Colour and patterns
Colour is the most immediately visible stylistic element. The two-colour or polychrome process depends on the number of dye baths which follow the preparation of reserves. Formerly exclusively natural, dyes today are often synthetic. The choice of colour is associated with symbolism of the colours and this aspect is equally referred to here.
Some original patterns come from reserve-dyeing processes and are revealed by playing with the colours.
Woman’s veil worn during the monsoon, odhani India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur, beginning of the 21st century Cotton Françoise Cousin Mission 71.2001.38.2
A chiffon cloth dyed by partially soaking in synthetic dyes on 4-ply pleated fabric. Some « parrot-green » veils are worn before and during the rainy season. During the same period, veils are worn with lahariya type oblique lines; a metaphor for rain. Even today, the colours of veils refer to particular communities. They mark the status of women, birth of a child and veils even enter in the category of ritual presents, playing an important social role in relationships between families. The arrival of the rainy season or certain religious celebrations can be signalled by wearing a particular veil. Variations in colours and patterns also show the affluence of a family.