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Afghan National
Clothes of Afghanistan


Baluchi: (ba-loo-chee)

Baluchistan is a vast territory to the south of the country that extends into Pakistan and joins Iran to the west. The Baluchis are largely nomadic or semi-nomadic people with a distinct culture, language and traditions of their own. Like most other ethnic groups in Afghanistan, the Baluchis are divided into numerous tribes and sub-groups.

The typical Baluchi women’s outfit is comprised of a long-sleeved dress called a “pashk”. This is worn with a pair of loose trousers called “shalwars” that are gathered and tied at the waist. To cover the head, a chadar is worn.

The pashk can be made from various fabrics depending on the occasion for which it will be worn. For more elaborate ceremonies and feasts such weddings, the women use fine silk cloth to make their outfits. Silk thread and silver or gold covered thread is used in the embroidery. However, for daily wear the preferred cloth is cotton, the embroidery is less complex and lower quality thread is used.

For most part though, the Baluchi women use complex and ornate geometric patterns in their embroidery. There are four areas on the pashk with the heaviest embroidery: the front bodice of the pashk, the sleeve cuffs, and a narrow rectangular strip, which runs down the skirt front. This densely stitched embroidery is called “Pakka” which means solid. The embroidery is either done directly on the fabric or on a separate piece of heavier cloth that is then sewn onto the garment. This way the embroidery can be removed and reused once the outfit ages.




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