Tracing the History of Clothing in India

Tracing the History of Clothing in India

Indians have known the art of weaving and dying since time immemorial and glimpses of their skill with clothes is very much available in the textures as well as artefacts dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization.

Temple paintings, carvings and other art forms clearly show humans wearing clothes in different styles and this is evidence enough to show that the Indians have been using clothes to cover their body since centuries.

While it is widely known that Indians were the first to grow cotton, studies suggest that the process of silk production was also not unknown to the Indians.

The style and texture of clothing greatly evolved in India across different periods. Here is a quick summary of the Gradual Evolution:

In the Vedic period, pieces of cotton clothing were worn like wraparound skirts to cover the bottom half of the body. The torso was separately covered with a shawl or veil like a garment.

The Gupta Period saw the evolution of the modern day sari. The Sari was worn by women of all classes and creeds but the material used and the style of draping was largely governed by the then socio-economic conditions. It was also in the Vedic Period that the modern day cholis evolved in style and utility. While there were different styles of garments to cover the torso, the cholis with strings and bare midriff were quite popular.

In the Mughal period, the emphasis was on the fabric as all kinds, right from brocade to silk to muslin was used in making clothes. While men of the Mughal era wore angoras and frock coats, salwar kameez, churidar and sarees were prevalent amongst the women. Wearing heavy accessories was also quite prevalent in this age.

The style of wearing the sari greatly varies from state to state and this has been so since the early days. While some drape their sarees from the left side, others prefer draping it from the right.

The traditional choli has also undergone many variations and now they are worn in different styles. Owed to the English influence, the Victorian era witnessed a particular trend wherein the blouses were fashioned to completely cover the hands as well as the midriff.

Indians have always had an innate sense of fashion and this concept is as old as theTextile industry itself. The Indian Fashion Industry has evolved and now people are not afraid to experiment with fusion designs that give them the best of Indian as well as Western styles.

Indian designers are being recognized globally for their creativity and innovative designs. The world now looks forward to Fashion Week and Fashion fairs where Indian designers showcase their works. In keeping with this increased fashion consciousness of the people, various international brands are on their way to establish their foothold in India.

Thus, it can well be said that the Indian fashion industry has come a long way and achieved many milestones.

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