Glossary of Indian Costumes

There was request from my readers to give a brief on glossary of Indian costumes. In today’s post there is a collection of them. If you are buying traditional Indian costumes for the first time, you may be confused about some terms used. Even some of us doing regular shopping may not be absolute sure of the terms used. It is an effort to give a brief description of important terms.

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It is a ling knee length jacket for men.


An Indian women’s costume. Made up of a long, frock-style top.


Anchal or pallu, usually more thickly decorated than the body and it is the end piece of a saree.


It is an type of silk sari from Banarasi city in Utter Pradesh, India.


Are small motifs of threadwork besides a plain ground and usually put in a customary order.

Block print

The blocks are normally hand carved from wood and printed on the cloth in repeat patterns.


Saree with edge, along with the top and bottom lengths of the fabric material.


It is an traditional Indian saree made in city chanderi, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Chaniya choli

It is a traditional clothing of women in Gujarat and Rajasthan, India. It is a combination of different outfits such as lehenga, a stiff choli, and dupatta.


A continuous sew up embroidery from the state of Uttar Pradesh at Lucknow.


The sari is worn with a alike or different blouse called a choli. It is a form-fitting top with short sleeves.


It is an tightly fitting pant worn by both men and women in India.


It is an traditional Indian men’s costume.


It is a light weight and soft weave that is more or less clear.


The word gharchola indicate “from the home” – a typically patterned sari style from Gujarat and Rajasthan with large zari checks and bandhni tie-dye work.


It is a tool for weaving textiles. It is handmade process of weaving a saree.


The threads are first dyed in patterns and then strung up on loom so that the patterns emerge as the cloth is woven. Also known as bandhna in Orissa, India.


It is an extremely ornamented cloth in which the design is incorporated into the weave as a substitute of being printed or dyed on.


A style of hand drawing with dyes on cloth.


It is a for handspun and hand-woven garment.


It is a machine used for weaving fabric.


A saree called in Maharashtra.


An stable and simple plain weave fabric that is woven from slightly irregular fibers, producing a soft and supple cloth that is absorbent and comfortable in the heat.


Another word for end piece or anchal, it is the ornamental end piece of the sari.


A type of silk saree in Maharashtra.


It is an traditional women’s costume worn along with saree. It is also called as Parker or ghagara.


When draping the sari, most of the fabric length is taken up in a series of pleats and then centrally tucked in the petticoat, at the waist. The pleats permit easier walking and give the garment its elegant look.


Resham work

It is embroidery done with coloured silk thread.

Resist dying

Usage of blocks to print cloth with wax before immersing in the dye.


A long coat like costume, similar to ackan.

Thread count

Number of picks or threads per linear inch.


embroidery created by the weaving of different colored threads other than zari.


An ancient technique of tying cloth in patterns before dipping it in a dye bath. Rajasthan and Gujarat are famous for their brilliant tie-dyes called Bandhni sarees.


Different styles of sarees that are traditional to the village of their origin. Tribal prints are rough, geometric and bold.


It is created from a combination of natural and man-made components, has a silky appearance and feel, and has the ability to breathe in a manner similar to cotton.


It means Lengthwise fibers of the cloth.


the widthwise fibers of the cloth.


An embroidery that has glittering ornate and heavily encrusted with gold thread work.


It is a thread traditionally made of fine gold or silver used in traditional Indian garments.


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