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Indian Clothing Glossary Indian Clothing Glossary
Find out about the most commonly used terms in the India fashion industry.
Index : A B C D G K L M P S V Z 

- A - Go to top
Accessories : Additional ornamentation to accompany the traditional Indian clothing like bindi, bangles, maang tika, armlets etc.
Achkan : A long-sleeved coat-like garment buttoned in the front and reaching down to the knees or lower.
- B - Go to top
Bandhni : Fabric which is prepared using the tie-and-dye process. Also commonly known as Bandhej and spelled as Bandhani.
Bandhni Print : A pattern/print commonly used in northern India on the fabric which gives a tie-and-dye effect.
Bangles : Hoops, made of glass or metal, and worn around the wrists. They come in different colors and may be plain or have designs etched on them. Normally, more than 1 are worn on both wrists by girls.
Bindi : An Indian accessory generally worn on the forehead - comes in different colors and shapes and is made of varied materials (beads, stones, felt, etc). Bindis, these days, are self-stick and are usually worn on the forehead, in between the eyebrows. Also commonly known as Bindiya / Kumkum / Tikki.
Booti : A floral pattern very commonly used in Indian textile design. Also spelled as Buti.
- C - Go to top
Choli : A short blouse, which leaves the midriff exposed, usually worn with a saree / lehenga / ghagra.
Chunri : A scarf or wrap worn with most Indian girls' and boys' outfits. It can be worn in countless ways - for example, it can be draped over one or both shoulders (for both girls & boys) or can be used to cover the head like a veil (for girls only). Also commonly known as Chunni.
Chunri Print : A pattern/print commonly used in northern India on the fabric which gives a tie-and-dye effect.
Churidar : Pants which are snug around the calf and ankle, but loose at the hips and thighs. The garment is made long so that gatherings form at the ankle. Can be worn by girls under salwar or boys under a kurta (tunic). Also spelled as Churidhar.
- D - Go to top
Desi : Anything of Indian origin.
desiVastra : Ethnic Indian Clothes.
Dhoti : The traditional Indian dress for males for the lower part of the body, consisting of a piece of unstitched cloth draped over the hips and legs. Worn in various ways in different parts of India.
Dupatta : A scarf or wrap worn with most Indian girls' and boys' outfits. It can be worn in countless ways - for example, it can be draped over one or both shoulders (for both girls & boys) or can be used to cover the head like a veil (for girls only).
- G - Go to top
Ghagra : Skirt, usually flared, which reaches upto the ankles. Usually has embroidery or some other work on it. Also spelled as Ghaghra / Gagra
Ghungroos : Tiny bells attached to clothes or anklets.
Gota : Thin ribbon made of gold or silver thread.
- K - Go to top
Kada : A thick bangle or bracelet worn by girls and boys. May be worn on just one wrist or one on each wrist.
Kairi Buti : A pattern common in Indian textile design, based on the shape of a mango.
Kameez : A shirt or tunic worn by girls over a salwar (pant) - may be of varying lengths depending on the current fashion trend). Also spelled as Khameez / Kamiz.
Kumkum : Same as bindi.
Kurta : Shirt or tunic worn by boys (over a pajama/pant) and girls (over a salwar/pant).
Kurti : A shorter form of kurta, usually upto the hips, worn by girls over a lehenga (skirt) or pants.
- L - Go to top
Lacha : An ankle-length skirt, tunic and scarf combination.
Lehenga : A long skirt which reaches upto the ankles. Usually has embroidery or some other work on it. Also spelled as Lehnga / Lehanga / Lengha.
Lungi : A piece of garment worn by men on the lower half of the body. Worn in various ways in different parts of India.
- M - Go to top
Maang Tika : An Indian accessory worn in the hair by girls. It consists of a pendant and a chain with a hook at the end - the chain is worn along the hair-part using the hook to attach it to the hair so that the pendant is on the forehead just beyond the hairline.
- P - Go to top
Pajama : Drawstring pants worn by boys under a kurta (tunic). Also spelled as Paijama / Pyjama / Pejama.
Payal : Anklet generally made of silver. Also commonly known as Pajeb and spelled as Paayal / Pazeb.
- S - Go to top
Salwar : Pants worn by girls under a kurta / kameez (tunic). Also commonly as spelled as Salwaar / Shalwar / Salvar.
Sharara : A kind of loose, trailing pant worn by girls under a kurta/tunic.
Sherwani : A coat-like garment buttoned in the front which reaches down to the knees or lower. Usually has embroidery or some other type of work on it. Worn by men at weddings and other formal parties.
- V - Go to top
Vastra : Hindi word for clothes.
- Z - Go to top
Zardozi : Intricate hand embroidery using gold, silver or colored wire. Also spelled as Zardosi.
Zari : Metallic thread used for brocading.


For more information on Indian Salwar Kurta or Indian Saree, check out the Indian Clothing knowledgebase at desiclik.com
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