In this article we will show you:
- What a dhoti is
- How to tie a dhoti
- How to wear a dhoti-step by step
What is a Dhoti?
To begin, what exactly is a dhoti? A dhoti is a very traditional garment of clothing worn by men in India.
It may also be called a:
A dhoti is a piece of unstitched cloth that wraps around the waist and legs and simply resembles a skirt. It is usually quite long, on average about fifteen feet long.
Those who intend on using them, and even those who are just plain curious may wonder how to tie a dhoti, and even ask “Just what is a dhoti”? Let’s take a moment to get to the bottom of these two very important questions.
When do you wear a Dhoti?
It is no casual article of clothing however, all over the country it is fairly known as a very formal garment. It can be seen in just about all family functions and government festivals and celebrations as well.
Some of the most colorful and vibrant weddings can be found in the Middle East. Steeped in culture and beautiful tradition almost every facet of the wedding from the flowers, to the colors, and even the henna on the hands has a specific reason and use.
One of the most important parts of the grooms clothing is the “dhoti”.
As mentioned earlier in traditional weddings, the bridegroom along with the main male participant and host all must wear a dhoti necessarily when performing any and all marriage ceremonies.
In more modern times the dhoti has been causing quite a stir and steadily gaining ground in the region. It has even been more used in home wear rather than formal wear in recent years. Unfortunately, in more metropolitan areas and big cities, the dhoti is seen as unpopular and an old fashioned style, especially by the younger generation.
It is only a rustic symbol of tradition in the eyes of the youth. However, even with this small number in contradiction, as a daily garment in the home, the dhoti continues to be the norm and largely unstopped. Disliked or not, this cultural gem holds its place as traditional and entirely formal style of dress for almost any middle eastern occasion.
How to Tie a Dhoti
So it’s quite evident the importance and the cultural necessity around this interesting garment. This brings us to the most important issue of the dhoti: how to tie a dhoti. It must be noted that there are several ways to wrap or tie a dhoti, so we will be discussing the most traditional method, commonly known as the Dhoti Kachcham.
This tie is for weddings and most common festivals and formal occasions. It uses a dhoti of eight to ten square yards depending on the size of the person (both vertically and horizontally), and is worn in quite a specific way.
One of the most important things to remember about this beforehand is that this method of wrapping is specifically to be worn by the one who is getting married, not a bachelor.
This is no form of casual wear or just a style of dhoti anyone can wear as if it were jeans or a dress. With that in mind, let’s get started.
How to Wear a Dhoti – Step by Step
1) Open the dhoti completely and free leaving it wide as you would a sheet or quilt. Hold the dhoti in front of you such that your are directly down the center of the dhoti length wise. Both ends should be free.
Hold it so that there is enough of the dhoti material to go around you just once.
2) Wrap the dhoti around yourself just once. Be sure to keep the wrap a little snug and tight around the stomach portion. It must be stressed: Only once around for now.
Tighten the wrap at this point by folding it a few times to be sure it is held firm at your hip.
3) Step 3 is where it gets a little tricky. Take the end that is on top (depending on which way you wrapped) and start from the end making two inch folds. These folds are known as kosuval, an integral part of the dhoti.
4) Insert these folds into the wrap around your hip. Be gentle but make sure it is taut.
5) This will leave the breadth portion of the fold which you will now take and make similar folds starting from the end again. Make sure the color of the bordering is visible. Simply take the new folds and tuck them right on top of the first set which you should have already in the wrap around your waist.
6) Take the free end of the dhoti and start making similar folds. Rather than tucking this on top of the other two folded ends, take this portion and run it between your legs bringing it behind you.
Make sure the folds are not twisted but straight up the back.
7) Now you will take this set of folds and tuck them in the back of your dhoti, similar to how you tucked in steps 4 and 5 but now in the back of course.
8) Ensure it is properly fitted. You should have two folded portion tucked into the front of your dhoti, and one folded section coming from the front through your legs and tucked in the back. It should be snug and taut.
Now you are ready for the festivities! This cultural gem has a history steeped highly in tradition and beauty, and can be worn on a variety of occasions. Now with eight simple steps, you not only know the truth and history behind a dhoti but, you know how to tie a dhoti correctly. Enjoy!
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