Sankhia (side panel) of a set of three door hangings - 973.268.2.C_1_doc20150604_IMG6077


Sankhia (side panel) of a set of three door hangings

Medium:Embroidered and appliquéd cotton tabby lined with printed cotton tabby worked with silk and cotton floss, with mirrorwork and trimmed with tufted tassles
Geography: Gujarāt, India or Sindh, Pakistan
Date: first half of the 20th century ?
184 cm
Object number: 973.268.2.C
Not on view
DescriptionThis style of embroidery, done on a 'toran' or valance, called 'kharek,'  is associated with the Tharparkar and Nagarparkar region that extends from Sindh, Pakistan into the region of the Kutch in Gujrat, India. The word 'kharek' translates into 'dates,' referring to the bars of satin stitch that are characteristic of this embroidery style. These bars are generally arranged into geometric shapes as can be seen on this particular piece. To make them symmetric, the embroiderer counts the warp and weft threads of the thick cotton cloth ground. They ourline the design  with a black double running stitch and later fill them  with multi-coloured threads. An X like shape is common to this style of embroidery.
An interesting aspect of kharek embroidery is its wide geographic range. Stylistic variations, difference in object types and complex contemporary distribution are evidence of the interaction between artisans of different communities.
Such L-shaped door hangings, as seen here, are usually made in a pair and are hung symmetrically opposite to each other on the doorway. They are usually accompanied by an overhanging valance or 'toran.' In the Amreli district of Saurashtra, such  L-shape hangings are locally called 'Sankhia' and are hung on doorways to mark auspicious occasions such as weddings and are also sold as tourist items.
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