Rabari work Salwar Kameez

Striking colour palettes, rainbow of shades mixed into one design, array of beautiful motifs, embellished mirror and embroideries Rabari work is a cult heritage of India. Rabari kutch embroidery lehengas or skirts are still widely popular among Indian culture .

History of Rabari work

The tribal communities and their unique cultural fabrics has been a fascinating topic always. And India, as a diverse country has many different tribal communities who value and share varied cultural dominance. The Rabaris are highly nomadic in nature, are found in the deserted lands of western India, mostly in Gujarat and Rajasthan, The cultural variation, social practices, the customs and traditions and their social hierarchy within the community makes it an interesting case study. The word ‘Rabari’, means “Outsiders”, which mostly defines their occupation and status within the society.

Though with the times changing, only a few are still living a truly nomadic life, while others have started living in villages, located far away from cities and towns, in remote areas still the art of Rabari which is the main occupation of people in Rabari, which they thrive to nurture and develop as years to come .

Traditional Gujarati Rabari women with traditional costume

Women of Rabari

Unlike other tribal communities, Rabari women are known for their exquisite artworks, particularly their thread, mirror and mud-relief work. They are renowned for the finest embroidery and bead-work. They are skilled artisans in curating embroidery trousseau, bride’s Ghagro (skirt), Kanchali (blouse) and Ludi (veil), the groom’s Kediyan or shirt, children’s cradle cloths and auspicious Torans (door hangings) etc. Women of Rabari are the main income creators as they have the magic of Rabari embroidery in their hands creating their weaving magic with impeccable designing skills experienced through generations and their impeccable choice of unique jewelleries that is incorporated in their attires too.

When it comes to dress code, there is an unwritten rule in Rabari Community, especially for women. The colour Black is the dominant colour palette in their community. The married women wear blouses pleated at the breast, setting them apart from single women. One of the most identifying elements in their attire is the Ludi (veil), which also carries different color codes for different age groups and it also signifies their marital status within the society. Unmarried young women wear white Ludi or shawl, whereas married and elderly women wear brown or black. Also, in case of young married women, the Ludi is adorned with tiny deep red circular designs. Likewise, the ‘Puthia’ or Ghagra for unmarried girls are in red, pink, blue or green.

Married women tribe of Rabari wearing Ludi

We are proud and amazed by the fact that, just a dress code can play a significant role in deciding the social status of a community and that becomes a cultural identity. The exquisite artworks of the Rabari Tribe have earned them the reputation of one of the most skilled tribal communities in India. Their contribution to the world of Indian Art and Craft is remarkable and intangible.

Gujarati Rabari Chaniya Choli

Rabari Work

Rabari style of embroidery is unique and evolving. A variety of patterns and mirror work are distinctively present in their designs. Inspiration is derived from mythology and the desert surrounding. They use the chain stitch method to outline their garments. The use of mirrors, the aesthetically destined patterns and the excellent choice for colors make Rabari embroidery a unique one in the world. Rabaris also use decorative back stitching , known as Bakhiya , to make the seams of women’s blouses and men’s kediya/ jackets look enthralling, catchy and appealing. It takes months to finish one single attire. But it’s worth the beauty.

Rabari embroidery and Mirror work

As we spoke about the rich culture, heritage and people of Rabari , the evergreen Rabari work chaniya choli is the first choice when it comes to choosing clothing in Rabari work as it is their heritage costume and has nichéd name around the world. But let’s explore the modern world taking the Rabari embroidery work to different domains such as including Rabari embroidery work in different styles of salwar kameez making it popular among women around the globe.

Singer Geeta Rabari with President Narendra Modi

Rabari Salwar suits

Rabari work is done on cotton material mostly because of the heaviness of the work it needs a strong base fabric that can withhold the heavy embroidery . There are umpteen varieties of Rabari salwar suits like Rabari anarkali salwar suits, Rabari straight cut salwar suits, Rabari Patiala salwar suits can be worn as occasional wears with full Rabari embroidery with mirror work or just Rabari embroidery alone. There are even kurtas made with Rabari work for people who love to wear Salwars in semi casual wear. A Rabari work kurta in Aline or long kurtas with simple embroidery at the hemline and sleeves as borders make it a perfect semi casual wear.

Elegant Rabari mirror worked long Kurta

Rabari work Patiala Pants

There are many embroidery works that worked and made individually for Patiala, palazzo, sharara or gharara , dhoti pants that can be mixed and matched with other kinds of embroidery kameez and dupatta or simply plain kameez. The Rabari Patiala pants are very famous among Gujarati young women, to wear it for college and office as semi casual wears. The colour full rabari embroidered Patiala pants with plain black kurtas and Rabari work Juttis and Rabari work bags with Rabari pom poms calls for the village bollywood heroine vibes.

Simple Rabari embroidered Patiala Pant

Rabari work dhoti salwar suits

Dhoti salwar suits are the most trending salwar suits for the year 2019 to 2020. The Rabari embroidered dhoti salwar suits are traditional and stylish. Made with very comfortable muslin or cotton material usually the colourful Rabari work done on kameez and simple Rabari work on the dhoti hemlines, that is playful and quirky . Best suitable for little girls and teenagers.

Cotton Rabari work Dhoti salwar suit

Rabari work Jackets

The Rabari work jacket needs a special mention, because it is one of the attires that is widely used by both men and women of the Rabari community. The modern designers twist the tales by using Rabari work jackets for the straight cut salwar suits. A heavily worked Rabari jackets can be worn with monotone dark colour salwar kameez that will make any gujarati gudiya dance to the gujarati tunes.

Rabari embroidered jacket

Rabari work Dupattas

Colourfully embroidered, shining like a stars mirror worked, added embellishment of pom poms the Rabari embroidered Dupattas are apt choices for Navaratri and diwali nights. Those who prefer simplicity over statements, must have Rabari embroidered Dupattas with mirror works. Wear them with colourful pom pom added mirror earrings and Juttis with French plaited hair dance your Navaratri away with Rabari Dupattas and simple salwar kameez.

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