Confetti East’s A-Z of fashion terms

Don’t know your achakan from your kalidhar? Here’s our quick guide to technical fashion terms from South Asia…

Ablamirrored glass
Achakanmen’s long‐sleeved coat‐like garment, worn close‐fitted, reaching down to the knees or lower and buttoned in the front‐middle
A‐linetriangular shaped skirt that is wider at the hem than at the waistband
Angararkha kurta with two flaps, one over‐lapping the other, the left half tied under the right
Angavastramgold embroidered cloth worn folded and draped over the left shoulder
Angiahalter style choli or bodice
Badlaflat gold or silver wire
Balucharisilk brocade sari from West Bengal
Bandgalaliterally means closed neck, it is a jacket or achakan closed and buttoned at the throat, also known as the Nehru jacket
Bandhiniprocess of tie‐dyeing in which small spots are tied tightly with thread to protect them from the dye; popular in Rajasthan and Gujurat
Batiktraditional method of producing patterns onto fabric using wax and gum
Belfloral design
Bias cutcut diagonally across the grain of the fabric used to create garments that follow the body curves closely
Block‐printedwood‐cut blocks of traditional designs are applied to cotton, organza & silk
Brocadea jacquard weave fabric with interwoven all‐over designs, usually of flowers and foliage, creating an intricate figuring effect by using satin weaves on a plain weave background, used extensively for silk saris
Butalarger motif of flowers and plants
Butia diminutive of buta, very commonly used in Indian textile design.
Chanderispan of silk bordered with cotton which is bordered by gold, from Madhya Pradesh
Chikankariform of embroidery popular during the Mughal period, mainly white work consisting of floral embroidery on a net ground, has recently become hugely popular
Cholia short bodice‐like garment which can be worn in many styles: with back or backless, fastened with strings or extended cloth‐pieces, with shaped breast pieces or flat, etc
Chunnatcrinkled gota ribbon
Chunria lightweight scarf generally around 2‐3 metres long, with embroidery, cut‐work, border to it, also known as duppatta or chunni
Churidara bias cut close‐fitted trouser with bangle like gathers or wrinkles around the ankle, worn underneath a tunic, can be worn by men or women
Crushedfabric that is twisted or crumpled
Dabkaembroidery with coiled metal springs
Damanhem of the garment
Dhotitraditional Indian dress for the lower part of the body, consisting of a piece of unstitched cloth draped over the hips and legs to form loose trousers; worn in various ways in different parts of the country, generally by Hindu men, sometimes by women
Djellabasa flowing garment worn by men
Dupattaa woman’s veil, traditionally it was made of two breadths of fabric sewn together, nowadays it is usually draped over the shoulders rather than the head also known as chunri, chunni or chunar
Fishtailusually lehenga or skirt, fitted around the hips and flaring out from the knee to the hemline
Ghaghrafull or ankle length flowing skirt, usually with a great deal of flare, a simple ghaghra has only one vertical seam forming a tube and fastened with a drawstring; flared ghaghras are made up of several triangular panels stitched together, flared and gathered full length skirt
Gharcholaa red sari with grid‐like patterns of gold and silver brocade work in which are set tie and dye dots in various motifs, originally from Gujurat
Gheracircumference or volume of skirt
Gotanarrow ribbon made of gold or silver thread, either flat or folded into leaves and flowers
Hakobafabric with eyelet work done all over
Ikata particular form of woven fabric on which patterns are tie and dyed before weaving, mainly from Orissa
Jaaloverall design (print or embroidery) on the fabric
Jaalian openwork in chikankari, a very intricate form of embroidery
Jamdaniloom embroidery woven on fine textured cotton muslin; floral, animal, bird motifs in silk
Jamevarwoven, woolen knit shawl with a specific all‐over pattern
Jodhpurilong tunics with small buttons down the front, as worn by the Rajput royals
Jutistraditional shoes with embroidery
Kalamkaria textile from South India, usually decorated with religious images; a fabric translated into a visual narrative through the artist’s kalam (pen)
Kalidhartunic or skirt made with several triangular panels stitched together to creat a flare a the hemline
Kamarbandcloth waist‐band for men or a traditional piece of jewellery for women worn at the waist
Kameeza shirt‐like tunic that has its orgins in North India and Pakistan
Kanchlisleeveless bodice
Kanjeevarama heavy silk sari from South India, characterized by its contrasting colours, it typically has temple borders, checks, stripes and floral butis; the border, body and pallav are woven separely and then are perfectly interlocked together
Kanthawork originating in Bengal, it is a patchwork style of embroidery using a running stitch on old discarded pieces of fabrics and patched together to make a new fabric
Kimkhabsilk fabric brocaded with thread made from a fine strand of flattened metal wound over a core of silk, using yellow silk under gold and white silk under silver
Kurtia shorter form of the more traditional tunic called kurta
Lehengaa long skirt, worn in combination with a choli (bodice) and a odhni (veil)
Leheriaa resist‐dyeing technique which results in a multi‐striped or chequered, multi‐coloured pattern
Meenakariinlay of colours as in enamelling
Mojrisethnic embroidered jutis (shoes)
Pagria turban worn by men
Pallavdecorative border, usually at one end of a sari
Pashminafinest grade of cashmere that is a short, thin inner layer hair from Himalayan goats
Pathanisilk sari with gold border and pallav with silk brocaded motifs in an interlocked tapestry technique
Patoladouble ikat of Patan, Gujurat
Patialasimilar to a salwar but with more pleats and cowls, usually made of silk or any smooth flowing fabric
Patkaa girdle or kamarband, worn over pyjamas, often very decorative
Phulkariliterally meaning flowerwork, term for type of embroidery practiced by women in Punjab, using floss‐silk on coarse cotton cloth in darning stitch worked from the back of the fabric
Princess linea vertical design line that crosses the bust point, equivalent to a dart
Punchamachined cuffs to salwar, usually has interesting patterns of seamlines on it
Pyjamatrouser like garment, in a variety of cuts, fabrics and shapes, worn both by men and women
Reshamsilk thread
Salmasquare spirals of metal
Salwarbaggy trousers traditionally worn with a tunic in North India
Sariworn by women, this continuous length of cloth, has three main parts: body, border and pallav, which is wrapped around the waist and over one shoulder, usually 6 metres long, except the Maharastrian sari, which is 9 metres
Shararaa loose trailing pyjama that gives the appearance of lehenga, worn usually by muslim women
Sherwania coat like garment worn by men, close fitted, closed neck, high collared worn along with a churidar and long scarf around the neck
TanchoiChinese influenced brocade from Surat
Tussarraw silk originally worn for puja by women of the Rajgarh and Bilaspur districts of Madhya Pradesh
Ulta Pallava sari pallav worn in fan pleats over the torso
Zardosi workgold or silver metal threads are sewn on fabrics like satin or velvet or with metallic threads to give the appearance of true embroidery; it is normally heavy and can comprise of mirrors, sequins, springs, pipes, pearls, precious and semi‐precious stones
Zarifine quality metallic gold thread twisted over cotton or silk for brocading and embroidery, also known as jad

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