As part of the Festival tradition, we gave the new clothes we bought to everyone, and Fahim’s mom brought me into her bedroom where she had four shalwaar sets laid out on her bed – all not sewn, just the plain material – and she asked me to pick out which one I’d like.
Immediately, my eye is drawn to a pink and aqua set. I’m not normally a pink person – as in, pale pink – I do hot pink quite readily – but I was drawn to it nevertheless.
I’ve taken a pic of the three fabrics that are included in the kit – and yes, always three fabrics.
The plain aqua to the right is for the shalwaar pants. It’s a looser cotton weave for breathability.
The fabric on the top – with embroidery not covering the entire surface of the fabric – is for the shawl. The embroidery actually runs down both sides of the length of the shawl with a plain strip on either side and in the centre. Shawls can be anywhere from 12 inches to 45 inches wide, depending on how traditional it is, how fancy it is, and whether it’s worn by traditional Muslim women, who prefer wider strips to cover themselves with if necessary.
The piece of fabric on the bottom has the embroidery over the entire face of the fabric. This is for the shalwaar tunic. The cotton is medium weight with an excellent quality weave, and the embroidery is machine stitched.
When you buy a shalwaar kit here, and in Dubai, where this one was purchased, it comes either with the three pieces of fabric, or the three ready-made pieces. That’s traditional.
It’s also traditional for shalwaars here to have a lot of embroidery and beading on them. Plain, unadorned fabric is downright uncommon.
Now here’s the deal. 😀 Fahim’s mom wants to take me to Hameedia’s to get them to sew it for me.
Because my first shalwaar was too short by a foot to a foot and a half, and the second was too short by four to six inches, I suspect that Fahim’s mom may be convinced that I don’t get how long it’s actually supposed to be, despite Fahim telling her that the first one came with insuffient fabric (I could have let the front of the shalwaar go to the floor, but the back came halfway up my thighs – there was an embroidered collar in there that restricted my movement on the fabric, so I did the best I could, which included not having shoulder seams, but instead having the front and back be one piece. I specifically designed it as best as I could to save on length. Ah well.) Fahim tells me here memory is somewhat like mine. *aghast* *yikes!*
Anyway, no problem, and sure, that’s what we’ll do. But she doesn’t trust me to go by myself and get it done, so she wants to come with us when we go there.
Thing is, we’re not even sure if Hameedia will take outside fabric to do sewing. Maybe they will – I guess we’ll find out.
Whatever. If I end up sewing it myself, that would be fine, but if it’s that important to Fahim’s mom that it be done professionally, that’s also fine.
And that concludes this segment of the programming. :p