A dupatta is something that is traditionally worn by Indian women and is nowadays, worn by women as a symbol of humility all around the world. Dupattas are a wardrobe staple for all women and can be paired with literally any outfit like salwar kameez, salwar suits, lehengas, bridal outfits, sarees, casual wear, party wears, and dresses, kurta pyjama, ghagra choli, anarkalis, and even normal jeans and t-shirt. There are a lot of different types of dupattas and all can be used for different purposes with countless designs and patterns and colours. These dupattas instantly add to the beauty, elegance, and grace of the whole outfit and are a real game-changer. From Banarasi Silk dupatta to Bandhani dupatta, there are innumerable types of dupattas. Nevertheless, today, we will take a look at some of these types.
1. Phulkari Dupatta
Originating in Punjab, Phulkari is a folk embroidery tradition of the state and it means flower (Phul) craft (Kari). The Phulkari embroidery is very intricate and is done in several designs and patterns using floss silk thread on woven cotton fabric, Chanderi, chiffon, and other fabrics as well. The Phulkari dupatta designs are mostly hand embroidery and these are usually worn at weddings, festivals, and family functions. The Phulkari dupattas are very bright, bold, colourful, and eye-catching. There are many types of Phulkaris for different uses like Bagh, Thirma, Darshan Dwar, Sainchi Phulkari, Vari-da-bagh, Bawan Bagh, Chope Phulkari, Panchranga Bagh, Satranga Bagh and Modern Day Phulkari. The Phulkari dupattas are also known as the ‘Pride of Punjab’ and there is even a traditional Punjabi song –
“Ih phulkari meri maan ne kadhi, iss noo ghut ghut japhiyan paawan” which translates to “My dear mother has embroidered this phulkari; I embrace it again and again with affection”.
2. Chanderi Dupatta
The Chanderi fabric originated in a small town, Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh. The Chanderi dupattas are very lightweight with sheer adhere and luxurious drapes. It is very elegant and gives a grand feel. These dupattas are very colourful and have elaborate detailing. There are three types of Chanderi fabrics – pure silk, silk cotton, and Chanderi cotton. The most common designs of Chanderi fabric are florals, coin patterns, peacocks, and geometric patterns. This fabric is created by weaving in silk and golden zari in traditional cotton yarns. These Chanderi dupattas can be worn in festivals, religious functions, and events, college years, and formal parties.
3. Banarasi Silk Dupatta
Originated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, the Banarasi Silk fabric is one of the finest traditional fabrics in India and it is very popular worldwide. The Banarasi silk dupattas and clothes were initially made for the royals and real gold and silver threads were used in its making. These are known for their designs and gold and zari work. The designs on Banarasi silk sarees and dupattas are mostly complex and difficult floral motifs. The Mughals were the ones who brought this to India which is why the designs are mostly Mughal inspired. These rich Banarasi silk dupattas are very elegant, shiny, vibrant, glamorous, and quite heavy yet very sophisticated. These dupattas are loved by every Indian woman and are made for special occasions and lavish events only as these silk dupattas are considered very royal. One can don these dupattas in weddings and Indian functions, social gatherings, and formal parties.
4. Gota Patti Dupatta
This type of embroidery originated in Rajasthan and this embroidery uses techniques by which they create beautiful, intricate patterns and designs with gold, silver, and copper ribbons and lace. The Gota Patti dupattas are perfect for weddings and festivals. The Gota work is suited best on net dupattas but they can also be done on any other fabric like georgette, chiffon, silk, etc. The Gotas give a heavy look but are very light. The Gota Patti work is now an important part of Indian weddings and it features a lot of bridal lehengas. The Gota Patti dupattas are of those types that never go out of fashion and can be worn on any occasion or event or place from weddings to casual hangouts and get-togethers. The Gota Patti dupattas look best when paired with bright-colored or block-printed suits.
