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A Collection of Shape Resist and Tie-Dyed Indian Turbans: Lahariya, Mothara and Bandhani

March 19, 2009

The flinty light of today’s rainy spring day makes for a subdued atmosphere to present a collection of exuberantly colored Indian turbans that were dyed and worn in the bright desert sun of Rajasthan.

This is a tight little group of mothara, lahariya and bandhani turbans: generally speaking you can characterize the shape resist techniques as such: mothara , very simply put is pleated and twisted on two diagonals and can yield a  complex and dazzling criss-cross effect.  Lahariya–which literally means “waves”– shows an intricate chevron-like pattern, and bandhani is what is called tie-dye.

Three madder-dyed bandhani turbans are positioned on the right side of the group: do they seem familiar in design?  Through a circuitous history of trade and travel, bandhani morphed into the present-day bandanna.

The group of turbans sits in a mended wooden trough from Gilgit, Pakistan; the trough sits on a collection of ralli quilts from Sindh, an area that traverses Pakistan and India.

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