AUD $220.00

Indian, Embroidered Bedding Cover.

A hand embroidered rectangular cotton “dharaniyo” or draped cover for stacked bedding quilts, from Gujurat, in the deserts of Western India.

This drape seems to serve the same function as the Uzbek and Tajik “bugjamas” and “saye goshas” where every day the folded quilts or bedding are stacked out of the way against the back wall of the room or yurt.
These hangings or drapes are recognised by having an unfinished top where the embroidery is either minimal or left blank.
This section is invisible, when it is tucked into the stacked folds, the decorated section hanging down to be viewed.
Adding both extra colourful decoration to the display and protection through the designs embroidered on them reinforced with the “shisha” mirrorwork which deflects and repels the gaze of the everlurking Evil Eye.
Initially I was disappointed to find there was no provision to hang it and therefore it had never been used, but once you realise it’s a “dharaniyo” then it no longer requires loops at the top corners. (and can be used and older accordingly.)

Borders of “shisha” in circular sewn motifs run around three sides working there way in towards three very bold appliqued solar discs (centred with either shisha or a white button replacement) surrounding a central “tree of life” with mirrors, chain stitched wedding camels and women with pots on their heads.
Other motifs are very stylized, like a very dynamic tree of life which is almost a centipede or scorpion (now I’m starting to see scorpions, too!)
Having laid out and sewn her whole design, it seems at the last minute or later she got hold of some glittery tinsel braid which she used to fill some minor gaps (well where she could find space to fit them.)
My 97 year old aunt, Gwen, used to carefully unwrap presents admiring the quality of the ribbon, as she folded it for later. Remembering the days when a piece of ribbon alone was the present.
(Once again the tinsel offends my purist eyes, but to a poor desert semi nomad it must have been marvelous, just as it took me decades to get used to “shocking pink” in tribal pieces for the same reasons.)

Either Rajput or Rabari, from Kutch or Saurashtra, Gujurat.

Generally in very good condition, for its age, except a few “shisha” mirrors are missing.
It is usual for some to have been lost if the embroidery has genuine age and useage, although this piece is in too good a condition to have seen a lot of use
Although one broken mirror has been replaced with a button, indicating a time span.

The reverse roughly handspun and woven natural cotton “khadi” is older and is carefully patched and reiforced in places
there are also some small stains at the top which would dissappear if the top were folded back to hang.

Remember Indian dyes are seldom colourfast, so here’s a warning not to wash it. (Not even using salt in the water.)
Another similar piece we have, has got damp at some stage and has coloured ghosts of camels where the dye has transferred to the folded background.

Collected in Gujurat in 1991.

Age: Mid/Late 20th Century.

Size: H 130 cm x W 78 cm.

Weight: 683 grams.