5. Kalamkari Dupatta
The word ‘Kalamkari’ literally means ‘freehand drawing with a pen. This artwork originated in Andhra Pradesh and is designed completely by hand. Making a Kalamkari piece or fabric requires a lot of steps and techniques like dyeing, bleaching, hand – painting, block-printing, starching, etc. The Kalamkari dupattas are mostly made with cotton fabric. These dupattas can be best paired with either a matching suit or a plain suit with a pair of juttis. One can also don this dupatta with a simple white shirt and blue jeans. These Kalamkari dupattas are apt for social gatherings, festivals, college days, and casual functions and get-togethers.
6. Net Dupatta
The Net dupattas are one of the most exceptional pieces of grace and beauty. They are extremely elegant, graceful, subtle, and versatile, with a sheer texture, glittery and so light in weight. Net dupattas go with anything be it chiffon suits, party wears, wedding outfits with heavy work on them, embroidered outfits, or traditional outfits like lehengas, salwar suits, or kurtas. These instantly enhance any piece of clothing. These Net dupattas go with anything; still, they can be best paired with white banarasi salwar kameez with some gota on it or one can drape a fun colored glitter dupatta with their clothing. One can even wear it as a cape and carry it on their shoulder or put it over their head. These net dupattas can be worn in any function or events like weddings, casual parties, formal parties, auspicious events, and festivals or also on just a normal day.
7. Chiffon Dupatta
The Chiffon dupattas are extremely light in weight and fragile and delicate. These are soft in touch and are best in summers and spring as these dupattas are very cheerful and breezy. The chiffon fabric and Georgette are similar to each other. Chiffon dupattas are very accessible and affordable. Moreover, they can easily be dyed, can be draped easily, and are more suited for lighter embroideries. Usually, plain chiffon dupattas are more preferred than the over-embroidered ones. These dupattas are mostly worn as evening wears and they give a touch of elegance and grace to the overall outfit. Chiffon dupattas are very popular and decorative and shimmery. They are well-matched with bright colors, a plain kurta pyjama, salwar kameez, and Anarkali dresses with gota work chiffon dupattas or floral printed dupattas. These dupattas can be donned in engagements, office, work, college. They don’t need an event or a function, one can wear them any day they want.
8. Velvet Dupatta
The velvet dupattas and fabric are perfect for winters and they give a royal and lavish feel. Velvet fabric is mostly used as the bridal outfit and is worn by brides at their weddings. The velvet dupattas are quite heavy and it is difficult to carry and maintain them. For this reason, people usually choose to mix and match their velvet dupattas with another fabric. The velvet fabric is extremely soft like a feather to touch and is very cosy and warm. They are best draped with sarees and lehengas. The velvet dupattas have mostly heavy embroideries and work like zardozi, stone, and mirror work and Dori on them. The colour intensity of velvet dupattas is a treat for the eyes as they have such beautiful colours like intense bottle green, stunning navy blue, and black and gorgeous burgundy. As a velvet dupatta weighs a lot, these cannot be veiled overhead, so one can layer them like a shawl and always pin it up to their outfits because of their weight. The velvet dupattas are mostly worn in family functions, fashion shows, and as a bridal outfit at weddings.
9. Georgette Dupatta
Georgette dupattas are quite similar to chiffon dupattas and are most suited for summers and spring. These dupattas are cheerful and happy and light in weight. They are semi-transparent and are available in many patterns like prints, florals, and light lacework and pom-poms. It can be paired with a plain salwar kameez or an Anarkali dress with light jewellery. These georgette dupattas are very delicate and gorgeous and they don’t even crease easily. They can be worn on normal college days, casual hangouts and family dinners, and lawn parties. They are well-suited with Kurtis and long Anarkali dresses. These dupattas go well with evening parties and after sunset.
10. Pashmina Dupatta
Originated in Kashmir, Pashmina is a ball of fine cashmere wool which comes from either a Changthangi goat or a Pashmina goat. The Pashmina shawls and dupattas are famous worldwide and made from this fibre. These Pashmina dupattas are one of a kind and are extremely elegant and very comfortable. These dupattas are capable of keeping a person warm during cold days and have a shine to them because of which, these are people’s favorite. The Pashmina fabric and dupattas are a little expensive than all other fabrics and are very soft and light. These are mostly worn in social gatherings and events, fashion shows and concerts, marriage ceremonies, and engagement.