Chaniya choli is another form or say another name of ghagra choli. The home
of the chaniya choli is no doubt Kutch, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The outfit is
popular in the west and north of India. In the south, another more
streamlined version known as the 'pavade' is popular. There is a tremendous
boost to the chaniya choli in recent time as a fashion garment expecially in
Fabric in Chaniya Choli
Fabrics that are used for chaniya cholis normally range from cotton, silk
to khadi and at times chiffon, organza, satin cotton, raw silk and brocade.
But the last variety is only for weddings and formal occasions. The creation
of a chaniya choli takes a couple of weeks to create as the fabrics are
embroidered in Gujarat, Kutch and Rajasthan and sent to different craftsmen
after which they are stitched into garments.
Three parts of Chaniya Cholis
- Ghagra/Lehenga: Also known as Chaniyas, these are pleated
skirts of ankle length secured around the waist.
- Choli: The cholis have elaborate mirror work and patch work
on them and are very colourful. In almost all chaniya cholis, the choli
is generally designed to leave the back and midriff bare.
- Odhi, Chunni, Dupatta: The odhni of chaniya choli acts as a
scarf covering the head and body.
It is the embroidery and the shape that makes all the difference to the
chaniya choli. There are different varieties of Chaniya Cholis. There are
traditional Chaniya Cholis with traditional designs of Zari, Zordosi, Resham
work, with butis and sequins all over it. Bridal Chaniya Cholis are heavily
embroidered with precious stones studded over it. Designer Chaniya cholis
give the modern look with an ethnic touch. Even the chaniyas are of
different shapes such as Straight cut, Fish tail, Mermaid, Paneled, Circular
shapes, Chaniyas with full flair.
From ancient history to the 20th century, the chaniya choli has made a long
journey that has sustained it as a garment of fashionable interest to not
only the Indian women but women in the west as well.