Land of the desert, Rajasthan, has always been known for its wonderful spread of exotic fabrics in silk and cotton. Indian ethnic fare is displayed in a wide ranging variety of quality weaves in vibrant colours that thrill the senses. There are many traditional styles of weaving, dyeing and printing that have given it a niche place in Indian fabrics, both in traditional and trendy clothing.
And what makes for such sought-after fabrics for the Indian woman? It is the fabric material that is used for such creative offerings.
The endearing quality of Rajasthani cotton and sico weaves.
Rajasthani cotton is known for its soft and smooth texture and one that allows for a wide range of vibrant and soft colours in organic and man-made dyes. While its handlooms display the fine quality of weaving like seen in the Kota Doria, traditional printing techniques like the Bagru, Dabu, rapid block printing etc. and ethnic processes like Leheriya, Bandhani Tie & Dye, Sanganer Block, Balotra rapid dye, pigment printing, Batik are all used imaginatively to create sensational designs and patterns of modern taste, with the cotton fabric affording a good canvas for the display of such fine work. Floral designs, geometric shapes, abstract prints, digital imagery, appliqué work are all popularly chosen to adorn the Rajasthani cotton and sico creations nicely.
Rajasthani cotton with its endearing qualities affords fine canvas for both sarees and salwar kameez, the traditional attire for most Indian women. Here we explore the salwar kameez, which over time has become a suitable alternative to the Indian saree, for all occasions.
Let us briefly touch upon the nature of the attire called salwar kameez or salwar suit or churidar kameez or Punjabi suit – the different names that it is known by.
Salwar kameez – traditional Indian ethnic or fashion apparel?
The Salwar kameez or salwar kamiz, with covering piece dupatta or chunni, is worn in India and a few neighbouring countries in the Asian sub-continent. The salwar kameez, is the traditional dress in the Northern belt especially Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, some parts of Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir and in parts of the Indian subcontinent like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Today also favoured as stylish fashion apparel, across India and in many countries with Indian population overseas like US, UK, Canada etc., it is also an accepted alternative for the versatile Indian saree. The Salwar suit has evolved from a traditional dress to reach the level of a modern style statement. In vivid, vibrant colours, exquisite designs and a lot of other adornments, it has been a favourite along with the saree for Indian fashion designers to experiment upon.
The strength of lustrous silk, the cosy comfort of cotton – sicos
Silk is the natural fibre of strength with a shimmery lustrous appearance, airy, soft and comfortable, that keeps the body cool in summer and warm in winter. It has great affinity in absorbing any colour of dye, drapes well and is a great rich-feel fabric. Cotton is a moderately strong natural fibre. It too is soft, airy, comfortable, but very much less lustre. It too has good affinity for colours, has a comforting feel, and drapes almost as well as silk. It also insulates the body in summer and winter. Silk requires more care and attention as compared to cotton but both fabrics do well under normal conditions of use. The blend or sico takes up the endearing qualities of both fabrics.
A lovely collection of Rajasthani cotton & sico Salwar Kameez at Unnati Silks
Unnati Silks with its four-decade long journey in textiles, with a strong leaning towards handlooms, has had a very deep relationship with ethnic weavers across India. A bonding where the weaver utilizes his skills and craftsmanship while Unnati provides insights of tastes and trends of the market has been a rewarding experience for both. It is this facet that is presented in the form of the nature of offerings that the Rajasthani weaver has helped provide for your pleasure.
- A demonstration of the lovely shade of the indigo color can be seen here which is fast, durable and surprisingly gets brighter with subsequent washes.
- A neat arrangement of block prints like an array of flower beds. Colors chosen brighten the environs, present a cheerful countenance of the wearer of the salwar kameez.
- The traditional technique of Dabu which beautifully exploits a single color grey through nuances or shades to create a marvellous salwar kameez offering
- Batik has an exotic flavor in fabrics that fascinates for the effects it creates. Mind you! A lot of effort also goes into its creation, like the floral display that is before you on the kameez and dupatta.
- So very simple yet how elegant! Everything in one color and its shades, neat and uncluttered, with a fine mesh design block printed front. And the neck portion? Wow!
- A lovely treat in designer wear! Rajasthani craftsmen have an innate sense of color and creative combinations that are superbly eye-catching.
This is a taste of the variety and diversity in the range of Rajasthani cotton salwar suits. The texture of the fabric is good, there is easy availability of traditional printing and process techniques, there is color creativity in abundance. With such sure-fire expertise and a dedication to provide the best, the Unnati Silks range of Rajasthani cotton salwar kameez is a range that has to be explored.