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  • A piece of silk cloth

    A piece of silk cloth

    A rectangular piece of silk cloth from Surat with a red ground decorated with floral and mango shaped patterns in cream and yellow colour silk thread, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 7331

  • Lace


    A machine made cotton lace designed with floral pattern. Three full flower and two half flower on the base. Each flower has five petals with leaves and thin net structure, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 6765

  • Specimen of Thana Silk

    Specimen of Thana Silk

    A specimen of Thana silk. Its colour is blue and yellow. It has vertical strips with geometrical pattern, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 7397

  • Chintz (cloth Piece)

    Chintz (cloth Piece)

    A piece of Chintz with bird pattern. These flying birds are printed on blue background, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 6531

  • Cotton Print

    Cotton Print

    A cotton print cloth piece with floral and geometrical pattern. One floral pattern is enclosed by four geometrical patterns. The floral pattern is plain. The geometrical pattern is of square shape at the outer edge, in the centre there is a circle which is divided by four part, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 7637

  • Ghaghara (Long Skirt)

    Ghaghara (Long Skirt)

    A lady's lower garment Ghaghara, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 5/P - 25

  • Blouse (Dress)

    Blouse (Dress)

    A blouse piece of rezi cloth. It is designed with kasida work in which yellow flowers are decorated with mirror work, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 4/P - 25

  • Kashmiri Achakan (Overcoat)

    Kashmiri Achakan (Overcoat)

    A black overcoat with brown lining and embroidery, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 153=62

  • Jadia


    Jadia embroidery work of silk on red background with square and round glass pieces, 19th century. 

    Accession Number 133=62/2

  • Dupatta (lugri)

    Dupatta (lugri)

    A dupatta of Sanganer print, Jaipur, 19th century. 

    Accession Number N/824

Gallery Collection : Garments & Textiles


Old Sanganeri prints, Kotadoria, Bandhish work, Gota work, embroidery, lace etc.


In India 'Bandhani' or Tye & Dye has been a popular method of decorating a fabric from ancient times. The dyers and nilgars – indigo dyers enjoyed state patronage at least from the 7th century, when poet Bana mentioned 'baddha' fabric in his work Harshacharit. There were innumerable varieties of dying : plain in one colour and coloured ground with borders in contrast colour, both fast and fugitive colours were dyed. Three different styles of tying and dyeing in Rajasthan have been employed traditionally – Pomacha, laharia and chunari.

A pomacha in yellow with red border also known as pila meaning yellow as worn by a new mother. It comes as a gift from her parents.

'Lahariya' is a pattern in which diagonal stripes are dyed in as many as five or seven colours.

In 'Chunari', the most popular pattern, design is obtained by arrangement of dots on a red or green ground. Dyers of Fatehpur (Sikar) and Sawai Madhopur often made chunari with animals and bird motifs also.

The museum collection includes a number of them, all made in the 19th century. 


Costume collection of the Albert Museum includes costumes of the elite and the common man. These are of the 19th century before Western fashion came in vogue.

A characteristic male dress in the 19th century comprised a head-dress, may be pagari, safa or mandil, an angarkhi; a stitched long dress worn on the upper part and a dhoti or payjama on the lower part of the body.

Angarkhi was used as a daily wear on which a chuga or choga was worn on formal occasions. It was so much in fashion and demand that weavers and embroiderers of Kashmir, Dacca and Banaras made Chuga pieces on loom with floral borders and cari and pan motifs on shoulders and corners. A representative type embroidered in Kashmir is on display here.

Female costumes consisted of a ghaghara – a long skirt tyed at the waist and a short blouse locally known as kanchali with a kurti on the upper part and a large odhani covering the entire body.

The Albert Museum has female dresses of many different types. Displayed in the gallery is a dress of a peasant woman from Western Rajasthan, heavily embroidered and embellished with pieces of mirror glass. Its odhani is of special style – embroidered but the dots are arranged in chunari manner.

On view is a ghaghara and blouse, probably worn by a wealthy lady as it has heavy gota border and intricately embroidered blouse.

