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Accepting Traditions with Grace and Respect- Gharchola Dupattas
India is the heart for many ethnic and regional clothing lines. The state of Gujarat is one of the major clothing and textile hubs in India who specialise in a number of tie-dye and block print techniques. Gharchola is a variant of the ‘Bandhani tie-dye’ method. They are also a staple in the Kutch region of Gujarat. These techniques are done beautifully on various gharchola dupattas in gaji silk, cotton and pure silk.
Creation of Bandhani and Gharchola
The name ‘Gharchola’ itself suggests ‘home’. This explains how the saree or dupatta is a gift from the girl’s maternal home. The ‘gharchola dupattas’ are essentially single coloured that have white spots. They are usually red in colour, but can also come in colours of green and yellows. These squared designs create rows of patterns or rows of beautiful zari.
The dupattas are attached to a wooden frame and secured with nails. The fabric is then placed tightly and knotted at various spots to form patterns. This is followed by dyeing the cloth in vibrant colours. The point of tying the knots at different places is to avoid any dyeing to those points. The tying of knots retains the fabric’s colour and the remaining fabric is coloured.
All of them are made by clustering the dots or squares together. This is exactly the bandhani design you see in most sarees, lehengas, dupattas and turbans. Once this process is done, it is left to dry in the open so that the colours settle. The fabric used for making dupattas range from cotton, chiffon, rayon, satin silk and cotton silk.
Some artisans also make gharchola dupattas in pure silk, which is loved and worn by many Gujarati women for special occasions and weddings.
Styling Gharchola dupattas
Dupattas are not given the due they should be when it comes to bridal and festive ensembles. They surely help to move the fashion statement a notch up during festive season and special occasions. It can be paired with a lehenga, or a salwar suit, or even a simple saree. It works as an ‘Odhani’ or ‘Odhna’, that is versatile and helps in pulling together the entire look.
These dupattas add that hint of colour needed to accentuate a simple silk lehenga, salwar suit or a saree. Traditional women carry these dupattas over their head on sarees, suits and lehengas as a sign of respect. Some dupattas are adorned with beads, stones, and Zari.
Maintenance of gharchola dupattas can be a little difficult considering the amount of hard work put in by craftsmen. However, some easy steps can be followed to maintain and make the fabric look beautiful for a longer period of time. It is best to dry clean bandhani products. It is not advisable to iron them on high heat as it will ruin the fabric and also make it look dull and lifeless.
Khatri Jamnadas Bechardas works towards curating and designing amazing traditional gharchola dupatta online, that you can wear for various occasions.