Exceptional Jumlo Embroidered Tunic from Kohistan

Exceptional Jumlo Embroidered Tunic from Kohistan

This stunning tribal dress/tunic is known as a jumlo and was created by a master embroiderer and tailor in Indus Kohistan.

It is richly embellished with petit point embroidery, mother of pearl buttons, and assorted coins and metal amulets. Jumlos are some of the most lavishly decorated costumes in all of Asia.

This is one of the most finely embroidered jumlos I have ever seen and features well over 700 inserted triangular panels to create the gored and flounced skirt. The garment measures 76 in. across the sleeves and shoulders and 34.5 in. from neck to flounce hem. 

As is typical, it features repeated satin stitched solar discs edged in white beads that Sheila Paine documents in her insightful book, Embroidered Textiles, as “resembling the patterns carved on rocks from the fifth millennium BC onwards along the route of the Karakorum highway.” She notes that there was once a flourishing sun cult in this region.

This stellar example is in excellent condition.

I have included close-ups of the designs in the body of the textile, outer borders and bottom edge to help tell its story.

Please contact me if you have further questions about this piece. 

For reference: Embroidered Textiles: Traditional Patterns from Five Continents,by Sheila Paine, 1990, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London.