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The Rare Art of Double Sided Shia Embroidery

June 11, 2018 1 min read

It is said that this art is no longer practiced.

I am told they come from the Swat valley neighborhood and since there are not enough such textiles these are grouped with Swatti textiles for want of a distinct unique identity.

But these masterpieces of craft are created by the minority community of Shias settled in Pakistan / Afghanistan and resemble the Soof work.

This rarely seen textile has crossed my path only twice in all these years. The first was about 2 years ago and the second, yesterday. Both are estimated to be from the 1960s.

Here they are!

The first is an extremely fine work with tiny stitches, while second has amazing motifs and with higher density if embroidery on the base cloth.

Enjoy the visual feast!

Asset Code 1070:

The front:

The back:

Asset Code 1291

Bless the makers and their genius!

And let’s hope that more such pieces will emerge from the treasure trunks of families for the rest of us to view and enjoy!
jaina mishra


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