The Baloch women apparel
Balochistan is a culturally rich place with its beauty being reflected in everything, the deserts, the coastline, the food and also clothing. The baloch women apparel is distinct and has diversity withholding the essence of balochi culture and modesty.
The balochi dress comprises of three parts, a shirt which is more like a frock, a large piece of cloth used to cover the head called ‘sareeg’ and a shalwar or trouser. The frock is not one piece of cloth in fact it is like pieces of the cloth cut and then stitched together. The different pieces are called Zee, the upper part, Gupthan, which is the distinctive feature of the dress, is a pocket attached on the lower part of the front of the dress. The two sidepieces are called “chain”. The sleeves are also separately cut.
Before being stitched the different parts of the dress have to get embroidered by the talented baloch women. The embroidery is called ‘doch’. The balochi embroidery is diverse and enchanting just like Balochistan itself. The basic pattern of the dress remaining the same but the doch differs from place to place according to the weather and also social status.
Each doch has a different pattern and the threads used comprise of all sorts of colors. One of the doch is known is ‘haft runga’ haft means seven and rung means colour. The dress comprises of seven colors with embroidery on all the pieces of the cloth.
The patterns are innumerable and have got interesting names. One of them is called ‘Zeba bakhtiar’ after the name of the TV actress. The woman introducing the pattern must have been a fan of the actress or so. With the political conditions getting tensed in the region the names of the embroideries are also changing. Names are being kept after the martyrs just to pay their reverences to them and to make them being remembered. One such dress name is ‘Sarmachar’, which means freedom fighter in Balochi.
The large piece of the cloth, which is used to cover the head, is also embroidered with corresponding patterns of the dress.
The embroidery doesn’t consist of thread work only; the women also use small pieces of mirrors called ‘sheeshag’ to embellish their dresses. The mirrors are cut in different shapes like square round and triangular. These are small mirrors, which are then attached to the dress to make it funkier. There are different embroideries for the old and young, the old women stick to dark and decent colours whereas the youngsters play with the different shades of colours with the mirrors and other beads being attached to their dresses.
The bridal balochi dresses are classical pieces worth looking at. The threads used in the bridal dress are mostly golden or silver and in which all sorts of beads are embroidered on bright colors especially RED. The most precious thing after Gold given to a daughter at her marriage is the balochi dresses. Most of them being embroidered by the bride herself for her marriage, which she starts making from the time she learns how to stitch. With the urban women it is different due to lack of time they cannot make dresses and therefore pay the women who are willing to do embroideries for them.
The Baloch women apparel is one of the means of showcasing the Baloch women talent.