Style Glossary

Anchal : Also called a pallu, usually more densely ornamented than the body, is the end piece of the saree.

Block print : The blocks are generally hand carved from wood and printed on the cloth in repeating patterns.

Batik :
Indonesian word for a cloth that traditionally uses resist-dyeing technique with wax used as a resist. It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Nigeria, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, and Egypt.

Border : the sari usually has borders along the top and bottom lengths of the cloth, usually the strongest design element of the saree.

Buta / Buti / Booti : a motif design that is embroidered or block printed and repeated all over the fabric.

Chikankari : the simple running stitch embroidery originating in Lucknow. The lightweight cloth is usually white or some pastel color with white embroidery.

Choli : traditionally the sari is worn with a matching or contrasting blouse called a choli. It is a form-fitting top with short sleeves.

Chunni : Shawl worn by women with shalwar khameez or ghagra.

Dupatta : Long Shawl of 2 to 2.5 meters worn by women with salwar kameez, draped around both shoulders and hanging down across the chest.

Gauze : a very lightweight and soft weave that is almost transparent.

Gharchola : means "from the home" - a typically patterned sari style from Rajasthan and Gujarat with large zari checks and bandhni tie-dye work in the open areas of the checks.

Gharara : A women's dress consisting of knee length Tunic (Kurti), a flared culotte like trousers and dupatta.

Ghaghara : Flared full length gathered drawstring skirt.

Half Sari : long material measuring 2.5 meters that drapes around Pavadai over the back and cover the chest worn by young girls in South India.

Handloom : A hand loomed sari takes days to complete and each thread is meticulously and patiently laid against the next in the process.

Ikat : also called bandhna in Orissa. The threads are first dyed in patterns and then strung up on loom so that the patterns emerge as the cloth is woven.

Jaal : Embroidery or Print all over the fabric.

Kalamkari : a style of hand drawing with dyes on cloth.

Kurti : Feminine version of a Kurta.

Muslin : a stable and simple plain weave fabric that is woven from slightly irregular fibers, producing a soft and supple cloth that is absorbent and comfortable in the heat.

Ombre: is a dying technique where color is graduated and shows through different shades and tones of the color.

Pallu : another word for end piece or anchal, it is the ornamental end piece of the sari.

Pleats : when draping the sari, most of the fabric length is taken up in a series of pleats and then centrally tucked in the petticoat, at the waist. The pleats permit easier walking and give the garment its elegant look.

Resist dying : using blocks to print cloth with wax before immersing in the dye.

Seedha Pallu - Draping the Sari with Pallu over the right shoulder.

Thread count : the number of picks or threads per linear inch.

Threadwork : embroidery created by the weaving of different colored threads other than zari.

Tie-Dye : an ancient technique of tying cloth in patterns before dipping it in a dye bath. Rajasthan and Gujarat are famous for their brilliant tie-dyes called Bandhni sarees.

Tribal : styles of sarees that are traditional to the village of their origin. Tribal prints are rough, geometric and bold.

Tunic : Loose fitting long top sleeved or sleeveless worn by men and women.

Warp : the lengthwise fibers of the cloth.

Weft : the widthwise fibers of the cloth.

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