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Eastern Fashion Glossary by TheHeer.com, Asian's Favorite Online Fashion Store.


A loose cloak, possibly of Arabian origin. Related to the jama in men's wear, and to the abbo (q.v.) in women's.



A loose shirt-like garment, worn by women mostly in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The garment was generally worn with short, wide sleeves, open at the neck, loose-fitting on the upper part and really flared in its skirt. Often decorated with embroidery and mirror-glass work.



Additional ornamentation to accompany the garment in order to create a certain Look/Image. (Shoes, Jewelries etc.)



A men's long-sleeved coat-like garment, worn close to the body, reaching down to the knees or even lower, and buttoned in front-middle.



To change the pattern so that it corresponds to body measurements.



A long, full-sleeved outerwear for men; literally 'that which protects or covers the limbs'. Closely related to the jama (q.v.), but possibly of native, Indian origin. Generally open at the chest and tied in front, with an inner flap or parda covering the chest. Full-skirted and of varying lengths.



Short, tight-fitting bodice worn by women in India from very early times. Literally, 'covering for the body’.


Asharfi Buti

A popular textile design consisting of small floral discs or circles, sometimes with small patterns within the circle.



A wide, commodious chogha (q.v.)like garment for wrapping around the body.



Flat metallic wire, often silver-gilt, used in brocading and embroidery.


Baghal Bandi

A kind of tunic or jacket, worn shorts and fastened under the armpits.



An outer garment, worn by men, related in shape to the coat-like ashcan.



A process of patterning cloth by tie-dyeing in which the design is reserved on the undyed cloth by tying small spots very tightly with thread to protect them from the dye. Especially popular in Rajasthan and Gujarat.


Bare Pychon ka Paijama

A payjama (q. v) with wide, flared legs.



Any direction in the fabric which does not exactly flow in the direction of the weft yarn (vertical yarns) or warp yarns (horizontal yarns) of a fabric. A true bias makes an angle of 45 degree across the length and width of a fabric, fabric cut on a bias has maximum stretch.



Literally, "a plant". A floral motif, derived generally from Persian sources, much used in Indian textile design, and traditionally rendered as a flowering plant with a curling bud at the top. The motif is also sometimes reduced to a floral pattern designed within the form of the plant.



A diminutive of buta (q.v.), very commonly used in Indian textile design.


Centre Front

It is the portion of the pattern or the garment which is suppose to come in the exact front.



Literally, "moon and star", a pattern often-used in Indian textile.


Chaubandi Chola

A short tunic or shirt fastened with tie-cords worn by children.


Chaugoshia (topi)

A four-cornered cap.



A flywhisk made generally from a yak's tail. Important as a symbol of royalty or divinity.


Chikan Kari

Embroidery in white cotton thread upon fine white cotton fabric, like, muslin. Several techniques in chikan-kar are known; Lucknow was a famous center of fine workmanship.



A loose, sleeved coat-like garment worn over an inner garment like the angarakha (q.v.), generally sumptuous and appropriate for ceremonial occasions. Of Turkish origin, the chogha was also known as a chugha, chuha orjuha; in Russia as shuba or sbubka.



A short, bodice-like breast garment of wide popularity among women in India, from early times. Related to the classic cholaka mentioned in Sanskrit literature. The garment is worn in many styles; thus, with back covering or without, fastened with strings or extended cloth-pieces, with shaped breast-pieces or flat, etc.



A loose, shirt-like garment.



With bangle-like gathers or wrinkles, as in a churidar payan.



Currently in vogue.


Cool Colours

Blue, Violet and Green are cool / light colors. They are reducing in nature, as seen by the eye they move away from the object thereby increasing it’s size. Cool colors have a calm and restful effect.


Loose or baggy. Thus, a dhila payjama, wide and roomy all over.



The traditional Indian dress 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 the country, alike by men and women.



Long rope with which the thick woolen coat worn by the Gaddis is secured around the waist.



Draping means to hang or to adorn the body form with loose fabric, and to obtain a body fitted garment by using adequate sewing techniques.


Dupaluidupallari Top

Small, close-fitting cap made generally of muslin, and consisting of two identical pieces cut slightly rounded and curved towards the top.



Veil-cloth worn by women, draped loosely around the upper part of the body.


Short lived fashion are called fad’s; They seldom have any lasting Impact on future fashion. They are briefly and suddenly seen everywhere and just as suddenly they vanish.



A kind of jacket.



A kind of jacket. Defined by the dictionaries as simply 'a kind of garment', the faiji was possibly a long over-garment without sleeves, or with very short sleeves, open in front and worn like a coat over pyjama (q.v.) or angarakha (q.v.).


Farshi Paijama

Wide-legged payjama (q. v) that trails on the ground, sometimes completely covering the feet; worn often with a kurta (q.v.) or angarakha (q.v.).


Fashion Forecast

To predict of foretell future fashion tread for a specific period of time.



A 'jacket without sleeves'. Generally understood as a vest lightly padded with cotton wool, and quilted.



A 'jacket without sleeves'. Possibly the same kind of garment as fatuhi (q.v.).



Perfection with which the garment / fabric is completed.


Forte of a garment

Means the strong point of the garment.



Threads which come out from the fabric during handling.

Gamla Buti

A popular motif in textile design in India, consisting of flowers of different kinds growing in a flowerpot, neatly arranged.



A woman's dress, closely related to the abbo (q.v.). The skirt part of the abagho was often more flared than that of an abbo, the ample gathers at either side of the waist lending it peculiar gracefulness when the wearer moved.



Skirt, usually with a great deal of flare. The simple ghaghras have only one vertical seam, which turns the cloth or ghaghra-pata into a tube, fastened with a drawstring passing through a long, narrow slot at the waist. Flared ghaghras are made up of, several triangular gored pieces stitched together.



Flared with an ample skirt, as in a gherdarjama.



Loop; generally used to hold the little button-like boss called the tukma.



A short paoan (q. v.), worn by men, tight and ending just below the knees. Much favoured in 19th century Sikh Punjab.



Narrow ribbon made of 'gold' or 'silver' thread.



Another word used for the length wise (weft yarn) or cross-wise (warp yarn) threads of the fabric.



Haute Couture

Hi-Fashion garments (of which only a single price is produced) It’s extravagant, it’s irrational, it’s Unique and it’s totally unaffordable.



Is the shades and degrees of color.



Term applied to the resist-dye process in which designs are reserved in warp or weft yarns by tying off small bundles of yarn with palm-leaf strips or similar material to prevent penetration of dye. From the Indonesian mengikat, 'to tie' or 'to bind'.



A kind of payjama (q. v.).



Drawstring at the waist for a garment like the payjama (q.v.). Literally, 'fastening of the izar'.



Full-sleeved outerwear for men, greatly popular at the Mughal and Rajput courts and worn well into the 19th century. Literally, "a garment, robe, vest, gown, coat.



Fine cotton muslin with a floral pattern brocaded in thick soft cotton. Dacca was a famous center for the production of finejamdani work.



Short drawers, worn by men and boys. From Sanskrit.






Loose, tunic-like garment.


Jhula / Jhubla

A kind of blouse for children.



A covering for the head and body made simply by tying a sheet or blanket at one end and draped over the head.



A green mango.


Kairi Buti

A floral motif in Indian textile design, based on the form of a green mango with a light curve at the tip.



Silver-gilt thread, used in embroidery.



A popular motif in Indian textile design, broadly cypress-shaped and curving to one sides at the top; crest.



Gore wedge-shaped, triangular piece of cloth.


Kalidar Ghagra

Ghaghra (q.v.) made up of many gored pieces and thus flared in early Sanskrit literature.



Blouse like garment, worn a little long in front and generally backless, held together with tie-cords, with no shaped parts like cups. From Sanskrit Kanchuki.



Literally, 't0Pi, worn around the ears'. This kind of cap covers the ears and the back of the neck to protect these parts from excessive heat and cold.



Cloth used to cover the breasts. In Rajasthan and Gujarat a simple choli-blouse is sometimes referred to by this name.


Karchobi Work

Work similar to zardozi (q.v.) in which gold or silver metal threads are sewn on to satin or velvet with metallic threads to yield the effect of true embroidery.



Tie-cords or strings used for tightening.



Cups; the word is used to describe breast-cups as in a choli (q.v.) or angia (q.v.).



A short jacket, often richly embroidered, worn mostly in Kutch and Saurashtra, in combination with an embroidered payjama (q.v.).



Silk fabric brocaded with silver and gold. The metal thread used for brocading is made from a fine strand of flattened metal wound over a core of silk, using yellow silk under gold, and white silk under silver.


Kyjshti nuam

(topi) Boat shaped cap, worn close to the head. KULAH.



A jacket or coat meant for outerwear. The garment popular under this name in Persia was known in India as a nadiji (q.v.).



Variously described in the dictionaries as "a tunic, waist coat, jacket, shirt", the kurta became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries essentially as a slightly loose-fitting garment for outer wear, often with a round neck, of knee-length or even longer, with side-slits at the hem and generally flared skirt. It acquired great elegance as a garment in centers like Lucknow and Hyderabad.


A shirt-like garment, with most of the features of a kurta (q.v.), but often worn a little shorter. When worn by women, it is defined as 'a short bodice reaching to the hips, with very short, if any, sleeves, open under the throat.'



A loose, tunic-like garment worn by men, mostly in Nepal. Possibly from Persian libada.



A kind of skirt. Worn generally in combination with an odhani, which is tucked into it at the waist. Possibly derived from Sanskrit lanka, standing for the waist, and anga or limbs.



A garment-piece worn by men, as a long, straight skirt-cloth.



A kind of decoratively worn turban.



A fabric woven of silk and cotton, the warp of one material and the weft of the other. Literally, 'that which is in accordance with the shara, Muslim holy law, which disapproves of an arel made of silk.



A kind of jacket, often understood as a 'quilted coat'. it was generally worn sleeveless over a shirt as outer garment; worn sometimes also next to the skin, without anything underneath it.



A cap, worn usually by children, covering, apart from the back, the back of the neck through a long, suspended flap.


Mughlai Paijama

A payjama (q. v.) of the 'Mughal' cut.



