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Traditional Clothes of India

Knowledge

We trace the history and origins of traditional Indian clothing

ACHKAN

This was the court dress of nobles of Turkey and Persia and originated in the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal empire. It is usually made from light and fine fabric.

BANARASI SARI

These saris are said to be the finest saris in India. They are made of silk, which is finely woven and decorated with intricate designs. Due to this embroidery, the saris are quite heavy. Banarasi saris are mostly worn on special occasions.

CHOLI

Cholis are often loose and have heavy designs like mirrors. Lehengas are skirts which are worn with these cholis. 

CHURIDAR

'Churidar' is a hindi word and made its way into the English language in the 20th Century. Earlier, churidars were called 'moghul breeches', 'long drawers' and 'mosquito drawers' by the British. They were originally worn by traditional Kathak dancers.

 DHOTI

The dhoti is considered the traditional men's attire in India. Dhotis are generally 7 yards long and enfolded around the waist and legs and eventually tied in a knot at the waist.

DUPATTA

A dupatta can be described as a multipurpose scarf which can be worn with various Indian outfits to make them look a little more colourful and interesting.

GHAGRA CHOLI

These are traditional clothes worn mainly by the girls of North India. Now, they are usually worn to pujas, festivals or weddings by girls who are not yet married.

GHARARA

These are often worn by Muslim women. The area below the knee is usually intricately embroidered. They originated in the city of Lucknow during the time of the Nawabs and they were worn as everyday clothes by the north Indian Muslim women of the upper classes.

JODHPURI

These are suits which are worn to weddings and other formal gatherings. Jodhpuris are usually worn by young men.

KURTA

Kurtas are worn as casual and formal wear by men and women. Short kurtas worn by women are known as 'kurtis'.

SALWAR KAMEEZ

Salwar kameezes are worn by both men and women of India. They are a very casual form of clothing and are often worn as daily attire.

MADISAR

These are saris which are worn by Brahmin women in Tamil Nadu. They are available in various materials like silk, cotton, cotton-silk blends and polyester-cotton blends.

SHERWANI

These are long coats which resemble achkans, however they are made of heavier fabrics.

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