Gara embroidery is a traditional Parsi embroidery. It was originally inspired by the work on the ceremonial robes of the Chinese. But, after the embroidery came to be known by the Parsi women, they put in their own little motifs, apart from those of the animal and floral motifs of the Chinese. It takes months and months to embroider one saree, dupatta or even a border. Earlier it was only done by hand, but now machine made gara embroidery is available too.
These sarees are heirlooms and are passed down from one generation to another. It represents a mark of prestige.
These come in a number of different types :- It may be just a border stiched on to a saree, with or without small motifs on the whole drape; the whole saree full of embroidery; a border with only the pallu having been filled with embroidery.
Earlier, the most popular type was the worn with only a border, which could have been worn on a daily basis.
This Gara is light blue in colour, and has just an embroidered border. Now this is the oldest way of wearing a gara with the pallu (the end) covering the head. The white Mathu Banu (scarf) covers the hair and always has to be worn while going to the Agyari (Zorastian place of worship). The men wear a cap, while the women a scarf. The main motive is to cover one’s hair.
Now, longer the blouse and it’s sleeves, the better it was.
Another way of wearing a gara was without the pallu on the head, but this one came around a while later. This one is the same as the first, but it is a darker blue in colour. Here the sleeves get a little shorter, but the pearls always stay. I am also wearing a red bangle, which signifies that the woman is married.
The last one of the lot is one on which the border is embroidered directly on the gara. For this one, I am wearing a matching blouse, and is a it is a bit more modern than the other two.
If you must be wondering why my face is so expressionless, it is because I wanted to keep the vibes of that era going on, and from what I have seen in multiple pictures, all the women would have straight faces and a very poised posture. Also, the white lace peaking out from under my blouse is a Sadhra, which every man and women wear along with a Kasti (sacred thread).
Me, being a Zorastian myself am in love with these garas and was waiting for a vintage background to do this one.
These were only the oldest of the garas I could find in my aunt’s closet. A blog on the more modern garas will be up next, so look out for that one on Tuesday.
Until next time…..STAY SASSY!