Ralli quilts are time-honored or traditional quilts, a symbol of hand art that made by the women of Sindh a province of Pakistan. Ralli is also known as gindi, rillis, etc. The ralli is a cultural icon for the area where they made. This traditional piece of art is used to cover the bed or charpayi, or quilts can also be covered with colorful ralli. In past, rallis were made at home by using hand dyed cotton cloth for the family use.
Due to its famousness, the manufacturing of rallies now commercialized and you can find some small industries in Sindh in Tharparkar and Umerkot.
You can find rallis in the market in three different categories of design that includes appliqué, embroidery, and patchwork. You have seen ralli quilts on most of the village beds that are made of patchwork, the most common design like by the people of Sindh. Many of the rallies design are very difficult and not written down, but are held in the women’s memories and passed from one generation to next generation. In appliqué small squares of fabric are cut out, edges are turned inner side and stitched with block fabric. Embroidery quilts are made with a large piece of cloth and using of colored thread. All the layers of this cloth have stitched with colorful thread with great effort to make a beautiful embroidery design. The ralli quilts are available in different colors; traditionally it has seven colors that know as Satrangi quilts. The colors are white, red, black, yellow, orange, blue, purple, and dark green.
If we talk about the time that consumed for making a ralli quilt you will be wonder, it is more than 170 hours that a woman spent for making this piece of art. The ralli quilt was also used for exchange of valuable things in ancient Indus civilization. It is just like a textile currency that has a value. The poor families were hired to make ralli quilts as gifts for different occasions like marriages and birth of the rich families. In return of that service, the poor families were given a cow or a goat as Kheer Piyarini. This process is still continuing in Sindh in Thar Desert.
What do you need to make a ralli quilt? It is simple you just need fabric, thread, some needles, and a scissor, after one week physical hard work a beautiful ralli quilt will be ready.