Marrying the old with the new, the legacy of traditional Indian pattern is now being used to today develop contemporary silhouettes to cater to the needs of the contemporary global fashion.
As we dive into the details of several historic Indian garments, certain observations can be made. First, these garments are always easy ﬁtting and are rarely tightened around the body. Second, they are composed of geometrically shaped pieces cut on straight lines, thereby, suggesting that the Indians greatly valued their labour-intensive fabrics and would judiciously avoid wastage Third, comfort in ﬁtting was achieved through the use of gussets mainly at the underarm seams and the crotch seams. Fourth, fabric was often used in bias particularly in areas on the garment that required a three-dimensional ﬁt like katori (cups) seen in cholis. And ﬁnally, historic Indian garments were also celebrated for their exceptional ﬁnishing technique.
The Indian darzi (tailor) used his skills astutely to deliver a piece of clothing demonstrating economical usage of fabric, easy fit and adjustable sizes using straight lines and geometrically shaped components. Three key elements of traditional Indian methods of pattern making i.e. use of simple straight lines, gussets to provide fit and ease of movement and bias to achieve three-dimensional fits have been researched as an attempt to use them in a simplified form for modern mass manufacturing practices. Traditional Indian finishing techniques such as sinjaf (facing), ghundi and tukama (fabric buttons and loops) have also been incorporated. Metric pattern cutting and draping methods following traditional methods of measurements and pattern making have been tried along with innovative techniques such as elimination of seam lines, raising or lowering waistlines and combining gussets into adjacent panels. This research has led to the development of new pattern making techniques that can be applied to global fashion.
Traditional Indian ﬁnishing techniques – sinjaf, tassels, tukama and ghundi