Rabari Jacket

A Rabari boy’s jacket (20th century; Gujarat, India). A Rabari boy’s jacket (20th century; Gujarat, India). Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc. no. IS.7-2008.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a boy’s jacket that has a densely embroidered bodice and sleeves. The lower white, frilled skirt is decorated with a red band along the lower edge. The jacket is of the type worn by Rabari boys in Kutch, in the state of Gujarat in western India (see Rabari embroidery). The garment is 46 cm long, and has a width (including outstretched sleeves) of 117 cm. It is made from white cotton.

The bodice of the jacket is heavily embroidered with floss silk or rayon thread and mirror work (shisha). The free-style embroidery designs are typical of Rabari embroidery and include large, geometric elements (worked mainly in chain stitch [ari work]) with additional details provided by tear drop and triangularly shaped mirrors.

The jacket was made for wearing on special occasions, but which ones specifically is unknown. Rabari men also wear jackets in this form, but the embroidery is not normally as elaborate as that used for this boy’s version. The garment was registered by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008.

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 24 February 2017).


Last modified on Friday, 24 February 2017 18:25