History of Indian clothing History of clothing in India s can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilization where cotton was spun, woven and dyed way back in fifth millennium BC. Excavations at the site have revealed bone needles and wooden spindles. The cotton industry in ancient India thrived and and have continued to be well developed even to this day.An ancient Greek historian described Indian cotton as "a wool exceeding in beauty and goodness that of sheep". Cotton clothing was suitable to the dry, hot Indian summers . The longest Indian epic Mahabharata, believed to be written between 3000-4000 BC, mentions a never ending 'sari' gifted to Draupadi by Lord Krishna to protect her dignity.During Harappan civilization silk was made by the process of 'reeling', a process known only to China at that point of time. This fact was revealed during recent analysis of silk beads found in the excavations of that region. People used to wear three piece 'unstitched' clothing in Vedic times which were the Antariya made of white cotton or muslin, tied to the waist by a sash called Kayabandh and a scarf called the Uttariya draped around the top half of the body.


The Silk road introduced silk textiles into India. The Silk Road/Silk route is so called because of the extensive trade in Chinese silk carried out along its length.In order to guard their trade secret and ensure the protection of the trade route the Chinese extended the Great Wall of China. and thus retained their monopoly in the silk trade.
A variety of weaving techniques were employed in ancient India, each region developing its distinct style and technique. A deep Persian influence can be seen in the Brocades of silk which were woven with gold and silver threads .The Paisley and Latifa Buti (a droplet-shaped vegetable motif of Persian origin) are fine examples of Mughal influence in the enhancement of this art.
The history of Indian clothing would be incomplete without a mention of Kashmiri shawl. Shahtoosh, and the pashmina wool shawls,are two popular varieties of Kashmere shawls.The term pashm originates from the god Pushan mentioned as the 'weaver of garments' in the Rig Veda( an ancient Hindu Scripture) along with the Valley of Sindh as being abundant in sheep. Jamavar and Kanika Jamavar are the most prized kashmiri shawls because of the intricate workmanship and a single shawl takes more than a year for completion.

The British rule in India triggered off a nationwide Swadeshi movement which aimed at boycotting British goods and to promote Indian goods in order to attain self-sufficiency . Thisi zeal manifested itself in the production of a new fabric Khadi ( hand spun yarn) which became a symbol of Indian Freedom Movement lead my Mahatma Gandhi-The Father of The Nation. The nationalist leaders promoted Khadi over British goods, which also empowered the rural artisans.


                               CLOTHING FASHION IN INDIA                                    
Clothing fashion in India, varied depending upon ethnicity, climate and cultural traditions. Clothing fashion played a major role in the Colonial time. In order to reflect Unity of the Nation and stand against British Rule by boycotting its goods, Gandhi Ji suggested everyone to wear “Khadi”, an indigenous cloth and boycotted imported clothes.India is a secular country, a country with diverse states, religion, food, language and culture and clothing. Every state in India has its own significant clothing style, reflecting their culture and way of living.

In North India, men in Punjab who belong to Sikh religion wear a headgear: Dastar in a different style from others and Kurta –Pyjama. In South India, men wear Lungi/Veshti, unique traditional attire where we just need to hold a length of in place by a style of wrapping and sometimes with the help of a belt. Women in South India wear saree which is a strip of unstitched cloth that is draped over the body in various styles.The most famous types of sarees are Banarasi saree, Kancheevaram saree,Handloom(taath) sarees, Pochhampalli sarees and Baandini sarees. In West India, women prefer to wear Ghagra-Choli. It is the traditional clothing of women in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Punjabi’s also wear them and they are used in some of their folk dances. Men in west prefer to wear Kurta Pyjama with a headgear called, pagari. They are distinctive in style and colour, and indicate the caste, social class and region of the wearer. In the hot and dry regions, turbans are large and loose.In Maharashtra there is another type of headgear; Pheta- it is the Marathi name for turbans worn in the state of Maharashtra. It’s usually worn during traditional ceremonies.


Along with “Khadi” and its significant role in Indian Independence Movement, Gandhian Cap, made with “Khadi” became a prominent feature amongst the politicians.

A typical dress code adopted by  two eminent personalities in Indian politics. The first image shows the Prime Minster of India  Mr Narender Modi in Kurta Pyjama and a scarf . Sometimes he wears a khadi waist coat. The second image shows the Chief Minister of Delhi Mr Arvind Khejriwal wearing Gandhi cap and a muffler.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                     CREDITS                                                                                                                         Source:
History of India Clothing text: Harshita SMSMB India
Silks of India Slide show and attributions: Riya N SMSMB India
                                                                                       KHADI YouTube video : Vaishali SMSMB India                                                                                              Clothing fashion In India Text: ArshA SMSMB India 
Gandhi Sketch :Namisha SMSMB India 
(Gandhi Cap, Dastar, Pheta) Photos: ShubhamJ SMSMB INDIA 
                                                                  Attribution: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons                                                                                                                                   Dastar: URL:                          Attribution: By Blog do Planalto (Flickr: Segunda-feira, 18 de junho) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons                                                             Pheta:                                                                 Attribution: By Ankur P (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_0713) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Common
Modi and Khejriwal sketch and text : Namisha SMSMB India