Trend Alert: Rilli-licious!

by Secret Closet on August 09, 2012 in Trend Alert


With independence day just around the corner lets spark our inner patriotism with some truly desi trends that define our traditions. The ancient craft of Rilli or Ralli is derived from the Sindhi word Ralanna meaning literally to mix or connect. It describes the art of handwoven bedspreads and quilts crafted by women in the remote villages of Sindh, Baluchistan, southern Punjab and in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat bordering Sindh. A unique and beautiful craft, rilli work comprises three basic styles; patchwork, applique, and embroidery. The cut out shapes and patterns are used to tell a story, embodying ancient motifs that originated in the Indus region dating back to the 15th century. One often tends to forget the sea of natural skill and talent we have at home that can be honed to glory.

The tradition of rilli craft has been kept alive by many of our designers who are fond of blending culture into their work and recently the trend has penetrated to become a must have collectable. Cotton being the most popular fabric these days, the ethnic sculpted style fits right in. However many people don’t know where to acquire these pieces as they are not available in the urban markets. We have gathered an assortment of rilli pieces of our favourite  Secret Closet designers just for you.

To start off we love these classic whites and soft peachy works by Farah Talib Aziz. The middle ensemble is a traditional angarkha style while the other two are modern cuts furnished with some lace and buttons. Farah is a true master of heritage crafts, all three pieces bring a different pattern to the table.

Nadia Lakdawala has beautifully combined a sleek dual shaded grey rilli pattern with banarsi Indian panels adding formal elements and delivering a timeless and innovative ensemble. Love the antique gold against the grey.

Where there is talk of vintage crafts there is Nida Azwer, a designer dedicated to cultural works. This pink and grey patchwork ensemble was seen at her latest Eid exhibit and we adore everything about it from the color pallet to the mixture of patterns.

If you’re looking for colorful and striking rilli works Madiha Zuberi is the answer. She specializes in procuring applique styles in a range of hues and motifs. These pieces and the ones in the feature picture are from her last Eid exhibit however she has another upcoming collection showcasing on the 14th of August. Mark your calendars!

If you’re thinking rilli is limited to pret, think again. Kaam has creatively incorporated the pattern using gota in their latest couture collection covered by Secret Closet, view blog. The border is distinct and alluring, a marked change from typical embellishments.

Kolachiites is our latest discovery specializing in ethnic pret wear. This piece from their latest Eid collection especially appealed to us because of the generous all over rilli patchwork, such a pretty color don’t you think?

 Last but not least we have Anum Salik’s classic white rilli cut work kurta. Anum works with everything from foil printing, embroideries and rilli kaam experimenting with unique patterns and silhouettes. We love the printed scarf used to accessorize the simple shirt.

Do you have a piece of this timeless craft in your closet yet?


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