Plain Wedding Dhoti Kurta with Embroidery on Neck

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This kurta abounding in rare luster has been crafted out of a textile length known as art-silk. Imitating silk-like texture, similar appearance, and even same softness in touch as has a silk piece, art silk is also called imitation silk. The Satpath Brahmin and other ancient texts to include Buddhist and Jain allude to Kausheya, perhaps silk obtained from cocoons, and various plant fibers and some grasses that afforded clothing to different classes of people those days.
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Art Silk
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The fabric used in manufacturing this kurta, otherwise, artificial synthetic fibre and economical substitute of real silk, both in initial cost is also in maintenance, manufactured with greater technical accomplishment obtaining the same look as genuine silk, is known in the textile industry as art silk as also imitation silk. Such synthetic art silk or imitation silk is made using rayon, mercerised cotton, polyester, a blend of these materials or just that of rayon and silk.

Kausheya, something like the present day’s art silk, was specially prescribed as the wear of kings or rich hosts holding yajnas and head priests presiding over them. Obviously, Indians were using artificial fibres for manufacturing their garments about three millenniums before the modern science discovered in around 1890 rayon or polyester type modern sources of clothing. It is for such reason that in context to India any class of clothing breathes an air of ethnicity, and when it is in regard to synthetic silk, or wear like kurta, this feeling of ethnicity doubles. 

As ‘ananda’ – celebration even of death, has been the guiding principle of India’s life and thought, adornment of things of day-to-day use has been the guiding principle of her culture. Though unstitched lengths of textiles constituted the components of his main ensemble – dhoti, sari, turban, uttariya … he always sought to beautify them. In stitched ones, a kurta affords greater scope for embellishment and even a simpler piece affords scope for a design pattern to define at least its collar and button-band. A kurta also affords greater scope for ingenuity as regards the freedom in length, styles of sleeves, modelling of various parts and in its embellishment.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes in the aesthetics of ancient India. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.

Wrapping Culture: The Art of Wearing a dhoti

Dhoti is an unstitched garment or a large fabric, measuring about 5 yards in length, that is wrapped by men around their waist and legs. In Vedic civilization, wearing Dhoti was a part of their everyday attire. However, modern civilization has changed the clothing styles and preferences of Indian men and women. Indians have now imbibed the western culture. That being said, one cannot ignore the fact that some sections of men can still be seen wearing dhotis such as the farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, some secular politicians, the pujaris or priests in Hindu temples, and some traditional martial artists. It is undoubtedly the emblem of the unmatched Indian culture. Dhoti is called by different names in different places such as "Mundu" in Kerala, "Laacha" in Punjab, "Mardaani" in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, "Veshti" in Tamil Nadu, "Dhotar" in Maharashtra, etc.

Draping a perfect Dhoti: The neat and comfortable way

Tying a perfect dhoti is not a difficult task and can be wrapped in various ways. If you want to experience the comfortable drape of the dhoti, you need to know how to wear the dhoti in the simplest way, the steps of which are mentioned below:

Step 1 - Bring the cloth to the front

Take a long piece of unstitched cloth of your choice. Make sure it is clean and does not have any wrinkles on it. Bring the cloth from the back to the front on the waist so that there is the same length of the cloth on either side of your body.

Step 2 - Tie knots to keep the cloth in place

Measuring on both your index fingers, tie two knots near the navel. The knots should neither be too tight nor too loose on your waist. Now the cloth is divided into two sections; left and right.

Step 3 - Set pleats on the left side

Take the left section from between your legs. Make a series of structured and aligned folds between both the loose ends, and tuck it at the back. Remember, it is the way the folds have been set that makes the dhoti look elegant.

Step 4 - Make folds on the right side

Now that the left section is set, it is time to work on the right section of the cloth. You have to make similar pleats on this side too and make sure that they remain intact. Now tuck it at the waist and your dhoti is ready.

Different ways of styling Dhoti

The lightweight cotton fabric of the dhoti is available in various colors having a stripe of a colorful border making it appear rich and sophisticated. This clothing is suited especially for the summer season. A lot of innovations have been made to the Dhoti, one of them being its availability in silk fabric also. The silk varieties are worn on special occasions and marriage ceremonies, while the cotton varieties are worn as daily wear. The Indian dhoti is not only extremely comfortable for men but also adds an element of dignity and manliness to their personalities. The way of styling the Indian dhoti differs from place to place and has indeed evolved a lot due to global influence.
In the South Indian states men either fold their dhoti into half and tuck it at the waist reaching only to their knees which is mostly worn on informal occasions, or a full-length dhoti which is mostly plain white bearing a golden border. They wear it with an unstitched piece of cloth known as “Angavastram” draped over their shoulders. Some men wear the dhoti along with a shirt which they call a “Chokka”.
Men in North India style their dhoti with a Kurta and the combination is called “Dhoti-kurta”. Men of the “Jaat” community of Haryana are also seen clad in Dhoti Kurta.

Traditional men of West Bengal wear a Dhoti made of Tussar or Silk along with a Kurta on the festivity celebrations of Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja.

The Gaudiya Vaishnavas or the devotees of the worldwide-known Hare Krishna Movement have positively adopted the Vedic culture of wearing Dhoti as their everyday attire. The Brahmacharis wear saffron colored dhoti along with saffron Kurta while the Grihastha men wear white colored dhoti along with white Kurta. Some unmarried boys pair their dhoti with a simple T-shirt or collared shirt making it look more like a fashionable garment. The youth of this movement inspires others to reconnect with the rich tradition and culture of Bharat due to which wearing a dhoti has gained a lot of popularity.
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