Posts Tagged rajasthani women costumes

Kurti – Ethnic Upper Wear of Rajasthani Women

Kurti is the shorter version of kurta. It is the upper garment of Rajasthani women worn with kanchali. In Rajasthan, only married women are required by tradition to wear a kurti.  party_kurti_KB23_sm

It is sleeveless garment with a deep horseshoe shaped neckline. Since the neck beneath is expanded most of kanchali beneath is exposed.

Different Styles

Kurti worn by Bishnoi class has a slitted side and a deep neckline that reveals all of Kanchali. The kurtis has its front open like a jacket, the piping at edges with a string holding the overlap at side seam and front is fastened with buttons and loops.

Rajput women kurti has no front opening and is easily slipped over the head.

Kurti Varieties

Embroidered Kurtis

Different embroidery, artworks like at needle work, cross-stitch,  suzani, phulkari, handanger are used to make embroidery kurtis. They are further decorated with zardosi work, beads, threads sequins and machine embroidery.

Printed Kurtis

The material used for this type of kurtis are cotton, silk, crepe and georgette. Tie and die, lehariya and mothra kurtis are most popular ones. Mirror work, kundan, stones, sequins and zari are used to make it attractive.

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Puthia – Traditional Wear of Rajasthani Women

Puthia is the upper part of attire of Rajasthani women. Rajasthan newborn babies, young married girls, elderly women and widows wear it as a upper garment.

It is a traditional wear of Rajasthan which gives comfort and protection from heat waves of Rajasthan state.

Rajasthani Costume

Puthia is much like angarkhi. The unbleached hand woven khadi cloth is used to create garment while some class wear printed cotton, brocade sand plain coloured fabric.

It is double breasted garment with a higher flap crossing over right side and tied with a  cord under left armpit. There is no joint at the waist and garment ends at hips itself.

The sleeve length vary from short elbow to full length.

The Puthia is constructed of two panels, one front extension, one back piece, two sleeves from side panels and gussets. The opening is in front with one to three ties. The neck is deep with widest portion over the chest . An inner flap covers the chest with a rounded neck and thus fastens with a loop and cloth button. This flap is held at waist with cloth tie chords and is further attached to ridge.

The shape of sleeve of armhole is made by use of triangular gussets known as Khankhi. The back has plain and straight cut. The fabric is turned with fold on outside and unfolded edges stitched into garment.


It is  the important factor as it denotes the community and class of a woman. A newborn baby wear red puthia with green piping but after  child first Holi it is  transform into white. An unmarried Bishnoi girl usually wear white pichodi with red piping.


Rajputs wear puthia of satin, velvet, cotton and brocade fabric which are normally in white, pink and whitecolour.

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Tie and Die, Bandhej Shawls – Popular Winter Wear from Rajasthan

The term shawl is derived from Persian word shal, which means a clothing worn around a person. It is mainly worn to give a warm feeling, to complement a costume and for symbolic reasons.

It is a rectangular or oblong piece of cloth or garment that is worn to cover the head, neck or shoulders. It is also worn for offering prayers in many religions.

Bandhej Shawls of Rajasthan


Shawls were popular among Indians in variety of forms since ancient times. Kashmir valley of India is known for weaving shawl. The intricate embroidery and hand woven shawls from Kashmir are popular throughout Europe, Persia and other western countries.


Tie and Die Shawls

Tie and die shawls in wool with beautiful embroidery and mirror work from craftsman of Rajasthan are famous world over. Tie and die is one of the most traditional method of printing shawls. These methods  involves dyeing only selected parts of cloth which yield multicolored designs and shades in a shawl.

Bandhej Shawls

Bandhej is also popular technique in which muslin, handloom or silk cloth as well as cotton is used for making bandhej shawl.  Starch, colours and ordinary threads are the raw material required for this type off shawls.

Earlier, vegetable dyes were used but now chemical dyes are becoming popular.

Wooden blocks are used for making attractive designs.

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Odhani – Symbolic Representation of Rajasthani Women’s Devotion and Culture

Odhani - Rajasthani Women Wear Representing a Rich Culture

Odhani - Rajasthani Women Wear Representing a Rich Culture

Odhani is the symbolic representation of Rajasthan clan culture.  In high class of rural areas, the tradition of wearing odhani is quite ancient. The rural women adapt it as an idol of prestige and self respect.

Odhani wearing is a custom and devotion of Rajasthani women towards their husband and culture. Odhani is worn in combination with ghagra on lower portion and upper kurti/kanchali.

The length of odhani is around 3 meters and breadth is approx 1.5 meters which hangs along with ghagra.

On ordinary course, cotton and voil odhani is worn while on special  occasions, gota  odhani  with many colours    is more prevalent.

Printing and Coloring

The art of coloring and bandez work used to be done by famous Mittoji of Jaipur and Tadthyub khan.

From eighteen century onwards, the clothes used to be printed, colored and tied up in various forms in the markets of Jaipur city in Rajasthan, some of them are::


In this type of odhani, there is rounded motifs of lotus. The base is of yellow, saffron or pink coloured in which lotus flowers are beautifully displaced.


It is made of five colours which is the basis of Rajasthani number system.


There are many kinds of motifs in chunari  like birds,  animals, floral and geometrical patterns.


Many folk songs of Rajasthan are based on odhani which are sung on special festivals.


In Vishnoi and Charan class, Laveri odhani is worn.

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Lehariya Ghagra – Rajasthani Women Festive Wear

Rajasthani women wear ankle length colourful skirts known as ghagra. The folds depict the prosperity of wearer. The skirts are tied around the waist and have flaring width at their base.


Ghagra colors and printing is in pattern of Lehariya, mothra and chunari. In chunari, floral motifs and ornamental designs are made by artisans. Generally Multani and sagneri prints ghagras are worn as they are cheaper and durable.

On the eve of Teej, five coloured lehariya ghagra is worn by Rajasthani women. In nineteen century, the hunting scene motifs were quite popular. In one of the Japanese exhibitions that pattern of ghagra was exhibited. After that, instead of birds – animals motifs, floral designs became famous.

Silk colourful ghagra in which meenakari was done with silken threads, were also designed.


The yarn  and pieces which are made to stitch ghagra are known as Chaveli. There are many folds and pleats in this type of ghagra. Kurtis – Kanchali are made in combination with ghagra.


The royal class women wear ghagra of satin, velvet and fancy material. Velvet ghagra is coloured and printed in which on lower edge,  gota is also stitched. Sometimes on pleats or folds gota is stitched to make it look more attractive.

Gota on ghagra is made of threads of silver and  ghagras are passed from generation to generation

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