Patiala Salwar, Suits and Dresses
A Patiala salwar kameez is a kind of garment that women wear as traditional salwar suit, the traditional Indian garment which has its roots in Patiala city in the northern region of Punjab state in India.
Patiala salwar used to be the royal dress for the king of Patiala in olden days. It has a resemblance to the pathan suit with similar design. Thus, Patiala salwar kameez is also known as Patiala suits. However, the dress is now not worn by men but has transformed itself with various designs into women’s Patiala salwar.
The original name is Patiala shahi and it used to be the dress of aristocratic families in Punjab as it required extra cloth which a common man could not afford. It needed approximately 4.5 meters more than the cloth required for traditional salwar suits. Hence, this garment was limited to royal families of Punjab.
This dress is preferred mostly by women in Punjab and other northern regions as it is very comfortable especially during summers. Patiala salwar is stitched with pleats which makes the outfit extremely comfortable to wear. Patiala salwar requires double the length of material to stitch. The fall of the pleat of the Patiala salwar gives a very beautiful draping effect. Patiala salwars with lots of pleats are also known as Patiala Shahi as it was worn by shahi (royal) people of Patiala city in the state of Punjab.
Patiala salwar suits differ from the traditional Punjabi suits. For a regular salwar, the cloth is cut by folding it equally but as far as Patiala salwars are concerned, cutting takes place without folding the cloth. This is precisely the reason why Patiala salwar stitching needs excess cloth as compared to regular salwar. Before the cloth is stitched into salwar, it needs to be overlapped in order to make extra pleats which forms towards the waistline and falls like folds below, giving the traditional look of Patiala salwar. The traditional suits have dupattas in silk and satin, and simple fitted kameez above knee length. Fabrics like cotton, crepe, georgette etc are also used to stitch Patiala suits.
The traditional Patiala salwars used to be heavy during old days due to accumulation of numerous folds around the waist .It had a very large ghera or circumference. The modern Patiala too has the old style of cutting but has lesser circumference towards the waist line.
The Patiala salwar has undergone various changes in modern times; designers and tailors have experimented with the number of folds that a salwar can contain as well as the kameez designs which are worn on top. The city of Patiala has traditional tailors who have years of experience in stitching such salwar suits and are much in demand by women who come here to get their salwar kamez stitched in the traditional way.
Thus, the Patiala salwar suits and dresses are still very popular throughout the country and will always remain in trend.