The Handicraft Studio's Blog
5 innovative ways to use a Handloom Dupatta
We keep telling you how versatile our dupattas are…they can be dressed up or down, worn as dupattas or stoles, worn with Indian, western or fusion outfits. However, the creative minds of some of our customers showed us a much wider scope to using our handwoven pieces.
Read on for more…
At a wedding ceremony…
The sound of shehnai, friends and family around the mandap, stolen glances, unbridled excitement and eager anticipation on the two sides of a beautiful Antarpaath are all part of the mangalashtaka, a ritual during a Maharashtrian wedding. The antarpaath is a purdah held up between the bride and groom to keep them from seeing each other. And it is probably one of the most cherished memories of a wedding. The bride's maternal uncle walks the bride to the stage, where her groom is waiting for her on the other side of the antarpaath. The mangalashtaka is recited, after which the antarpaath is removed and the couple exchange garlands.
All these years, the antarpaath was a plain white or cream silk cloth, but with the trend of having “picture-perfect” weddings and building wedding memory boxes with different items used in the wedding, this antarpaath is slowly gaining importance for its prominence during the rituals.
We’ve recently had a few to-be-brides walk in to our store to buy a dupatta from our rich and lovely collection of benarasi muga silk or silk net dupattas, to use as an antarpaath…What a lovely idea, we think! It adds beauty to the ritual and can be later used and treasured lifelong by the bride as a part of her wedding.
Come see our collection and we are sure you’ll fall in love with this idea!
For the brides…
A Maharashtrian bride dressed in a vibrant yellow saree completes her attire by carrying a treasured shela over her shoulders. The bride carries it as an heirloom from her mother-in-law symbolising transfer of household responsibilities. An intricately detailed paithani dupatta or a jamdaani dupatta are popular shela choices amongst brides. Shivani and her to-be mother-in-law picked picked up a rich benarasi katan silk dupatta in pink with golden buttis to go with her lovely yellow-pink Paithani for her December wedding.
For the men who are not far behind…
While our brides and her bridesmaids are inherently savvy at draping their dupattas in several different ways, we’ve found that the grooms and his friends don’t fall behind either!
At one of our recent exhibitions, we had a young man browsing through our collection by himself. Thinking he might be unsure of how and what to choose for the opposite gender, we offered to help and were in for a pleasant surprise. He wasn’t looking for a gift at all – he was looking to buy 3-4 dupattas to wear as phetas (turbans) to match the various outfits he had bought for his sister’s wedding! Now if that isn’t innovative, I wonder what is! We helped him choose 3 pieces – a cream jaamdani, a dark blue benarasi cotton-silk and a tussar silk red and green kantha. We can imagine how handsome he must have looked as the bride’s brother!
Looks like the fashion-conscious trendy men of today are foregoing the traditional saffron pheta for neatly draped, colourful handloom dupattas that complement their sherwanis, jodhpuris and safari suits.
An international tourist was strolling down the aisles of a recent exhibition and stopped by at our stall. Not much later, she picked up a lovely, silk dupatta with a sparkle in her eyes and an interesting idea in her mind. The piece she had chosen, was a rich, vibrant saffron with a beautiful Ganesha hand-painted on the palla. As we offered to drape it for her to show how it can be used, she shared her plan with us. Our client had no intention of draping it on herself…she intended to drape her wall with this piece. She wanted to frame it and put it up on the wall of her otherwise neutral coloured living room to add colour and warmth.
We were ecstatic that the hard work of our local weavers was going to be treated like a piece of art just like it deserved.
To add grandeur to your celebrations…
On a festive day, our dupattas don’t just look good on the home maker but also as home décor. A recent visitor to our store was Mrs. Malik who found a piece for a baby shower that she was hosting. While helping her with colours, she took us by surprise by mentioning that she was actually looking for a spread to put on a table assigned for gifts. She took home a himroo in dark green and the rest was left to imagination.
As we chat with our customers, we discover many creative ideas of using what was traditionally a piece of cloth used to cover the head and upper body as a mark of modesty; and we realize that the hard work and talent of our weavers bring life and colour everywhere in a countless ways.
The Handicraft Studio would love to hear more about what you did with yours. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your ‘dupatta story’ and you could be in for surprise gifts and vouchers!
Enjoyed reading about dupattas and the creative suggestions for their use. Lovely collection of dupattas too. It’s heartening to see handicrafts old and new being given a boost in a modern way. Will look forward to reading more interesting ideas and stories on your blog.