ART & CULTURE
art, culture & heritage
Dupatta: our culture or matter of choice
Dupatta is a long, multi-purpose scarf
that is essential to many South Asian women's suits and matches the woman's
garments. Some "dupatta suits" include the shalwar kameez and the kurta. The
dupatta is also worn over the South Asian outfits of choli or gharara. The
dupatta has long been a symbol of modesty in South Asian dress.
The origin of the dupatta can be traced to the Mohenjo-daro civilization of the Indus Basin, where the use of textiles such as Ajrak was highly prevalent. A sculpture of the Priest King of Harrapa, whose left shoulder is covered with some kind of a chaddar, suggests that the use of the dupatta dates back to the early Indus Valley Civilization. From here it spread across the Indian subcontinent, especially during the rule of the Muslim Mughal Empire.
A dupatta is traditionally worn across both shoulders. However, the dupatta can also be worn like a cape around the entire torso. The material for the dupatta varies according to the suit: cotton, Georgette, silk, chiffon, and more.
There are various modes of wearing an unsown dupatta. When not draped over
the head in the traditional style, it is usually worn with the middle
portion of the dupatta resting on the chest like a garland with both ends
thrown over each respective shoulder. When the dupatta is worn along with
the salwar-kameez it is casually allowed to flow down the front and back.
The primary use of a dupatta is to cover the head and/or any inadvertent cleavage and the contour of the bosom. However, the use of the dupatta has undergone a metamorphosis over time. In current fashions, the dupatta is frequently draped over one shoulder, and even over just the arms. Another recent trend is the short dupatta often seen with kurtas and Indo-Western clothing. Essentially, the dupatta is often treated as an accessory in current urban fashion.
A dupatta is a long headscarf popular in traditional clothing of many Asian cultures. Also called a chunni, the scarf is commonly seen throughout India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The scarf can be draped over the head and shoulders in many different ways, and can be worn with everything from pantsuits to evening gowns.
Veils and scarves have been in use throughout India and South Asia for hundreds of years, according to historical evidence. They were often traditional garments for religious ceremonies and special occasions such as weddings. Today, the dupatta is still worn by brides, but has become an everyday accessory with a history stretching back to ancient times. In the expansion of global culture, many Western fashion trends have been inspired by or include use of the dupatta.
The scarf can be made from many kinds of fabric. It is often heavily
embroidered or made with a contrasting border. Linen, cotton, silk, and
chiffon are all common materials used. Dupattas come in a rainbow of colors,
and can be chosen to match or complement your outfit.
Making your own dupatta can be as easy as buying a wide piece of fabric and
hemming the edges, but it can also be much more elaborate. You will need
about 6-9 ft (2-3 yd or 1.8-2.7 m) of your primary fabric, approximately 45
in (1.1 m) in width. For easy and flowing draping, choose a lightweight
fabric such as chiffon or georgette. To make a contrast border, purchase a
secondary fabric or enough wide ribbon to cover the edges of your scarf. If
you can embroider or would like to learn, embroidering dupattas is an
excellent way to try out your skills.
Dupattas are worn over many everyday outfits throughout the countries it is associated with. Whether with a tunic over wide-legged pants, a sari and midriff-baring choli top, or even atop a Western style pantsuit.
The dupatta is a striking fashion statement & we always love to wear, specially while in public.
Courtesy: Savera Nadeem