The origin of this undergarment (sarwal) has been lost in the sands of time. Nobody at The Zay Initiative can remember how it came to be in the archive.
These underpants sarwal are made of white calico cotton.
The garment’s decorative ankle-cuff (badlah) recalls the hand adorned (badlah_talli) in its overall shape and size. It is hand embroidered in a gold metallic thread (zari), with blue, yellow and black silk thread (brisam). This is a style of embroidery where a thick cord or strands of cotton thread are used as a base and then the coloured silk threads are embroidered over them, covering the stuffing and creating the raised effect. This is subsequently edged with two lines of braided cord in pink thread brisam and metallic silver ribbon (khus). The area in between these raised lines is adorned with repeated rhombus shapes in gold zari thread.
The baggy waistline is gathered and fixed in place with elasticated cord replacing earlier more traditional cotton cord (nsai’ah). The more tapered legs with embroidered ankle-cuffs are opened and closed with the aid of a zipper. Earlier versions used traditional cotton thread ball buttons (igam) and more recent, metal snap studs (siq_w_biq).