Rilli / Ralli Quilt
'Rilli' or 'Ralli' (Sindhi: رلّي) are the traditional bedspreads and quilts handmade by women from remote villages of Sindh (Pakistan).
The Rilli work comes in three categories of design: patchwork, applique, and embroidery. Patchwork is the most common and is found on most village beds. Many of the designs are very complex. The designs are not written down but are held in the women's memories and are passed down from mother to daughter. Applique designs are also found throughout the rilli region. Small squares of fabric are cut out (similar to a paper "snowflake"), edges are turned under and sewn unto the block fabric. Embroidery quilts are the speciality of a few nomadic groups especially the Saami. These quilts generally use a large piece of whole or patched cloth and using colored thread, have stitching in embroidery designs go through all the layers of the cloth.
The applique and patchwork rillis are very dynamic and graphic and often have a very contemporary "op art" look. The applique blocks are smaller and therefore the applique patterns are much finer. Indeed, the patterns are prepared by folding the and cutting the fabric through all the layers.
Click the collage of images below to see complete range of Rilli designs handmade by Artisans working with us
Research Work on Rilli Making
'Ralli Quilts - Traditional Textiles from Pakistan and India' is the first book on Ralli Quilts (Rilli) that was published in the Spring of 2003. With 176 pages and hundreds of color photographs of the area and the rillis, it covers both the background of the ralli quilts (rillis), socially and historically, as well as the designs and techniques of making the rillis. The author Patricia Stoddard, Ph.D. lived and researched in Pakistan for over two years. She has a background in textiles and international development. Checkout sub-pages under Rilli Art page for more details.