Punjabi ghagra

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Saraiki Tradition ghagra women wearing dress west Punjab

The Punjabi ghagra was a piece of clothing which could vary from 9 to 25 yards [1] and would be worne with a kurti/kurta and Phulkari covering the head by women in the Punjab. The picture on the right shows the styles worn by Saraiki speaking women in west Punjab.

The materials used for making ghagras were either malmal or muslin. The edge would be finished with either a row of pin tucks, embroidery, gota or by putting a border of daryai (a kind of cloth).The malmal ghagra was then starched (maandi) along with mica or vark which would shine in the sun. Vark was like thin layers of stiff paper which was crushed and added to maandi (starch).[2] Other materials used for ghagras were hari-shael, laddha, saatan (satin), embroidered phulkari, parachute cloth etc. Parachute cloth was a silky material and perhaps similar to the textile used to make parachutes. For formal occasions the ghagra was made of expensive material with some embellishments like gota or embroidery.

With the development of Punjabi Salwar Suit, the ghagra would be worn over the salwar when going outdoors. Women were expected to continue to wear the Ghagra over the salwar until old age or until at least the eldest child got married. It was also customary to wear the Ghagra one festive occasions and when attending funeral. Eventually, the Punjabi ghagra went out of use and the Punjabi Salwar Suit became to be worn on its own.[3][4] However, it is customary for brides to wear a variation of the ghagra known as the lehngha.

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