Culture of Tradition of Uttarakhand : Rangwali Pichhora (R&D, Courtesy- B C Joshi)
Design of following blocks is the property of Tanda Textiles & Printing Works, Mahanagar, Lucknow & any unauthorized use or copying will attract legal action.
Rangwali Pichhaura is a garment worn at ceremonial occasions in Uttarakhand. From bride to great grandmother, every women in the family wear it on occasions be it namkarna or marriage, upanayan or mundon. It has a special significance and mandatory for all married women in the family or close relation. Another salient feature of Rangwali Pichhora is that it can be put on by widows also, those as per social traditions, they are not supposed to wear colourful garments.
In the center, a ‘Swastik’ is drawn and in four quadrant of swastik, Sun, Shankh (Cronch shell), A Bell with ‘Om’ and Goddess are drawn. The swastik is made by drawing some geometrical drawings or leaves and flowers and then surrounded by small dots. Then dots of larger size are printed all over. This printing is surrounded by a beautiful border. After border, lace and kinari or jhalar is stitched to make is more colourful, attractive and lively.
Theses sketches drawn in the pichhora has religious significance also. The Swastik represents al the gods and goddesses. It is drawn in some form or the other at all the religious rituals. It denotes the ‘karmyoga’. Its four arms pointing forward inspire to move ahead. The center of swastik is ‘Om’ which has great importance in meditation and spirituality.
The first quadrant of swastik houses Sun, the god with great power. Sun is worshiped for well being of sons. Second quadrant houses Goddess for prosperity and well being of all nears and dears, third quadrant has a ‘Shankha’ (Cronch shell) which is blown during worship and all the ill omen are understood to fear this sound and not dare to harm anyone around. The last quadrant has a Bell which is also used in worship.
In olden days, it was made at home. A few meters of white cloth was washed and dyed first in yellow colour and then dots were printed with the help of a coin wrapped in cloth. Common colours available in market were used for it earlier but now Rapid colours are being used. The homemade pichhora were printed with ordinary colours, which used to spread on getting moist. The process of drawing / printing by hand was very tiresome and sometime the results were also not so good.
In later years, some businessmen started printing it with Rapid colours. I visited one such printing factory in Lucknow. Tanda Textiles & Printing Works, Gole Market, Mahanagar is engaged in printing Pichhora since 1971, says Mr Mazid Hussain, owner of the shop.
Mr Mazid Hussain explained the whole process of making pichhora using modern techniques. They use ‘Hakoba embroidered cloth’ to make it. The cloth is washer thoroughly to remove the starch. Then it is dyed in yellow colour and washed again. After that, the printing is done using wooden blocks.
These blocks are patterns with carving of all the geometries and sketches that are drawn in pichhora. Block printing is easy, fast and gives bettier finish and neatness.
The colours used are either readymade or desired shades are prepared by mixing in correct proportion. These colours are firm and do not spread on getting moist or fade away even after repeated washing. Once the printing and drying job is over, then lace is stitched all around in the periphery and finally a shining kinari or jhalar is stitched.