This beautiful brown cotton (jumlo) tunic was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli at the Sharjah Islamic market (suq)– an outstanding market for antiques in the UAE – presently known as The Blue Souq, in 1996. The piece was repurposed and was used by her until eventually it was added to The Zay Initiative collection.
This is a beautiful black cotton tunic style repurposed jacket that was originally a women’s tunic from the tribes native to the Indus – Kohistan and Nuristan valley regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively. Known as a (jumlo) in the native tongue, it is constructed of thick black cotton woven in (twill_tapestry) style.
The jumlo originally was heavily embellished with separately woven patches hand stitched to the tunic.
These patches are flat (kilim) style woven wool and (cross_stitch) embroidery. The sleeves are possibly silk with separately woven kilim style cuffs in burgundy, green, yellow, and blue. A heavily embellished rectangular patch is hand stitched on what used to be the front of the tunic.
The patch is embroidered and embellished with brass as well as plastic buttons, as well as other metal press stud buttons, metal beads possibly silver and brass, a metallic zip, considerably new strips of satin ribbons with mother-of-pearl chips, and coins or riyal from the Islamic Republic of Iran – probably a much later addition to the garment since the coins came into effect post-1979 Iranian Revolution.
The tunic has a full skirt constructed of multiple triangular panels that are hand stitched together and attached to the (bodice).
The jumlo tunic is traditionally worn with a pair of trousers or (salwar) and an equally lavishly embellished (shawl) by tribal women in the region panning the Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Indus – Kohistan Valley, Nuristan Valley, and a degree the Kashmir valley of the Indian subcontinent.
Unfortunately, the tunic was repurposed into a jacket by cutting the back of the tunic to form a jacket-like opening and wearing the original front on the back.
- Valérie Bérinstain, Mary Hunt Kahlenberg, Zaira Mis, Marcel Mis. Asian Costumes and Textiles from the Bosphorus to Fujiyama: The Zaira and Marcel Mis Collection. California: Skira, 2001.
- Embroidery from Afghanistan Fabric, folios. Sheila Paine. Washington: University of Washington Press, 2006.