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Two Lahariya “Tie Dyed” Indian Turbans, a Sindhi Ralli and an Afghani Embroidered Bag

Written on November 11, 2008

How about a blast of saturated, bright color today?  Here are two lahariya turbans: lahariya is a kind of wrap resist (or tie-dye or shibori) dyeing process, usually resulting in ‘wavy’ stripes or zigzags.  Lahariya dyeing is the province of Jaipur, India and these two examples are done of gossamer-thin cotton muslin and probably date to the middle of the last century.  The book “Tie-dyed Textiles of India: Tradition and Trade” published by the Victoria and Albert Museum shows many examples of lahariya turbans.  I’ve shown similar examples on my website, here.

The small, envelope-shaped embroidered cotton bag is from Afghanistan and is lined in a kind of block print cotton, whose curved and floral print is a wonderful contrast to the intricate, interlocking geometries of the counted thread embroidery of the exterior.

And please note the gorgeous textile which these others sit on; this is a ralli, or a heavily layered and stitched quilt which comes from the area called Sindh, which now extends across the border between Gujarat/Rajasthan/Punjab, India and Pakistan.  I love this ralli for its wear: note the abrasion to the surface of the quilt which reveals the multi-colored layers beneath. 

Rallis can be made from left over cloth, and they can assume a variety of forms, from bedcovers to cushion covers, to saddle blankets and the like.  The word ralli comes from the local word ralanna, which means to connect or to mix.  I have some really nice rallis on my website, and in time, I will be offering for sale on my website all the textiles shown here on this post–  feel free to e mail me if you’re interested.

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  1. Comment by Anaka Narayanan:

    Hey! Leheria is one of my favourite textile crafts! It’s so simple (although painstaking to get many colours) but the effect is striking. I use a lot of leheria in my clothes. And “leher” means “wave” in Hindi…

    November 13, 2008 @ 6:46 am