This ensemble was purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli from an independent dealer from Bandar Abbas area in south Iran in 2018.
This is a rectangular head scarf or veil (makna) in black un-hemmed net traditionally worn by women of Bandar Abbas and Hormozgan areas in south Iran. These are usually worn with a loose shift (jama) of coloured cotton with a collar (gariban) and an ankle-length pair of tapered trousers (shalvar) with wide embellished cuffs.
The veil features golden metallic foil embellishment (badlah) creating a geometric design of a star repeated several times along with small dot motifs.
It is worth noting that the name badlah for this type of embroidery is although the same across Iran and South Asia it is also sometimes commonly referred to as (khus_dozi) in south Iran.
It is believed that the term badlah is derived from the phrase ‘badal kinari’ – cloud lining – popular during the Mughal period in India as net or fine gauze silk were often embroidered with metal pieces giving them the look of clouds with bright lines around them.
However, upon crossing the Gulf and reaching the Arabian Peninsula the nomenclature of the embroidery changes to (talli / tulle_bi_talli), while the cuffs of women’s trousers which are detachable and could be changed are called badlah.
Also, while headscarves are usually called (rusari) or the black ones from south of Iran are usually referred to as makna, they are usually referred to as the (shaylah) on the other side of the Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula, especially in the UAE.