Are you ready to explore the rich and diverse history of fashion and clothing in India? If so, keep reading! In our previous article, we delved into the ancient clothing of India. Now we're taking it to the next level with a closer look at the Medieval period fashion as well as evolution of fashion in modern India. In case you have not already read the previous article then please read it now by clicking the below button and then come back here.

Ancient Indian Clothing and Fashion

Although there is no particular date considered to be the beginning of medieval India, we know that the Post-Gupta Era marked the start of the Early medieval period. In this article, we'll be discussing the clothing of various communities, religions, and time periods throughout the Medieval period up to modern age Indian fashion. Join us on this journey through time as we explore the captivating world of Indian clothing!

Table of Content

History of Clothing and Fashion in Medieval India

Sources: From post-Gupta period there are a lot of sources of medieval Indian clothing through paintings, travelogues, and literature, along with sculptures, figurines of temples like Alchi Monastery, Ellora cave paintings, Pala miniature paintings, Jain miniature paintings, etc.

The Evolution of Indian Traditional Clothing: From Chugha to Shalwar, Kurtas to Kurpasakas

Ancient Indians started to wear baggy trousers called Chugha, which are now called Shalwar. From the late medieval period, there are increased numbers of evidences of pyjamas or shalwars though Antariya or Dhoti continued to be in prominence as well. From Al-Biruni’s Tarikh-ul-Hind, we can know kurtas or Kurtakas (as mentioned in Sanskrit) were half sleeved shirts, Kurpasaka was a jacket similar to a kurta. There were coexistence between Dhoti and Shalwar. From Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, it is mentioned, in Kashmir Harsha Vardhan introduced a general dress that looked like a long coat.

Rajput soldiers depicted in Alchi Monastery; 11th century CE
Rajput soldiers depicted in Alchi Monastery; 11th century CE

Evolution of Indian Women's Clothing in Art

The Alchi painting (Wall paintings preserved in Alchi Monastery in Ladakh) shows evidence of modern sari draping. Paintings from medieval Eastern India show modern style of wearing dupatta. Ajanta cave paintings show women wearing ghagra-choli with a dupatta draped over their chest.

Green Tara-Buddhist Deity  depicted with sari, 11th century CE
Green Tara-Buddhist Deity depicted with sari, 11th century CE, AlcHi monastery

Malabar's Fashion Tale: Loincloths and Ornate Turbans from Marco Polo's Account

From Italian traveller Marco Polo’s Book of the Marvels of the World or Il Milione (13th Century), written down by Rustichello da Pisa, Malabar men and women (modern day Kerala) would wear only loincloths (a one piece garment). Tailors’ work was unknown to them. The king of Malabar also wore a cotton loincloth and remained barefooted, but while riding an elephant, he would wear a turban embellished with gems, pearls, gold, as well as golden armlets and anklets.

Loincloths is a simple yet functional piece of clothing that has been worn by men for centuries. It is a garment that covers a man's private parts, but leaves the buttocks bare. It's made from various materials such as cloth, bark-bast, and leather, and is held in place by a belt or string.

Throughout history, societies have placed a strong emphasis on modesty and the covering of private parts, leading to the popularity of the loincloth in many cultures. Despite its basic function, the loincloth has taken on many different forms across the world and throughout time. From the breechcloth worn by Native American tribes to the traditional fundoshi of Japan, the loincloth has adapted and evolved to fit the needs and customs of various societies.

A form of Loincloths
A form of Loincloths

Clothing of Turkic People and Sultans

Five short-lived dynasties or sultanates of Turkic origin ruled over Delhi between 1206 and 1526 AD and were successful to establish the Muslim rule in India.

The dressing style of the kings or Sultans differs from dynasty to dynasty. Here are some of them described:


A turban was a mandatory accessory for a sultan. It was made of cloth or metal embellished with precious stones, gems, feathers.


A kaftan or caftan was a front-buttoned coat or overdress, reaching to ankles with long sleeves. It was made of silk, cotton or wool. It was worn with a sash tied around the waist. These caftans were decorated with embroidery, gold work, or zardosi work, often embellished with rich gems.


