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THE SALWAR'S DUPATTA - Stylish Thoughts
25 th Jun 2012

A Salwar Kameez is incomplete without a dupatta. Dupatta is a rectangular piece of cloth, embroidered or plain, measuring two and a half to three down the back or wrapped around the shoulder. Variously named: the dupatta, orhni, chaddar-this headscarf or shoulder-scarf is also called chunari - used for the famous tie and dye work of Gujarat and Rajasthan.


Indian dupatta has a lot of significance. Traditionally women wear it over the head as a mark of respect while going to worship and talking to the elders.

As a fashion piece the salwar dupatta is an accessory that looks graceful and breaks the monotony of the suit. A silk or cotton Salwar Kameez Dupata set ensemble can look simple and elegant when worn with a heavily embroidered or sequined indian dupatta decorated with a beautiful border.

Just a change of dupata or the manner in which it is drape adds new dimensions to the outfit. Another alternative is the Rajasthani laal dupatta, with tie and dye strips in colourful contrast are known as laharia. Laharia means one that ripples in the wind. This refers not just to the dupatta that flutters but also the bold stripes on it that are formed like ripples.

Around the neck, it can be worn with denim, sometimes improvising as a sarong or as a turban or a sash the dupatta lends itself to imaginative dressing.

How to Wear the Dupatta:

  • Draped over the head
  • The middle of the dupatta rests on the chest like a garland with both ends thrown over each respective shoulder
  • Pinned in neat folds over just one shoulder
  • The two inner ends are knotted together over the other shoulder to form a cowl-like pattern
  • Otherwise it generally drapes down the front and back
  • Both ends can also hang down the front or end circling the neck.

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