A Large Hand Stitched Appliqued Sindhi Ralli: Two Magnificent Sides
**reduced from $495.00**
late twentieth century
85" x 57", 216 cm x 145 cm
A ralli is a traditional, quilted textile made from layers of discarded, recycled cotton cloth and configured into a multitude of traditional patterns.
This ralli was made in Sindh, Pakistan, a southern area that is contiguous to the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat, where some of these quilted textiles are also sewn. Lines and lines of running stitch secure and strengthen the layers of cloth that make a ralli, which can be seen on the detail photos which accompany this post.
A large ralli such as this one is used as a bed cover for traditional wooden sleeping cots, as a floor covering, bag or as padding for a work animal. Both Hindu and Muslim women create these textiles, whose name is derived from the local word ralanna which means to mix or to connect.
And this particular ralli is wonderfully rich in personality and in history.
The proper face of the quilt is hand stitched and hand appliqued, some of the areas of applique showing a distressed or threadbare surface. On some of the individual pieces of cloth that compose the elaborate applique pattern, presumably repurposed cotton, some evidence of prior machine stitching can be seen.
As well, it seems that a few of the strips of colored cloth that create the multi-colored perimeter which frame this large and lavish central applique are synthetic--not uncommon for quilts like this one which were worked on in the late twentieth century.
The proper back, our preferred side of this quilt, as it shows a beautiful, "Modernist" arrangement of color blocks, beautifully staggered and composed, in a wonderful, rich palette of cotton cloth in shades of blue and purple. The prominent, black colored block seems to be synthetic, possibly rayon.
Still, this is a really beautifully complex ralli quilt, one that is as beautiful on the front as it is on the back, and although it is not rich in age, it is rich in texture, beauty and artfulness.