Young men and women could wear a vest or bejewelled waistcoat. It was an overcoat worn on tunic.


Modern-day shalwar has became popular since this period. This was a lower garment worn by both men and women.


Jelick is typically a sleeveless and collarless garment, or rather a waistcoat and had small pockets on the sides. These were embroidered and made out of silk, velvet and leather as well.


Women would wear soft undergarments made of cotton, muslin or silk.


A tunic was very simple in style, reaching somewhere between hips and the ankles. These were worn under the caftan.

The officers, Maliks and the soldiers wore qabas (tunic) in the style of Khwarezm, which were tucked in the middle of the body, while the turban and kullah were common headwear. The turbans were wrapped around the kullah (caps) and the feet were covered with red boots. The Wazirs and Katibs also dressed like the soldiers, except they did not use belts, and often let down a piece of cloth in front of them in the manner of the Sufis. The judges and the learned men wore ample gowns (farajiyat) and an Arabic garment (durra).

Jewellery of Medieval India

Diamond Jewellery

Diamonds are located all around the world, but the first diamond is believed to have originated in India.

At the time, they were valued not for their beauty or durability but for their ability to refract light. This made them ideal for talismans and decorations. As the times changed, diamonds were sought out for different purposes. During the Dark Ages, people believed that diamonds had medicinal value. The diamond later evolved from a medicinal object into an item of value during the Middle Ages.

India was the only source of diamonds for hundreds of years and still remains the original source of some magnificent diamond pieces, like Koh-I-Noor, the Nassak diamond, the Blue Hope diamond, the Idol’s Eye, the pink Daria-i-Noor, etc, all from the medieval to early-Modern Age of India.

Besides usage of precious stones and uncut diamond in jewellery, Sultani people introduced many new types of designs in Indian jewellery. Paasa Manga tika, a unique ornament that falls on the left side of the head. It is found in half moon or fan shape. Large nose rings, multi-stringed necklaces, and many Turkish ornaments were introduced during the sultanate rule.

History of Clothing During Vijaynagar Empire

Vijaynagar empire or Karnat Rajya, situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers and established in 1336 AD lasted until 1646 AD. The wealth and fame of this empire inspired visits and writings of European travellers like Domingo Paes, Fernao Nunes etc who described the society in their travelogues.
Women wore sarees and blouses while men were dressed only in a lower garment, though stitched clothes like shirts or kurtas were occasional. Turbans, Pethas and Kulavi were popular headgear among the rich. People would love to wear jewellery like finger rings, earrings, necklaces, bangles and bracelets. During celebrations, both men and women wore headbands with flowers and perfumes made of sandal wood, rose water, flowers, civet and musk.

Adornments and Jewellery: Treasures of Indian Fashion during the Medieval Era

Since pre-historic time, both men and women in the Indian subcontinent have been very fond of jewellery. They wore gold bracelets, bangles called Kangan, armlets called Keyura, earrings called Kundala, hip girdles, head dresses, necklaces made of gold, pearl, silver were used. These jewelleries were often studded with precious and semi-precious stones. According to Chinese traveller, Chau-Ju-Kua, in modern Gujarat, both men and women would wear double earrings, close-fitting clothes, hoods on their heads (most probably a dupatta and turban are indicated), and red shoes on their feet. The poor and the tribal people continued to wear jewellery made of silver, copper, brass, or even terracotta.

Fabrics and Clothing Choices in Medieval Indian Fashion

Just like in ancient India, people in medieval India had to suffer from the scorching heat of summer for most of the months of the year. So, cotton from fine to coarse quality, was the most commonly used material, though silk, linen, along with fine muslin continued to be worn.

Clothing of North-east India

During the medieval period, traditional attire was different in different regions.
In Assam, women wore Mekhala chador, a two-piece garment. Men wore dhotis and gamochas(a type of towel). In modern-day Arunachal, women wore a skirt called Gyadar, a blouse called Gale and a shawl called Gaaley. Men wore lungi typed cloth, shawl called jhamik and a kurta called galuk. In Manipur, women wore a phanek, a wrap-around skirt, a shawl called innaphi. Men wore a dhoti and a jacket called Achkan.

