We then took an impromptu visit to Kala Raksha, of grassroots social enterprise dedicated to the preservation of traditional Kutch arts. ( I had been enamored by some pieces I had seen at a craft fair in Chennai a few years ago and had kept its business card). Our guide was keen for us to meet Judy Frater, an American who visited the area as curator at the Textile Museum in Washington DC, fell in love with Kutch embroidery and subsequently stayed and founded the organization. While we were waiting for Judy to arrive, we were shown the room where exemplars of traditional pieces of varying styles were preserved in museum–quality format. Such preservation with accompanying documentation not only served to ensure that Kutch-style embroidery can be seen in the future, but it also provides inspiration to artisans as they create new designs.
For more information on Kala Raksha, visit their website http://www.kala-raksha.org/