Sunday, October 4, 2020

Angrakha

 Angrakha




Angrakha is an ethnic top that has an asymmetric opening, knotted or secured by either thread ties or loops. Usually, is worn by both, men and women of all ages. The Angrakha is an extremely versatile garment that has been innovated and integrated with Indian ethnic wear as a style of kurta and can be worn with any type of bottom such as a churridar or a salwar. This type of garment originates from Rajasthan and is a widely popular choice of attire not just in that state but in other parts of the country as well.


Background

Rajasthan, as a state, is extremely hot and dry and, for the most part, comprises deserts and very little shade. As a result, the natives of the state needed a type of clothing that was light, easy to wear and would protect them from the sun. This is how the Angrakha came into being. The garment is usually made of material that can withstand heat and absorb sweat, which typically is cotton.

In terms of ethnic wear, Angrakha is a type of garment that can be worn by both the genders however, the way they are paired with other pieces differentiate them on the bases of gender. For instance, men wearing Angrakha often pair them with turbans and loose pajamas or dhotis while women pair this with long lehenga skirts or Churidar along with a dupatta around their head.

There are two different types of Angrakhas that emerged while taking into consideration their uses. The first, which was meant for daily wear, was the knee length Angrakha while the second, meant for festivals and celebrations, was the frock Angrakha, which is slightly flared and ends at the waist.

The Making

One of the ways an angrakha is made is by using bandhini. Bandhini is a type of Tie Dye cloth that is created by dyeing a fabric that has been wrapped and tied tightly with pieces of string to create different types of shading and styles of this such as Ekdali, Leheriya, Mothra and Shikara. This fabric is then embroidered with patterns of squares, dots and circles to give it a textural dimension. Similarly, mirror work is used to add to the way the fabric looks. The fabric is then stitched into the angrakha and this can be done both, by hand and by machines.

Style & Variety

Traditionally, there are two types of Angrakhas. These are

Kamari Angrakha

The Kamari Angrakha ends right at ones waist and is looks quite similar to a frock in the sense that the bottom half of this garment flairs outwards. This type is most commonly worn during a festival or any celebration. Another reason why this type is worn for festivals is that it gives one the freedom to move ones legs while dancing, especially as it is paired with dhotis.

Knee length Angrakha:

This type of Angrakha is worn on a daily basis and serves to protect one’s body from the heat and the sun. It looks its best when paired with churidars (which are slim fitted pants that have pleats around the waist and gathers at the ankles). However, one can even wear them with pajamas or even salwars.













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