Fashion and Clothing of the Rajput Kingdoms: Elegance and Splendor

The Rajput Kingdoms, also known as Rajputana or the Land of Rajputs, were a collection of Hindu princely states in medieval and early-modern India. The term "Rajput" refers to a warrior caste, known for their valor, chivalry, and strong sense of honor. The Rajput Kingdoms emerged in the 7th century and played a significant role in shaping the history and culture of India.

Fashion and clothing held great significance in Rajput culture, playing a vital role in expressing identity, social status, and cultural heritage. The attire of Rajputs was not merely a matter of personal style but a reflection of their valor, pride, and adherence to traditions.

Given the vastness and intricacies of Rajput fashion and clothing, it is impossible to do justice to this topic within a single blog section. Therefore, we have dedicated a separate blog post to delve deeper into the fascinating world of Rajput fashion, exploring its diverse elements, distinctive styles, and cultural significance.

Evolution of Fashion and Clothing in Modern India

The Early-Modern Era: Mughal Empire and the Reign of Contemporary Rajput Kingdoms

Muslim dynasty of Turkic Origin Mongols (Mughals in India) ruled most of northern India from the early 16th to the mid-18th century. After that time it continued to exist as a considerably reduced and increasingly powerless entity until the mid-19th century. The Mughal dynasty was notable for its more than two centuries of effective rule over much of India. Simultaneously, during this period, the Rajput kingdoms thrived as significant political entities within the country. While some Rajput rulers aligned themselves with the Mughal Court, others maintained their independence and sovereignty. This period was also a flourishing one in the fields of literature, art, music, and architecture.

Fashion and Clothing of the Rajput Kingdoms

The Fashion Fusion: Mughal Emperors' Synthesis of Culture and Clothing

The Mughal Emperors were liberal in their outlook. They were fond of adopting new dress and new fashion which synthesized their own culture, contemporary culture and the indigenous culture. It was during Akbar’s reign that the synthesis of Hindu and Persian Muslim clothing style came into existence.
Akbar was a very farsighted ruler. He was not in favour of clothing style of his forefathers because such a thick-clothing was not suitable for Indian climate. It was also obvious that the changes in the costumes introduced by Akbar were also politically motivated. He was in need of service of Hindu nobles; this is the reason that he adopted some of the Indian dressing styles, introduced some changes and also renamed them. The ladies and gentlemen of the Mughal Empire wore beautiful and expensive clothes made from the finest materials and adorned themselves with jewelry from head to toe. Back then, “costume design” was an art form – each emperor adopted his own contemporary style of clothing, whether it was Babar’s long coat or Akbar’s treasured “chakdar jama” tunic.

Mughal Men’s Clothing

The Jama

The Yaktahi Jama (an unlined Jama) originated in Persia and Central Asia, where it was worn both short and long, over a pajama to form an outfit known as the “Bast Agag”. The definition of the Mughal Jama is a side-fastening frock-coat with tight-fitting bodice, nipped-in waist and flared skirt, reaching the knees. This is an angharka in today’s fashion.

The Chogha

This is a very ancient garment which we have seen all throughout the Persian, Mongolian and Indian culture. In Mughal times , the word 'Chogha' referred to a long-sleeved coat, open down the front, usually down to hip or knee length. By the medieval period, Choghas in India were made loose enough to be worn over Angharkas, Jamas and other garments.

Doshala and Shawls

Akbar also introduced a new fashion of wearing shawls by wearing it in double folds. The wearing of the shawl (double-sided) has been termed by many scholars as doshala, i.e. a double-faced shawl consisting of two fabrics attached at the underside with the fabric having two right sides and no wrong side. During the Mughals the production of Shawls reached its zenith. The Mughal rulers encouraged it to a great extent which led to the commercialization of the industry. As a result of Shawls began to be produced on a large scale in India, this all brought about high perfection in their production. Shawls were also exchanged among noblemen as gifts.

The Patka

Around the waist of the Jama, a long piece of fine fabric was tied like a sash. This was the Patka, from which a jewelled sword could be suspended. Patkas were hand-woven with beautiful designs, embroidered, hand-painted or printed.

