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Indian-looking floral cotton fabric

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  • Carolyn
    I have this great Indian-looking floral cotton fabric. I was going to make a Ghawazee coat out of it, but then I realized that Ghawazee coats are Egyptian.
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 1, 2004
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      I have this great Indian-looking floral cotton fabric. I was going
      to make a Ghawazee coat out of it, but then I realized that Ghawazee
      coats are Egyptian. Doh!

      I have FIVE YARDS of this stuff - way more than I need for a choli
      and/or harem pants. So, I ask you, what would a woman in ancient
      India do with it? I was thinking of making a Salwar Kurta, which is
      sort of like a long kaftan with pants underneath, but I don't know
      when they started wearing those things. Anybody have any suggestions?

      - Carolyn - who is sewing like mad to get ready for Gulf Wars
    • Margaret Polson
      Well, the simplest thing to do with 5 yards of fabric would be to use it as a sari. A skirt would work as well. Meenakshi ...
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 2, 2004
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        Well, the simplest thing to do with 5 yards of fabric
        would be to use it as a sari. A skirt would work as
        well.

        Meenakshi
        --- Carolyn <cjd_1@...> wrote:
        > I have this great Indian-looking floral cotton
        > fabric. I was going
        > to make a Ghawazee coat out of it, but then I
        > realized that Ghawazee
        > coats are Egyptian. Doh!
        >
        > I have FIVE YARDS of this stuff - way more than I
        > need for a choli
        > and/or harem pants. So, I ask you, what would a
        > woman in ancient
        > India do with it? I was thinking of making a Salwar
        > Kurta, which is
        > sort of like a long kaftan with pants underneath,
        > but I don't know
        > when they started wearing those things. Anybody
        > have any suggestions?
        >
        > - Carolyn - who is sewing like mad to get ready for
        > Gulf Wars
        >
        >


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      • Jim and Andi
        I am also on the SCA-Persia list and I just read Anahita’s reply to your email there. She is spot-on, as usual. The t-tunic and salwar combination is
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 2, 2004
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          I am also on the SCA-Persia list and I just read Anahita’s reply to your email there. She is spot-on, as usual. The t-tunic and salwar combination is *underwear* in most of the Arab world.

           

          However, the Mughal women sometimes wore garments that resemble a simple salwar-kameez outfit. The tunic part was quite long, almost ankle-length, and pants were worn underneath. There were no slits in the sides like modern Indian salwar-kameez outfits have. They had long sleeves that were pushed up onto the wrists in “bracelet” folds. The outfit is worn with a specific headdress- a hat shaped like a European truncated hennin decorated with patterned fabric and a long veil draped over and covering the front of the neck. I don’t remember seeing one in patterned fabric, but I don’t see anything wrong with it (they had block-printed fabrics GALORE). I wish I could show you the picture but my scanner is on its death bed.

           

          My suspicions are (just my opinion, I haven’t studied this closely enough to say for sure) that this was a cover-up garment worn by older women outside (all the paintings I’ve seen with women in this outfit are outdoor scenes) like a hijab. But since most SCA events are outside, I think this would be a perfectly appropriate garment for Gulf Wars. It may be a welcome one indeed since the evenings can get chilly. You could use it like a coat for extra warmth or wear it by itself.

           

          Here is what I would do to make this outfit:

          Make a regular t-tunic with underarm gussets. Make the sleeves a little longer than your hands, and taper them so they can be pushed up onto the wrists and will stay there. I would guess the tunic has a key-hole neck, but in the paintings they are always covered by a veil. The bottom seems pretty full, not like a skirt but comfortable to sit cross-legged in.

           

          Make the salwar of plain white cotton. Bleached muslin that has been washed a few times works perfectly. There is a copy of a wonderful pattern by Rashid in the files area of the list’s website.

           

          If you want to attempt the hat, find a truncated hennin pattern from a European hat website… there are several. I would cover the hat in the same fabric as the tunic and maybe decorate with trim.

           

          Throw a veil over the whole thing!

