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The Shoemaker's Stitch: Mochi Embroideries of Gujarat in the TAPI Collection

Shilpa Shah (Author) Rosemary Crill (Author)

The exquisite chain-stitch embroideries of Gujarat’s Mochi community are found in museum and private collections the world over, but the origins of the Mochis and their craftsmanship are rarely explored. This book is the first to delve deeply into the history of chain-stitch embroidery in India and its connections to the Mochi or shoe-maker community. 

This work focusses on chain-stitch embroideries from the 18th to 20th centuries in the renowned TAPI collection of textiles, with many pieces having direct links both to Gujarati royal families and the lineage of Mochi craftsmen and women. The previously unknown but significant role of the women of the Mochi community in creating embroidery pieces is also explored. 


The catalogue of images displays a wide range of exquisitely embroidered pieces ranging from Jain manuscript covers to portraits, items of clothing, fans, and furnishings, such as floor spreads, wall hangings and tent panels. The accompanying essays provide the background history of the Mochis and their work and also shed fresh light on chain-stitch embroideries in museums and private collections previously thought to be from the Mughal period. The book also gives an account of the contemporary scene, in which chain-stitch embroidery has found new directions and audiences worldwide.

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About the authors
In the spotlight

Shilpa Shah

Shilpa Shah is the co-founder of the TAPI Collection of Indian Textiles and Art. She researches and writes articles on Indian textile art, and holds an M.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

In the spotlight

Rosemary Crill

Rosemary Crill is Deputy Curator of the Indian & South-East Asian Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, where she specialises in Indian textiles and Rajasthani paiting. Her publications include Hats from India, Tie-dyed Textiles of India (co-author), Colours of the Indus: Costume and Textiles of Pakistan (co-author), Indian Ikat Textiles, Marwar Paiting: A History of the Jodhpur Style, and Indian Embroiderey.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Shoemaker's Stitch: Mochi Embroideries of Gujarat in the TAPI Collection
Format Hardcover
Date published: 20.05.2022
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Niyogi Books
Language: English
length Size: 254 mm x 320 mm
Subjects Textiles