Mughal Women’s Fashion

The gorgeous dressing sense of the Mughal ladies was not confined to the Mughal harem. But there were several occasions where the Mughals and the Hindu women came into contact with each other, a number of social gatherings were organized for the purpose. The royal ladies of the Mughal court had started to wear longer saris.


A woman’s pai-jama made of silk, cut wide and straight.


A woman’s pai-jama cut loose from the knee, adding gathers.


A woman’s pai-jama cut without folds to the knees, and then gathered into pleats to the floor. 

The court had a significant impact on women's fashion, shaping their choices and preferences. Various garments such as Shalwars, Churidars, Dhiljia, Gharara, and farshi gharara became popular among women. Muslim women showed a preference for the pants style, while Hindu women favored skirts. Regardless of the chosen style, the drawstrings of these garments were meticulously adorned with exquisite pearls and jewels, adding a touch of elegance and opulence to their attire. This intricate detailing further enhanced the overall beauty and charm of their outfits. The court's influence on women's fashion not only reflected their cultural and religious backgrounds but also emphasized the importance of embellishments in creating a visually stunning and regal appearance.

Textile and Fashion in the Mughal Period: Luxurious Fabrics and Intricate Designs

The fashion of the Mughal period was characterized by its luxurious styles and the use of exquisite fabrics such as muslin, silk, velvet, and brocade. These fabrics were meticulously crafted into garments that showcased elaborate patterns, including dots, checks, and waves. A wide range of vibrant colors was achieved through the use of various dyes, such as cochineal, sulphate of iron, sulphate of copper, and sulphate of antimony. The fabrics of the time included luxurious options like muslin, made from wild goat's hair cloth (tus) and pashmina, a lightweight and warm wool. Silks, often embroidered with gold and silver thread, were further adorned with delicate lace embellishments.

To add a fragrant touch, rose water was regularly used to scent these fabrics.

Notably, shawls of the period were so fine and delicate that they could pass through a finger ring.

The different types of muslin had poetic names, such as Ab-i-rawan, meaning "running water", and Baft hawa, meaning "woven air." One particular type of muslin that gained perfection during this era was the jamdani weave, which involved weaving geometrical and floral designs onto muslin fabric. The Mughal rulers actively encouraged the production of muslin, and centers such as Sonargaon, Banaras, Agra, Malwa, Deccan, Gujarat, Lahore, Multan, Burhanpur, and Golkonda thrived in muslin craft, as noted in Abul Fazl's Ain-i-Akbari.

During the Mughal period, silk production flourished in various centers. Kasimbazar in Bengal was a major hub of silk production, as reported by Tavernier, a French merchant and traveler of the 17th century. Other significant centers included Ahmedabad, Surat, Sindh, Delhi, Agra, and Malda. In western India, silk was often blended with cotton. For example, the Alacha fabric, produced in Cambay, Gujarat, featured stripes in blue, white, and red, occasionally decorated with woven flowers. These fabrics were commonly used for making trousers. Serbandy, Kapoornoor, gulbadans, nihal, tafsil, and mushru were other mixed cotton and silk fabrics popular during the Mughal period.

Pure silk fabrics were rare, with the exception of patolas, which were made using the ikat technique. In this technique, the warp and weft yarns were pre-dyed and then woven together to create stunning patterns. Patan in Gujarat was the main center for patola production. The Mughal imperial household and the aristocratic class had a particular fondness for silk velvet garments, which were typically brocaded with gold and silver threads. Velvet costumes were reserved for ceremonial occasions and were produced in cities such as Ahmedabad, Lahore, Ghargaon, and Assam during different periods.

Wool was not a prominent fiber during medieval India. The common populace made minimal use of woolen cloth, as it is scarcely mentioned in historical sources. Instead, cotton-padded garments and cotton quilts were favored by the people.

Carpet weaving also flourished during the medieval period, particularly under the Mughals. References to carpet weaving before the Mughals are scarce. Major centers for carpet manufacture included Agra, Fatehpur, Jaunpur, Zafarabad, Alvar, Kashmir, Ahmedabad, and Lahore.

