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The Rich Culture of Rogan Art!

We live in an era where people like to experiment new things, try different trends and customise them according to their choice. Clothes are one of the basic things which people love to be creative with such as haute couture, Indo-western trends, contemporary mixes, etc. For people who love to experiment with their attire, this handmade clothing art form is the perfect find. Rogan art is the technique of painting on fabric, crafted from thick brightly coloured paint made with castor seed oil. This art form is different and exclusive because there are only two families who have successfully sustained this tradition of Kachchh district of Gujarat.

Rogan is a rare and ancient form of clothing art. The traditional Rogan flower motifs and designs speak of a Persian influence and the word Rogan itself means oil-based in Persian. It is a work very finely done, where the artisans place small amount of paint paste into their palms. At room temperature, the paint is carefully twisted in motifs and images with the use of a metal needle that somehow never touches the fabric!

Today, Nirona village in Kachchh is the only place where this craft is still alive. Rogan art has been carried on by a ‘Khatri’ family for over 300 years. Since eight generations this family has consistently been fashioning this craft, evolving the art and now fabricating it into modern knots while still maintaining the traditional touch. They have as yet won six national and four state awards for excelling in Rogan art. They also created the handicraft Rogan paintings that PM Modi presented to Barack Obama on his 2014 US tour.

“Rogan art is a rare craft that is not well known, even in India. Because of its intricate work, it is difficult to make and so is practiced only by our family in India. Most of the ancient Rogan artisans lost their art at the time of partition or to the generation leap,” says Siddiq Khatri, son of the Khatri family. Abdul Gaffar Bhai Khatri is the head of the family and he has successfully kept the art breathing and ensures that his next generations learn and practice regularly to expand Rogan.

They make beautifully printed kurtas , dupattas , palazzos , sarees and wall-hangings, curtains and more. You can get their work on several portals such as FabIndia, Indicraft, Flipkart etc. You can even get your own clothing customised directly from the artisans by contacting them (umber is provided). They also set up their stalls in the Ahmedabad handicraft festivals during November-December and in Rann Utsav. Trust me, it is worth all the wait!

Cheers!

 

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