India is a country that is known for its diversity in cultures, where, every hundred kilometers that you traverse across the length and the breadth of the country, you will notice a vivid change in the cultural, ethical, and geographical landscape. Throughout history, we have seen several changes in dynasty customs and culture but the only thing that stood the test of time and the diverse changes in the Indian woman’s outfit accessory, the dupatta. This 3 meter-long piece of fabric has withstood the historical invasions and the geographical demarcations to be the symbol of Indian richness, Indian ethics, our pride, and our feminism. Great wars were fought just to get a glimpse of the beauty it shielded – such is the importance of the dupatta. Our film industry has been able to create several hundreds of musical masterpieces on this three-meter piece of fabric. Be It the pride of a queen or the beauty of a bride, the dupatta for women in India is considered a symbol of respect, and so it is traditionally used to welcome foreign dignitaries even.
It is a necessity that can match your traditional lehenga choli, an ethnic skirt, a designer saree, or even a formal pantsuit. The dupatta is a versatile piece of fabric that changed the face of history and is now changing the concept of the fashion industry.
6 Dupattas That Are A Must-Have In A Bridal Trousseau
1. The Assamese Muga Silk Chador
The rich traditional gift from Assam, the Muga Silk chador is woven in the finest silk in handlooms. The villages of Assam have a tradition of weaving that dates back to the pre-Mughal era which was patronized by the kings and the nobility. The fineness of the Assam silk, the vibrant colors, and the woven motifs are exemplary designs of art. The Muga silk border designs are woven to give a permanent gold finish to the chador. A bride’s look is incomplete without a Muga silk chador with typical Assamese royalty icons woven on it. Its designs are usually geometric flowers and creepers woven all over the fabric. In fact, a Muga silk or Eri silk chador is a heritage piece of cloth that you can find even in your mother’s wardrobe.
2. The Punjabi Phulkari Dupatta
The Phulkari or flower work is a style of embroidery from the villages of Punjab where the patterns are woven in a handloom. It is synonymous with romance and love as it was first associated with the Punjabi folklore of Heer Ranjha. Its flower work design pattern is handwoven with silk threads in vibrant colors. Its motifs are woven in a geometric pattern and usually depict the daily elements like flowers, animals, and creepers. It is a traditional gift that is given to a bride by her uncle with the hope to fill her life with love, care, and color. The splash of colors and the price of the silk thread makes this dupatta the second most important item in the list of dupattas for bridal wear.
3. Banarasi Brocade Silk Odhni
Originally from Banaras, brocade weaving grew under the patronage of Akbar and soon became the royal fabric of the Mughal nobility, but the weaving style is mentioned in the Vedic works of literature as well. The Brocade style is like weft weaving in golden threads that can retain the luster for decades. The fabric can be silk, cotton, Georgette, or chiffon, but the highlight of the dupatta is its gold thread work depicting flowers and animals and traditional motifs. It always gives a brilliant touch to the bridal attire, whether in the same or contrasting color. The silk dupattas are very heavy so a Georgette dupatta with brocade work will also add to the glamour of a bride.
4. Rajasthani Bandhej Dupatta
A unique style of the tie and dye pattern on cotton, Georgette, or silk clothes, the Bandhani print is associated with Rajasthani and Gujarati cultures. It exuberates cheerfulness and enthusiasm and is now considered as India’s best-known style export to the West. Even the western pop music artists have adopted it to depict a queen-like grace, fairy-like femininity, and the vibrancy of a butterfly in their music videos. It brings fortune and prosperity to a bride’s life and makes her life colorful. The sheer bright colors can turn the look of any dress around. The dupatta for women in India is headwear that is worn with a bridal lehenga or just as a wrap-up shawl with a mehndi dress, and the Bandhani print dupatta is one of the must-haves of a brides wardrobe.
5. Velvet Designer Dupatta
The soft tufted fabric is either woven from silk, wool, linen, or Mohair. Weaving is done in a double layer technique to give it a soft, spongy texture, and an almost slippery, silky feel on the skin. Its matte luster is due to artificial viscose threads but that only enhances its rich look. And then a zari border and small Polki motifs are woven on it. A shimmering fabric and the broad Zari lacework of flowers and traditional paisley radiate a soft glow that brightens up bridal beauty. A bright red or maroon velvet dupatta is a perfect match for a lehenga or saree of any color. It can heighten the effect of a pastel lehenga to give a diva look to women and also complement the traditional red Banarasi saree to give a goddess-like look to them.
6. Rajasthani Gota Patti Dupatta
A net or Georgette dupatta with a broad, bright lacework can do justice to both a minimalistic bridal look or even a traditional decked-up look. The Gota work is traditionally Rajasthani embroidery but now it is industrially manufactured all over the country, so you can buy dupattas online. Fine metallic threads are woven into the fabric in an applique technique to create big, elaborate motifs. Colored threads are also used for contrast. Colors with a metallic shine along with embroidery, applique weaving, and mirror work, work wonders on a flimsy net or Georgette fabric. It is a dupatta that can match your heavy Gota work lehenga on your wedding day or your satin silk designer saree on the reception night.
The touch of the soft fabric on your head and shoulder gives you the feeling of pride, passion, grace, and beauty, and that is why western celebrities have started to buy dupattas online and make them a part of their red carpet look and the presidential power suit look. Whether you call it a chunni, an odhani, a stole, or a scarf, the dupatta evokes a sense of vibrancy and romance. It is synonymous with festivity, womanhood, and above all, an Indian wedding.