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aba 1929.119
aba front 1929.119
aba detail 1929.119
aba lining 1929.119

This lavish tunic or abho is made of striking maroon silk which has been finely tie-dyed in the bandhani technique. The silk has then been further decorated with a type of gold thread stitching which has been applied by couching, known as karchobi work. It almost certainly represents the work of professional dyers and embroiderers in Gujarat, Western India, around 1900.

This loose robe has a very simple cut and would have been worn as a traditional wedding outfit, or as dress for festivals, by women in North West India, especially by those from the Muslim communities. This abho would have been worn with matching salwar, or trousers, with bands of gold thread embroidery around the lower legs, and a head veil would complete the ensemble. The kamiz worn by women in India and Pakistan today, and by these communities in Britain, is related to the abho, and has been popularized in high fashion by such figures as Cherie Booth and Jemimah Khan.

Full item descriptions:

"robe & aba" [1929.119]

Related Themes:

Wedding Dresses