As we all know that India is a country having diverse cultures and traditions, hence, Indian clothing also depends upon the different ethnicity, climate and cultural traditions of the people of each region of the country.
Initially, Indian clothing was kept very simple and subtle for both men and women. A single cloth was used to cover the body in different ways. The women wore short blouses with sarees and the men used to cover their lower body with lungis, dhotis, langotis and loincloths.
While their upper body remained uncovered in other seasons, a thick shawl was to be worn in winters. These clothes were not only used for regular clothing but also for festive occasions, religious gatherings and other important functions.
With time, new trends were adopted by different countries like during the mughal period, Muslims brought two piece clothes namely Shalwar – Kameez (also known as Suits) which was embraced by the people of North India including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.
Later on, the Britishers brought with themselves the western culture which was approved by the urban areas of the country. This included Shirts, pants, blazers, long skirts, frocks etc.
Besides this, the Rajashtanis and the Marathas brought some commendable additions to the Indian clothing.
Attires like Achkan/Sherwani, Bandhgala and Angarkha were some of the clothes worn by men and dresses like ghagra-choli and lehenga-choli were worn by the women which today are recognised as the dress code in most of the Indian marriages.
Moreover, recently western clothing such as shirts and trousers have been approved as traditional Indian dress by the Government of India.
Talking about the cloth material and embroideries, India has an incredible variety of fibers, weaves and colours. Weaving is an activity which is practised since ancient times in India.
A cloth made up of gold called hiranya can be found in ancient vedas text. During the 12th and 13th centuries, India was very well known for its woven textiles. Sarees were made by the weaving centres for royalty. The main fabrics used for textiles were cotton, silk and wool.
One of the oldest fabrics of India is Khadi. It’s a very cool fabric and was endorsed by Mahatma Gandhi during pre-independence. Reason being, our tri – colored Indian flag is always supposed to be in Khadi.
Indian clothes are known for the wide range of their fabric prints such as bandhani, kalamkari, batik ajrak, ikat, leheriya and bagu.
Moreover, it is rich in hand embroideries which are delicate and very expensive. One of the famous hand embroidery designs in India are chikankari, katha, phulkari, zardozi, rajasthani patchwork, kashikari, aari and mirror work.
The present Indian clothing can be described as the fusion of Western and traditional culture which is also known as Indo-Western clothing. Indo-Western dresses are very popular in India and can be seen everywhere around the country.
Indian fashion trends have come a long way and have gained many admirers across the world. It has been recognised by many global organisations like UNESCO.
Indian is not only one of the largest exporters of textiles but many foreign countries also manufacture their clothes over here such as Tommy Hilfiger and Gap Inc.
India is third largest producer of cotton and second largest producer of Silk. Indian fashion designers like Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Ritu Verma and Rohit Bal have become very big names in International fashion industries as well.