Dupattas are worn in many regional styles across India. Originally, it was worn as a garment for added modesty. While that symbolism still continues, many people today wear it as a decorative accessory.
A dupatta is an extremely versatile piece of clothing. It can be worn in a number of ways, with a number of different styles. The myriad designs, patterns, colors and embellishments make the dupatta the focus and highlight of the entire ensemble.
Indian attires and Dupattas
Each area in the country has a different name for dupatta, in its own language. Odhni, chunni, shawl etc. are all different names for the same garment accessory. Since ancient times, the dupatta has been paired with ghagras and salwar suits. The rural Indian women usually cover their heads with dupattas. This practice is especially seen in the northern parts of India.
Dupattas in this new era
In the new era, the dupatta has adopted a different purpose and language. Many fashion designers have translated the dupatta into a symbol of fashion which is now recognised Internationally.
Dupattas are popular among both men and women in Indian and Pakistani fashion. In Hindu and Muslim marriages, where the bride covers her head with a dupatta, the groom on the other hand uses the dupatta with a sherwani to complete the entire look which gives the dupatta a degree of unisex appeal.
Dupattas have been beautified with weaving and dyeing methods. Some added elements like mirrors, beads, zari, sequins, gold or silver threads, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls (both real and faux), chikankari and kantha stitch, block print, kalamkari make the dupatta, point of attention in the ensemble.
Some famous examples of dupattas are-
Of Rajasthani origin, the bandhej dupatta is one of the most elegant varieties of the garment. Adorned with dazzling embellishments that are embroidered onto it using the traditional mirror work. The Bandhej dupatta showcases the intriguing art of the state of sand dunes and camels.
Chiffon dupattas are the dearest to the fashion industry today. You will come across many designers using this material to enhance their outfits. The demand for dupattas made out of this fabric is extremely high because of it's perfect fall and manageability.
Phulkari literally translates to the work of flowers. A Phulkari dupatta is a piece of art. Vibrant colors, geometrical patterns and the darning stitch have surely ruled the fashion industry for a very long time and continue do so Till date a phulkari dupatta is considered a garment wrapped in the blessings of elders and is considered very auspicious for the bride.
When talking about royal textiles, Chikankari is the first name that comes to the mind. Hailing from the land of Nawabs, the Chikankari dupatta is considered no less than a luxury itself. The perfect fall, tone on tone embroideries make it one of the most desired crafts.
Kota Doria Dupatta:
The specialty of this dupatta is its self checkered pattern and the fabric softness. Kota doria dupattas are a classic and a must in each woman's wardrobe. Wear a basic kurta salwar, throw a Kota Doria dupatta on your shoulders and voila! It adds just the right amount of detail to your garment with its super interesting self weave.