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All together this is a great, colorful gypsy look when worn with leggings and boots, or displayed on the wall (run a wooden rod or shower curtain rod through the sleeves and hang) or mannequin.

This voluminous dress, its motifs, and colors come closest to those of *Nuristan, located in Pakistan. I'm sharing what I know, along with photos. The sleeves are from a very old dress, called a jumlo, worn in Indus Kohistan. These dresses, made with dozens of gussets, are now quite rare and I'm told, not worn much. The women prefer wearing salwar kameez for daily activities. The body of the dress is more recent and a different style of stitching and threads. Trimmed with silver metal, buttons and zippers.

INDOOR PHOTOS ( warmer tones) are most color accurate. The bluer photos were taken outside on a cloudy day but provide an idea of the dress dimension.

- COINS NOT mirrors, repros, or sequins. All metals on this dress have the silvery finish of old coins, a bit dull with surface patina. The dry cleaning and hand washing removed the original grimy appearance and my camera keeps making them white in the photos

- EMBROIDERY a mix of hand and probably machined work on the bodice. All hand work on wide bell sleeves and lower portion of the dress. Back is black textile with narrow tinsel trim lining hem. In some areas thread tint changes slightly where a new dye lot was introduced. On one side of upper bodice the vertical geometric motif changes abruptly. Not really noticeable until pointed out, you might not see it even now, but pattern does change slightly because of the way that section was pieced together.

- PRICING is commiserate with the above points . If this dress were entirely hand embroidered in tiny stitches, 35 years or older, without recycled sections, its value would jump to a $2000.00 + retail, easily ( those are museum quality pieces). This is a nice quality, wearable ethnic dress & collectable. Looks fantastic displayed on a rod.

- CARE Recycling embroidery and nice trim is common in the everyday clothing of rural tribal women, who are wearing it daily. Best quality clothing is saved for special occasions, just like everywhere else. I dry cleaned the dress after I first bought it and since then has been hand - washed several times. Always air dried flat on clean towels. The 2nd day, when fabric is only slightly damp but not wet, I drape it indoors near a window or over a heating vent.

- PHOTOGRAPHY: this is so difficult to capture accurately, but its a beautiful & striking piece. In my photos either the pinks and reds are too hot and the yellows and greens fade, or the black cloth is too dark or light. The black fabric is slightly faded, the sleeves are faded to charcoal, with delicate lines of gold thread.

- CONDITION: commiserate with vintage ethnographic textiles that have been worn, some wear but no rips, holes, mildew, stains or bad smells. In time some elements, like chain and dangles, may come loose, or you may prefer to remove them and have a simpler, lighter weight dress.

- LINING: behind the embroidery and silver dangles, retro cotton textile. ASK FOR MORE PHOTOS if curious!

- SIZE: Readily fits up to size 14 maybe larger depending on your measurements. If you want to see this on a living person let me know.

SIZE MATTERS! MY mannequin is a diminutive size 4 and short . Ill be adding measurements later this evening.
35" long neck to hem.
60" wide sleeve cuff to sleeve cuff
24" arm pit to arm pit
side slit on both sides about 7"

??BARTER?? I'm always looking for interesting elements to use in my jewelry, pendants, necklaces, beads etc. If you have something I can use, lets talk about a barter or a partial barter/cash purchase.

INSTALLMENTS: This dress can be paid for in installments, with a $75.00 down payment. Email me for more information.

Please ask questions, request photos, and make sure this will fit. Sorry, no returns.

*Kameez, or dresses/tunics like this originated in the remote mountain regions of Pakistan. Specific motifs and colors were favored by various communities and a woman's village could be known by the style of her kameeze and its ornamentation. Girls learn to sew and embroider from a young age, becoming skilled in application of design and neat, small stitches. Time, silks, and fabric are utilized in creating them, so when clothing is outgrown or starts falling apart, usable portions are carefully cut free, then upcycled to create new garments, often with more embroidery to blend old and new sections.

Tribal Dress, ethnographic textile, hand embroidered mystery

Overview

  • Vintage item
  • Materials: cotton, unknown textiles, silver metals, coins, mother of pearl
  • Ships worldwide from Illinois, United States
  • Feedback: 429 reviews
  • Favorited by: 27 people