Friday, January 4, 2013

Picture Day Friday: Ralli Quilts of Thar

Ralli quilts are traditional quilts made by the Thari women of the Sindh, Rajasthan, and Gujurat regions of Pakistan and India that border the Great Thar Desert. I blogged about the Thari women a month ago HERE.

The Thari women of this region have been quilting for thousands of years. It's a home-based cottage industry that used recycled and hand-dyed cotton cloth. The rallis come in three categories of design: patchwork, appliqué, and embroidery. The traditional colors are called satrangi or seven colors: white, black, red, yellow orange, dark green, blue, and purple. They are made in a simple way with only fabric, thread, needles, and scissors.

An interesting historical note: Rallis are also quilted by far northern Finland's Saami people. Just as the Finno-Ugric languages, or Uralic as they're currently known, are one of the main offshoots of the original Indo-European languages, quilt-making techniques could have traveled north the same trade routes through central Asia. (Of course, I'm speculating here, but it's plausible.)