single feather stitch (peechhatanko), buttonhole stitch (gaajtanko), herringbone stitch (sadotanko), cross stitch (chokditanko), satin stitch (reshmitanko), interlaced cross stitch (bavadio) and mirror work (abhla).