Salwar Kameez , Traditional Dress of South Asia

    Salwar Kameez is a traditional dress of South Asia. Also termed as “Shalwar Kameez” or “Shalwar Qamis,” Salwar Kameez, is popularly worn in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India. Salwar Kameez is also called “Punjabi suit,” because it is very popular in both Indian and Pakistani Punjabs. Salwar Kameez is commonly worn by Punjabi, Hindu, Muslim women, and Muslim males in India. It is popularly worn by Pakistanis and Afghans.

    Salwar is called “salwar” in Punjabi and Hindi, “Shalwaar” in Gujarat, and “Shalwar” (شلوار قمیض) in Urdu. The word “Salwar” has actually come from Persian, and the word “kameez” has come from the Arabic word “Qamis.”

    A Salwar is loose pajama like trousers that is wider at waist and thighs, and tapering to the bottom, it is stitched narrow at the bottoms. Salwars are usually pleated at the waist and held up by a drawstring or an elastic belt, or a woven cord called “Naala” or “Naada”. There are different styles prevalent among women, but males usually wear normal Salwars. Usually both men and women salwars are wide like baggies, but some fashionable women wear tight figure hugging salwars called “Pyjamies” or “Churidar” or “Churidar Pyjamies.” “Patiala Shahi Salwars” are very popular in Patiala and Malwa Region of Indian Punjab. These are usually loose salwars that have pleated front and back. Patiala is also famous for woven waist cords (“Naalas” or “Naadas”).

    A Kameez is a long shirt or tunic with open side seams. The side seams, known as “chaak,” are left open below the waist-line to give a wearer greater freedom of movement. Traditional kamiz (plural of “kameez”) are cut straight and flat and have traditional side cuts, but a modern kamiz are more likely to have European-inspired set-in sleeves. Traditional kamiz, for both men and women, usually have normal or loose fitting, but some fashionable women do wear tight figure hugging kamiz. Usually, fine tailoring skills are displayed in stitching a kameez. Specifically necklines of kamiz are tailored beautifully. The necklines can be simple, decorative, embroidered, or beaded, etc.

    Salwar kameez is very popular among Punjabi and North Indian Women. Women Salwar Kameez is usually accompanied by “Dupatta,” which is a long scarf or shawl like cloth made of light fabric. Women wear salwar-kamiz along with wearing “dupattas’ around their heads or necks. Often the Punjabi and North Indian Hindu women use their “dupattas” to cover their heads at religious places or religious ceremonies. However the Muslim women usually wear the chador or burqa (hijab and purdah).

    Modern Salwar Kameez is modernized version of traditional Salwar Kameez. Some Modern feminine Salwar Kamiz have deep cut plunging necklines, short length, tight figure hugging fitting, styled in sleeveless or cap-sleeve designs, and sewn in diaphanous fabrics.

    Sometimes women wear kamiz having side seams splited high up to the waistline, or salwars slung low on the hips. Some ultra modern women wear semi-transparent Salwar kamiz mostly in parties, but they do wear a choli or a cropped camisole underneath.

    Salwar Kamiz are usually tailored using different types of fabrics. Most common fabrics used to tailor Salwar Kamiz include cotton, chiffon, silk, banarsi fabrics. Cotton is a soft breathable textile used for daily clothing. It is usually used for the salwar kamiz that are meant for general daily use or worn in routine life. Cotton is very preferable summer season fabric. It’s a comfortable to wear fabric and offers easy ventilation of air, and thus minimizes the heat effect of the summer season. Cotton slawar kameez usually costs less. Cotton, being an inexpensive fabric, is commonly preferred for daily use Salwar kamiz.

    Chiffon is a lightweight sheer material with a slightly rough feel to it. It can be made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers, but is usually associated with silk or nylon. The best thing about chiffon is that it can be dyed to almost any shade desired, however if made from polyester it is difficult to dye. Chiffon is sometimes also used for daily use salwar kameez. The fabric is finer that cotton and thus more costly than the latter. Chiffon is also a common summer textile. Chiffon Salwar Kameez may cost little more than the Cotton Salwar Kameez, but looks finer than the latter. Chiffon Salwar Kameez is usually worn by the fashionable lot of men and women.

    Silk is a fine quality woven textile. It is a very popular textile all over the world. Silk offers opulent looks to clothing. The fabric is soft, velvety, marked with luxurious looks. Silk is usually available in most of the popular colors. It’s one of the most coveted fabrics for the ornamented Salwar Kameez. Silk is usually preferred for tailoring party wear salwar kameez. Silk Salwar Kamiz are usually worn on parties, and special occasions like weddings, anniversaries. Silk is very popular salwar kameez fabric among the salwar kameez wearing people all over the world. Silk Salwar Kameez is one of the expensive wears.

    Salwar Kamiz are also tailored using several other popular textiles including banarsi silk, and several other locally and some imported textiles. Usually fine quality light textiles are preferred for tailoring Salwar Kamiz.

    There is a wide rage of styles and designs of Salwar Kamiz ranging from simple to highly ornamental. Ornamental Salwar Kamiz usually have works of fine embroidery at neckline and from front hem of Kamiz. The women kamiz hems may also have beautiful bead work, mirror work, or sparkler work. Silk thread is commonly used for embroidery. Gold and silver fibers are also used for embroidery. The embroidered Salwar Kamiz are usually expensive.

    Salwar Kamiz can be got tailored from expert tailors. Traditional women usually prefer women tailors for getting their salwar kamiz tailored. There are a lot of male and female tailors designing and stitching Salwar Kamiz. However ready to wear Salwar Kamiz are also available. Ready made salwar kamiz can be purchased from boutiques and ready to wear Salwar Kamiz stores. Salwar Kamiz can also be purchased online. There are numerous online garment stores selling traditional clothes online. The best idea to buy Salwar Kameez online is, doing some research online to fine a good store online. Research will help to find the store selling cheap salwar kamiz, or discounted salwar kamiz, and thus will help to save a lot of money.

    Source URL: http://iowabride.blogspot.com/2009/07/salwar-kameez-traditional-dress-of.html
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