The Legacy of Mughal Jewelry

Kundan Techniques and Precious Gemstone Carvings

The famous Kundan jewellery was popularised by the Mughals. The art of setting the stones on gold at room temperature was a trademark jewellery making technique of the Mughals. The word Kundan means highly refined gold and hence highly refined and pure molten gold is used in Kundan jewellery. The art of jewellery carving and hard stone carving of the various precious gemstones such as rubies, diamonds, emeralds, jade etc were in vogue during Mughal times. The influence of this Mughal jewellery is still alive in modern-day jewellery. Though present-day Mughal jewelry has a modern twist to its look, it still emphasizes stonework and enamelling and stays true to its roots.

Turban Ornaments and Head Jewelry

The Mughal emperors wore silk turbans sequined with decorative, drooping featherlike ornaments. These turban ornaments are cast in enamelled gold and are augmented with precious gemstones and pearls.


The Mughal emperors and courtiers wore ear studs or small round earrings made of pearls or gemstones. The empresses wore exquisite long earrings which could be termed today as chandelier earrings. These stunning earrings were beautifully crafted out of fine enamelled gold or pure silver and laden with multiple large gemstones, pearls, and premium beads. Strings attached to the earrings were fastened to the hair of royal ladies with tiny hooks. Some Mughal earring-strings were so long and thick that they almost covered the whole ear.

Nose Rings

Nose rings are produced out of fine gold or silver. They vary from tiny pins studded with minuscule gemstones or pearls to great circular hoops covered with multiple gemstones, pearls and quality beads. Like earrings, nose rings may be joined to long strings fastened to the hair with tiny hooks.


Alongside simple necklaces, precious stones studded several string necklaces (Jadau- a type of necklace that consists of three strands of pearls, emeralds, and sapphire strung together). The rani haar, gulbandh, and satladha were other neckpieces.


The kamarbhand was a jewellery piece that was generally worn around the waist.


The Haathphool was another ornament that was popularized in Mughal period.


Jewellery made from lacquer or lac originates in Rajasthan and has a variety of applications. These pieces are usually adorned with glass beads, decorative wire, and mirrors.


Meenakari jewellery is made by applying various types of paints on the surface of the metal. This is done either manually or using stencils.

Anklets and Foot Ornaments

Royal ladies wore anklets of silver or gold-plated silver. Some anklets were covered with gemstones and trinkets, others were intricately carved. Foot ornaments consisted of strings of tiny trinkets, small gemstones or pearls attached to anklets. Toe rings made of minuscule gemstones were also fastened to the anklets with jewelled strings.

Foot Wears

The Mojari originated under the Mughal Empire , where it was decorated with colours, gems, and other ornaments. They are also commonly worn with Shalwar Kameez.

The Majestic Maratha Fashion: A Glimpse into the Attire and Accessories of the Glorious Empire

Maratha empire started to expand and glorified its existence during the reign of Shivaji during Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century. And then it reached its zenith. In Marathi societies, men would wear a dhoti and kurta with a turban or pagdi. A turban was an essential accessory which they wore with pride. In festivities, men wore achkan, churidar, suver, and pyjama. Women wore a practical wear, a dhoti-styled sari called a Nauvari saree, as they would participate in outer works as their male counterparts.

The Marathas were known for their military prowess and their soldiers wore distinctive clothing to identify themselves on the battlefield. They wore a dhoti, a kurta, a sleeveless jacket called a bandi. Both sexes wore cloths made of cotton, silk, linen, brocade embroidered with golden and silver zari. Paithani silk saree, Narayan Peth saree, Lugade sarees of this area are still in great demand. Marathi accessories were made with rich and intricate designs. Green bangles, nose ring, Bugadi- a earpiece worn on the helix of the ear etc were some special Marathi jewelleries.

Diverse Attire of Bengal: Fashion Influences Across Empires and Religions

Throughout the medieval period Bengal saw the rise and fall of several empires, including the Pala and Sena empires, Delhi sultanate, Bengal Sultanate, Mughal Empire. Dressing style of people during this time was largely influenced by their social status, religion and occupation.

