Parsi Zabla (young girl’s blouse)


Parsi Zabla (young girl’s blouse)



This Zabla has cheena-cheeni (chinese figures) and, flora and fauna designs embroidered on it.

Parsi zablas are loose, collarless, knee length blouses worn with loose izars (pantaloons) by Parsi children. Originally the zabla was made of a single piece of silk, satin or cotton. After the commencement of China trade in the 18th century, richly embroidered garo (sari) pieces were also used for stitching zablas.

The birth of a child brings great joy as it ensures the growth of the family tree. His arrival in civilised society is marked with a gift of a soft mulmul zabla. According to Indian tradition, it is considered inauspicious to buy any new clothes for the new born. In fact at first the baby is made to wear old clothes of a child from the family. The used clothing is soft for the tender baby skin and it is believed that through these clothes the positive family vibes and values would pass onto the baby. The arrival of a baby is remembered by its tiny clothes; a marriage ceremony by the carefully wrapped up wedding attire; parents are remembered through the garments they pass on to their children. This is perhaps one of the reasons why we treasure heirlooms. The tiny dresses worn by our children hold sweet memories. Treasured more than any expensive garment, they are a strong symbol of love. Earlier, they were stitched and embellished by mothers, aunts, and grandmothers for the child but today the trend of such home-stitched garments is on the decline, being replaced by the variety of readymade clothing available in the market.

Gifted by daughters Prochi Shroff & Behroze Bilimoria in memory of Mehroo & Jamshed Billimoria.


Textiles and Costumes of India

Object Type



Satin silk with embroidery






20th Century CE