The Pacific Asia Museum will be hosting an exhibit on Ralli Quilts from Pakistan starting December 20th:

So…what are…Ralli Quilts exactly?

Ralli Quilts: Contemporary Textiles from Pakistan features quilts made by women in the areas of Sindh, Pakistan, western India, and surrounding areas. This exhibition helps expand the conception of contemporary Asian art by looking at their form, color and pattern rather than solely how they are made and what they are used for.


Ralli quilts are made in Pakistan and western India by women artisans, many of whom do not travel out of their own village without male accompaniment. Requiring almost 200 hours to create, these ralli quilts are richly patterned textiles made of cloth from discarded fabrics. The cloth is torn or cut into geometric shapes, then stitched together on a palm mat using a large needle and cotton thread with patchwork, applique and embroidery techniques. Traditionally, ralli quilts were used as a form of currency, and would be included in a woman’s dowry. Today, they have become increasingly popular on the commercial market as their striking color juxtapositions and graphic compositions speak to larger trends in textile arts.


This exhibition follows the residency of ralli artist Naina, who visited Pacific Asia Museum in July 2013 to demonstrate the creation of these textiles. Born and raised in a small village in Pakistan, Naina has spent decades creating ralli alongside other women from her village through Lila Handicrafts, a Pakistani cooperative of women from a small village in the Thar Desert region of Pakistan, Tehsil Diplo. Selected quilts by Naina will be for sale in the Pacific Asia Museum store while the exhibition is on view. In addition, the book Ralli Quilts: Traditional Textiles from Pakistan and India by Patricia Ormsby Stoddard, Ph.D. will be available for purchase.

Pacific Asia Museum
46 North Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101
Open Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm