This milk-white kurta, crafted out of pure cotton length with fine weave, weft and warp being equal in thickness, a fabric defined as cambric in the world of textile, is one of the kurta’s late incarnations. Though pure cotton, its richness – the rich texture and rare finish, affords it silk-like lustre. A casual fashion easy to wear with or without an inner piece this style of kurta is unique in comfort. Normally an indoor wear in an emergency, for an evening walk or accompanying a guest to a send-off point, wearing it one might as gracefully walk out. A pajama is not its essential component. It might also be used as an upper along a jeans-like contemporary lower component or along a priest’s conventional dhoti – unstitched length worn on one’s lower half wrapping around both legs. This form of the kurta is highly innovative; however, it has the same flavour of ethnicity as has any conventional piece.
Not provided with buttons or a band for them, or an alike device such as cross-strings to tie, the neck-opening has been so designed that it takes its own care and nothing extra is required to keep the two sides in position. It has been conceived simply with a circular neck opening and a ‘v’ shaped extended part towards the breast, both tending to draw the right and left parts close to each other. Besides, this neck opening has been toughened by extra lining patched from behind which helps the two parts to keep in position. The sleeves are full but without extra length to fold; obviously, the innovators of this fashion did not recommend a short-length kurta to have folded sleeves. As a summer wear it has no parallel in world costume fashions. Though it is unlike a kurta’s usual model, it abounds in same grace and elegance as any of the conventional styles.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient India. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.
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