Rabari Bullock Cover , Jhul in Katab , Applique
30" High x 45" Wide on Both Sides 100% Cotton
This is a very rare vintage cape wore by a Brahman bull at Festivals in India. These are the "sacred cattle of India," that many of the Hindu faith will not eat their meat , are characterized by a large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck. You can see the extra fabric at the neck to accomodate this neck fat. There is also a sting at the other end to go under the tail to hold the cape in place.This bull cover 's designs are appliqued on to the main piece, called Katab. The designs include people, trees of life, elephants & sunflowers. Applique is the art of layering small pieces of fabric cut in various shapes on a base fabric. In reverse applique the outer layer is cut and the edges sewn under to expose the layer under it creating the design.
Over a century ago, when the world was bereft of any mechanical looms, the fabrics could only be made manually through traditional looms. Then, the fabrics were considered as a luxury and a person who could own a couple of such dresses was thought to be well off. In those days, even worn out clothes, which could no longer be wore, were collected by women in the family. With the arrival of winters these clothes were put as fillers in-between two layers of fabric and continuous stitches were done to hold them at their place. These were then used as quilts. A technique born out of necessity evolved into several interesting crafts there on.In Rajasthan, this technique was called ‘Tanka-kaam’, which is now classified as a type of folk embroidery. As this part of India faces winters and summers in their extremes, the preparation starts quite early and the women make ‘Bichawana’ ,quilts and beddings),out of discarded cloth pieces. You can see the kantha stitches clearly on the back.
Hand Made in Rajasthan , India