           

          I hope this helps. You know, I may try to make one of these myself if I have the time before War. When are you getting to Gulf Wars? We are having a meeting of us crazy Indians Thursday afternoon at al-Mahala. I’ll be in al-Mahala pretty much constantly for much of the week, and I’m camping with Iron Lance right down the street. Feel free to stop by and ask for me… it’s always good to see some new Indian faces!

           

          Madhavi

           

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Carolyn [mailto:cjd_1@...]
          Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 2:48 PM
          To: SCA_India@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [SCA_India] Indian-looking floral cotton fabric

           

          I have this great Indian-looking floral cotton fabric.  I was going
          to make a Ghawazee coat out of it, but then I realized that Ghawazee
          coats are Egyptian.  Doh! 

          I have FIVE YARDS of this stuff - way more than I need for a choli
          and/or harem pants.  So, I ask you, what would a woman in ancient
          India do with it?  I was thinking of making a Salwar Kurta, which is
          sort of like a long kaftan with pants underneath, but I don't know
          when they started wearing those things.  Anybody have any suggestions?

          - Carolyn - who is sewing like mad to get ready for Gulf Wars



          SCA_India Mailing List Info:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_India
                                 or
            List owner:   SCA_India-owner@yahoogroups.com



        • Carolyn
          I ll probably be getting to Gulf Wars on Monday, the 15th. I m staying with Asgard in Trimaris, but I intend to spend a lot of time at al-Mahala, too. My
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 2, 2004
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            I'll probably be getting to Gulf Wars on Monday, the 15th. I'm
            staying with Asgard in Trimaris, but I intend to spend a lot of time
            at al-Mahala, too. My sister will be camping there.

            Hope to see you there!

            Carolyn


            > I hope this helps. You know, I may try to make one of these myself
            if I have
            > the time before War. When are you getting to Gulf Wars? We are
            having a
            > meeting of us crazy Indians Thursday afternoon at al-Mahala. I'll
            be in
            > al-Mahala pretty much constantly for much of the week, and I'm
            camping with
            > Iron Lance right down the street. Feel free to stop by and ask for
            me… it's
            > always good to see some new Indian faces!
            >
            > Madhavi
          • unclrashid
            ... simple ... length, ... like modern ... pushed up ... I am familiar with his outfit, and should have thought of it myself in response to the question! I
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 3, 2004
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              --- In SCA_India@yahoogroups.com, "Jim and Andi" <icbhod@c...> wrote:

              > However, the Mughal women sometimes wore garments that resemble a
              simple
              > salwar-kameez outfit. The tunic part was quite long, almost ankle-
              length,
              > and pants were worn underneath. There were no slits in the sides
              like modern
              > Indian salwar-kameez outfits have. They had long sleeves that were
              pushed up
              > onto the wrists in "bracelet" folds.

              I am familiar with his outfit, and should have thought of it myself
              in response to the question! I think it is more of a Persian caftan
              than a kameez. The difference being that it would have a front
              opening that goes to the waist or sometimes opens all the way, and
              has a fuller "skirt" that a kameez would have. The skirt fullness
              would come from side gores that start at the waist. I also can't
              rule out a center back gore that starts at the waist. There are
              patterns for these in the files section of the Persian newsgroup.
              It's not the "outer" caftan, but one of the ones worn as a middle or
              inner layer in Persia.



              The outfit is worn with a specific
              > headdress- a hat shaped like a European truncated hennin decorated
              with
              > patterned fabric and a long veil draped over and covering the
              front of the
              > neck. I don't remember seeing one in patterned fabric, but I don't
              see
              > anything wrong with it (they had block-printed fabrics GALORE). I
              wish I
              > could show you the picture but my scanner is on its death bed.
              >
              > My suspicions are (just my opinion, I haven't studied this closely
              enough to
              > say for sure) that this was a cover-up garment worn by older women
              outside
              > (all the paintings I've seen with women in this outfit are outdoor
              scenes)
              > like a hijab.