Quilted costumes were extensively made in Rajasthan for men, women and children. In these dresses soft and loose cotton wool is packed between two layers of cotton cloth and after quilting the required dress was made. Two examples are displayed here.


Brocade is a fabric – either silk or cotton, which is ornamented with zari on loom itself. In Rajasthan it is popularly known as parcha. It was woven at Ahmedabad, Varanasi in the North and Kanchipuram in South. The samples displayed here are from Ahmedabad and Varanasi.

Mashru means 'permitted' Islam does not allow its male followers to wear pure silk, hence mashru a mixed fabric was invented, it is woven with cotton warp and silk weft in such a manner that silk shows on the upper part and cotton thread remains underneath. It was woven at all silk weaving centres of India. Two examples are exhibited here.


The printed fabric collection of Albert Hall includes examples, made at different centres, in different styles.

Sanganer, a small town in medieval times and at present a part of Jaipur metropolis, developed into a big printing centre and was at its peak in the 19th century. The main contributions of Sanganer printers to the Indian printing industry are fast colours and meaningful, well proportioned lyrical motifs designed for dresses and furnishing, suited to the occasion, place and patron.

Albert Museum collection has hundreds of examples from Sanganer, the reason being its fabulous colour schemes and patterns. The museum was established in the late 19the century, when the industry was in its full swing, hence a series of printed samples were collected from there.

Dabu (resist) near Sanganer, Bagaru another block printing centre was and still is a flourishing centre of printing. Traditionally, Bagaru is known for its resist printing where multicolour butas and butis are printed on unbleached ground.

Karauli, Agra and Bayana were known centres for dabu (resist) printing and dying. In this technique resist was printed with wooden blocks and then after drying in sun the fabric was dyed either in blue or red. Bayana was indigo growing area, hence blue became a popular colour in the neighboring region.

Afridi : also known as rogani or momia printing,  was wax based technique in which mica powder was used to give a shine to the design. Two examples are displayed here.

The popularity of Indian chintz in Europe encouraged the printing industry there to imitate the Indian products in the 18-19th century, these European products have an oriental flavour in their pattern and colour scheme.


Blocks are usually made of wood but metal blocks are also used for intricate printing work. Number of blocks used for one design depends on the colour scheme of the motif, because separate blocks are used for each colour.


Pagari was the most important part of medieval costumes. It was a sign of honour.

The pagari was usually 25 mts. long and 20 cms. wide made of cotton fabric often dyed either in one colour or in chunari or lahariya fashion, depending on the social and economic status of a person and also the occasion. Though the turban was essential for everyone regardless of caste and religion but the method of tying a turban varied and by seeing his turban one could easily recognise the religion or caste of the person.

To tie a turban was an art and everyone could not do it. There were trained persons known as pagari bandh who did the job, displayed here are different modes of pagaris. This system was strictly followed till the mid 20th century.

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  • Blouse (kanchali)

    Blouse (kanchali)

    A blue blouse (kanchali) in cotton with intricate kashidakari and mirror work on sleeves.

    Accession Number Tex 346/7550

  • Bed sheet

    Bed sheet

    Cotton bedsheet.

    Accession Number Tex 119

  • Lugri


    Lugri with black base and seven petalled floral booti printed over it.

    Accession Number Tex 113

  • Sari


    Cotton sari with floral booti work.

    Accession Number Tex 82

  • Sari


    Cotton sari with floral creepy and wavy pattern.

    Accession Number Tex 81

  • Angocha (Reji)

    Angocha (Reji)

    Angocha (towel) with creepy patterns and rows of flowers printed on it.

    Accession Number Tex 71

  • Khalechi (Bag)

    Khalechi (Bag)

    A Khalechi (Bag) used for keeping tobacco with gurjari embroidery and jadia work.

    Accession Number 145/62/7

  • Cap


    Black velvet cap with elaborate metal thread and sequence work.

    Accession Number 3220

  • Lace Collar

    Lace Collar

    Machine made lace from Kandi, Ceylon decorated with netted spiral and leaf shaped patterns.

    Accession Number 6445

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