The lively festival of Diwali, a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, has taken its hold across India. Rangoli, Diyas and Gifting is on the top of the mind of most households. Diwali is a festival that is celebrated since time immemorial and the best way to experience it is by putting on traditional and handmade garments.
Craftroots takes up the responsibility of bringing this traditional attire straight from the artisans to you. The hope and goal of the Craftroots initiative is that our artisans’ products get the chance to be ingrained in the current market so they can be appreciated by everyone! Each year features a change in the youth’s choice of styles, and this year, just like every year, Craftroots brings out all of the traditional garb updated to suit the newest vogues.
The Essential Women Wear:
Chaniya: This skirt comes in all styles ranging from block-print, applique work, chikankari, shibori, embroidery, bandhani, there is no shortage of choice. The work on these dresses is typical of Gujarati folk weavers and dyers. Block print, bandhani and embroidery are most native to Gujarat. The tradition of block print is decades old and to this day thrives in Ajrakhpur in the region of Kutch. The chaniyas also feature the distinctive features of colorful tassels and mirror-work of Gujarat. Everyone needs a change once in a while, but there’s just a certain charm about wearing the same style of chaniya that your grandmother would have worn during festivities all those years ago!
Choli and Dupatta: A bright, kaleidoscopic choli, or blouse, is especially indispensable to the entire outfit. The alternating contrasting-colored stitching is a marker of traditional choli designs. Along with a blouse, you can find variegated dupattas, scarves, that will pull the entire outfit together. There are countless fabrics and styles available, many of them specific to Gujarat. For example, bandhni, a type of intricate tie-dye once again dyed and exported internationally from the region of Kutch.
Jewelry: Handcrafted cloth accessories will add to the bright silhouette of the hand woven threads of the chaniya choli. The artisan-woven anklets replete with silver bells are a vibrant take on the traditional metal anklets. Necklaces, earrings and bracelets incorporate traditional Gujarati characteristics like fabric tassels, embroidered mirrors and delicate cowry shells. Along with jewelry and chaniya choli, don’t miss the range of multicolored, multi-textured clutches to hold your Diwali gifts. These clutches feature the art of embroidery, an art form that has propagated in Kutch. It’s a craft that is passed down from generation to generation, usually from the mother to daughter. Creating intricate designs with just one’s mind and a needle and thread remains a highly specialized and artistic process being practiced to this day.
While the typical dress for the women is a chaniya choli, complete with loud, accessories, there is something for the men, as well! For them, the choice is usually traditional, brightly colored kurtas, and varying styles of bundis, vests. There are as well some stoic, leather slip on sandals, handcrafted kolhapuri, which originate from the Maharashtra region of Kolhapur.
This centuries-old festival is a family affair- with everyone enjoying the community celebrations, the tradition of which is held up in the hands of our Craftroots partner artisans. The art that we feature has been passed down the generations to make its way to today to remind us of the vibrant roots of our yesterdays!