A Rajasthani Mothara Turban: Complex Tie Dye on Gossamer Thin Cotton
ca. mid twentieth century
approximately 13 yds x 8", approximately 13 m x 20 cm
This is a magnificent dyed turban from Rajasthan, India which is made from the most light weight cotton imaginable: it is finely woven and ultra-translucent. The cotton is marvelous.
The dyeing, too, is marvelous: this gorgeous length of cloth was expertly dyed by pleating the cloth in two directions, and then binding it, in order to achieve the crisscross design that is so delicate and so masterfully rendered, as the many accompany photos testify. This cross-directional dyeing technique is called mothara.
As is clear from the photos, there is a regular, light wear throughout the length of the turban, the result, it seems, of having been accordion pleated before having been stored for decades. Still, in spite of this regularly-spaced light fading, the stunning beauty of this masterfully dyed cloth shines through.
Note the two ends of the turban that are dyed in a rich, cool fuschia color--just lovely.
Aside from the fold marks, there are a few holes in the piece, the most prominent being illustrated in the lead photo; it is coin-sized.
A remarkable piece to study or to display.