A kind of jackets, worn as an outer garment. The Emperor Jehangir described it in his Memoirs as "a coat they wear over a qaba. Its length is from the waist down to below the thighs, and it has no sleeves. It is fastened in fror4t with buttons."



Pattern; scheme.



One of the many scripts in which Persian characters can be written.



A kind of cap popular in Gujarat and Rajasthan. It consists generally of a woven piece and headband, with a long flap, which hangs at the back to cover the neck.



A kind of tunic, a modified version of the kurta (q.v.), generally made of fine material.



A veil-cloth for a woman, often worn tucked into the side of the waist and drawn upward over the back and the head, the free end being draped over the shoulder. Literally, 'a wrap'.



Of the shape of a betel-leaf.





Paijama / Pajama

Trouser-like garment, worn on the lower part of the body alike by men and women. Literally, 'leg-clothing'. The payjama was worn in many cuts and shapes, much variation being seen in respect of girth, length, tightness, material, etc.



Loose cloak-like shirt reaching down to the feet. Very popular as an article of wear in Kashmir where it was made mostly of woolen cloth.



A girdle or kamarband, worn usually over payjama (q.v.), and often very sumptuous and decorative.



Long gown-like dress, consisting essentially of a choli (q.v.) worn rather high to which a front-opening skirt is attached. The garment was worn at an early point by men, too, but is essentially to be regarded as women's apparel. Worn with much refinement and elegance 'on occasions of household festivals'. Literally, "front-opening".



An apron-like piece of cloth attached to the lower end of a choli (q.v.) or kanjari (q.v.) and hanging down so as to partially cover the stomach.



Literally, "flowered work". Term used for a type of embroidery practiced by women in the Punjab for head-veils and other garment-pieces. The embroidery is worked in floss-silk upon coarse cotton cloth, in darning stitch over counted threads, being worked from the back of the fabric.


Press mark

Undesirable shinning lines on the right side of the garment due to incorrect ironing.



To draw up into folds or wrinkles.



A full-sleeved garment for outer wear, worn by men, closely related to thejama. William Thevenot who saw this garment frequently at the Mughal court spoke of the "caba of the Indians" being "wider than that of the Persians, and 1 cannot tell how to express the manner of it more intelligibly, than by saying it is a kind of gown with a long jerkin fastened to it.



A shirt. Cf. French, chemise.



A sleeveless jacket worn over a shirt or kurta, alike by men and women. The name of this popular garment derives possibly from aura, 'the upper part of the human breast'.



A payjama like garment for the lower part of the body, baggy and wide at the top, and not so tight around the legs and ankles. Worn mostly by women, but also by men in some parts of India, especially in the northwest.


Seam Line

Is the line which indicates where the seam should be stitched - or it is plainly the stitching line of any garment.



A kind of loose, trailing payjama (q. v.) worn by women.



a coat like garment, worn by men close to the body, of knee-length, and opening in front with button-fastenings. Related to the achkan (q.v.); especially popular at the Hyderabad court and in Aligarh.


Sidha Paijama

Payjama (q.v.) with a straight cut.



Dark-shaded profile portrait outline of any garment.



A breeches-like garment for the lower part of the body, tight around the legs. Worn mostly in Nepal and contiguous areas.



Payjama like garment, worn mostly by women; wide at top and comfortably roomy around the legs and ankles. Possibly from Sanskrit svasthana, mentioned in the Harshacharita.


Surface Decoration

Ornamenting the surface of a fabric or garment (e.g. Embroidery etc.)



A kind of girdle or belt.



A kind payjama (q.v.). Abu'I-Fazl describes it in the Ain-i-Akbati as "a coat without lining, of the Indian form. Formerly it had slits in the skirt, and was tied on the left side; His Majesty has ordered it to be made with a round skirt and to be tied on the right side."



Tie-cords or strings used to fasten or tighten a garment when worn.


Teentah Topi

A topi (q.v.) consisting of three different pieces, stitched together.



To decrease width gradually and bring it to an end point.


The Look

To portray a certain image. (The contemporary look i.e. the look of today. The look of the yester years).


Thread Count

Is the number of warp and weft yarns in one square-inch of a fabric (warp yarn x weft yarn per sq. inch).



A round piece; generally tacked on to a garment.






Fashion is not static, they are constantly moving, their movement has a definite direction. The direction in which fashion moves is called fashion Trend.



To cut off the ragged edges below the seam line to prevent the garment from being bulky and to give the seam a neat finish.



Small, button-like boss used in conjunction with a ghundi (q.v.) or loop, for fastening.



A kind of payjama (q. v.), worn in Kutch and Saurashtra, often richly embroidered.


Warm Colours

Colors like Red, Orange, Yellow are classified as warm colors, they are advancing in nature, because as seen by the eyes these colors move closer thereby reducing the size of an object. Warm colors are cheerful.


Zardozi Work

Work in which gold or silver metal threads are sewn on a fabric like satin or velvet with metallic threads to give the appearance of true embroidery.


Metallic thread twisted over cotton or silk for brocading. Also referred to, in popular parlance, asjad.


A kind of coat of mail.