              I think this garment may have been worn by ethnic Mughal women who
              had been raised within the Persian sphere of influence before the
              Mughals invaded India. Eventually, through intermarriage and
              concession to the climate of India the garment disappeared, sometime
              around 1570 to 1600.

              Rashid
            • Jim and Andi
              The only painting I have at home depicting this outfit is inconclusive- the women are seated. However, the painting is in the “files” area-
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 3, 2004
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                The only painting I have at home depicting this outfit is inconclusive- the women are seated. However, the painting is in the “files” area-

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_India/files/Miniatures/

                 

                Here is the whole painting, but my browser does not have the “interactive zoom” plug-in:

                http://www.mfa.org/artemis/fullrecord.asp?oid=148503&did=300

                 

                There are other women wearing what seems to be this outfit, but it’s very small:

                http://www.mfa.org/artemis/fullrecord.asp?oid=148494&did=300

                 

                Okay, I got the interactive zoom to work. I cannot see anything that would show that this outer garment has a front opening of any kind or is any kind of coat. The gores are possible, even likely considering garment construction. In this painting there are also women wearing several different permutations of Mughal court garb- there are women in traditional layered Persian coats (they appear to be dancers), women in the indigenous cholis and layered skirts and patkas, and some combination outfits. This painting dates “about 1580” which is a time of extremely rapid changes in costume in the Mughal court.

                 

                I have no idea of the ethnic background of the women. Their different clothing may be ethnic, age-related, social status-related, or religious. The Mughal court had people in it from SO MANY different regions I don’t know if there is any way to tell.

                 

                There is another painting which would be a bit more conclusive. It is a painting of several women chasing a child in a garden enclosure. Another woman is seated on a raised platform within the enclosure, and there may be men outside the enclosure. If I remember correctly, several of the women are wearing this outfit. I believe it is in Early Mughal Painting by Beach. If someone has this at home, could you look in there and scan it if possible?

                 

                Madhavi

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: unclrashid [mailto:unclrashid@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 10:02 AM
                To: SCA_India@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [SCA_India] Re: Indian-looking floral cotton fabric (LONG)

                 

                --- In SCA_India@yahoogroups.com, "Jim and Andi" <icbhod@c...> wrote:

                > However, the Mughal women sometimes wore garments that resemble a
                simple
                > salwar-kameez outfit. The tunic part was quite long, almost ankle-
                length,
                > and pants were worn underneath. There were no slits in the sides
                like modern
                > Indian salwar-kameez outfits have. They had long sleeves that were
                pushed up
                > onto the wrists in "bracelet" folds.

                I am familiar with his outfit, and should have thought of it myself
                in response to the question!  I think it is more of a Persian caftan
                than a kameez.  The difference being that it would have a front
                opening that goes to the waist or sometimes opens all the way, and
                has a fuller "skirt" that a kameez would have.  The skirt fullness
                would come from side gores that start at the waist.  I also can't
                rule out a center back gore that starts at the waist.  There are
                patterns for these in the files section of the Persian newsgroup. 
                It's not the "outer" caftan, but one of the ones worn as a middle or
                inner layer in Persia.



                The outfit is worn with a specific
                > headdress- a hat shaped like a European truncated hennin decorated
                with
                > patterned fabric and a long veil draped over and covering the
                front of the
                > neck. I don't remember seeing one in patterned fabric, but I don't
                see
                > anything wrong with it (they had block-printed fabrics GALORE). I
                wish I
                > could show you the picture but my scanner is on its death bed.
                >
                > My suspicions are (just my opinion, I haven't studied this closely
                enough to
                > say for sure) that this was a cover-up garment worn by older women
                outside
                > (all the paintings I've seen with women in this outfit are outdoor
                scenes)
                > like a hijab.

                I think this garment may have been worn by ethnic Mughal women who
                had been raised within the Persian sphere of influence before the
                Mughals invaded India.  Eventually, through intermarriage and
                concession to the climate of India the garment disappeared, sometime
                around 1570 to 1600.

                Rashid




                SCA_India Mailing List Info:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_India
                                       or
                  List owner:   SCA_India-owner@yahoogroups.com



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