Hindu men typically wore a dhoti and kurta or modern day called Punjabi with turban. Hindu women used to wear saree which is still dominant. Muslim men wore long tunic called Jama made of silk or cotton and cap as headcovering. Muslim women wore a long dress called a burqa covering their entire body except their face and hands. Embellished silk, fine muslins, fine to coarse graded cotton were readily available. Dhakai Jamdani, Baluchari, Bishnupuri silk, Nilambari, Kantha stitched saree, Murshidabadi silk were other rich and elegant types of sarees made in Bengal that still have great demand and high uses.

Modern Period: British India

After Vasco da Gama’s arrival in India in 1498, European travellers from many countries came to India for trading purpose. Among them British were able to manage to conquer and rule in India. Victory in 1757, Plassey war, it gave rise to British Raj, and then the Battle of Buxar led to direct colonization by British. After these incidents offices, schools, colleges started to establish and social interaction increased among Englishmen and Indigenous people which led to a mixture of Western and Indian clothing.

Evolution of Men's Clothing in British India: A Blend of European and Traditional Styles

Maharajas were highly influenced by European clothing. Besides traditional Angrakha, and Chughas, and turbans they would wore ceremonial robes with elaborated tassels, which were obviously an European influence. Sherwani, a long coat introduced in Mughal era, continued to be popular during British Colonial period. The design was now modified to make it more formal and suitable for official occasions.

Urban men who worked in offices or went colleges, wore a combination of indigenous and European garments. They wore dhoti or trousers with kurta, Punjabi or shirts.

Western style suit was introduced by British and became popular among Indian elite. It consisted of trousers, shirt, waistcoat, made of wool or other imported fabrics, which were worn with hats. In parties, rich men wore fully European styled apparels, i.e., shirt, waistcoat, blazers, trousers with tie, boots, sometimes, with hats.

But for farmers or the people of poor section, most of them wore traditional dhoti and kurta, and a turban. Sometimes a sash was taken which was kept on left shoulder. Elder people would wear pyjama or dhoti, a Punjabi or kurta, turban on head and a shawl or a sash to be kept on left shoulder. Mens clothing in British India was influenced by both Western and traditional Indian styles. It had a significant impact on Indian fashion which remain popular till today.

Women's Fashion in British India: Cultural Identity and Changing Trends

The fashion choices of women during the British colonial rule in India were significantly influenced by the prevailing British fashion trends. However, women across different social classes and regions also maintained their cultural and religious identities through their clothing styles.

The timeless saree continued to be the most prominent garment among Indian women, symbolizing grace and elegance. Alongside sarees, the shalwar-kameez ensemble gained popularity among Muslim and Punjabi women, blending traditional elements with comfort and modesty.

Woman Fashion in British India
Woman Fashion in British India

The British introduction of Western-style dresses had a notable impact on the Indian elite class. These dresses, inspired by European fashion, were embraced by affluent women and became a symbol of prestige and modernity. Western dresses typically featured tailored silhouettes, varying sleeve lengths, and intricate embellishments.

It is important to note that while British fashion trends made their way into India, women still preserved their cultural heritage through the choices of fabric, patterns, and accessories. The fusion of British styles with traditional Indian garments resulted in unique fashion expressions, showcasing the diverse cultural landscape of British India.

The cultural impact of the British and Portuguese can be observed in the evolution of women's attire in India. A notable example is the modern-day blouse, which is a fusion of the traditional Indian Stanpatta/Choli/Kanchuka and the European-style blouse. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in India, women followed various practices, with some covering their breasts while others chose to leave them bare. However, with the cultural exchange brought about by the British and Portuguese, new clothing styles emerged, blending elements from both cultures and shaping the fashion landscape of India

For a Comprehensive Account of the Evolution and History of Blouse in India, Refer to the Following Article.

History of Blouse in India

Jnanadanandini Devi's Influence

The lady who became the pioneer in the realm of women empowerment and emancipation in 19th century Bengal was none other than Jnanadanandini Devi from Tagore family.

She shaped the entire dimension of saree wearing in Indian women. She travelled abroad with her husband, which modified and transfigured her sense of fashion and viewpoint pertaining life. Her saree draping style was enormously motivated by the Parsee style saree draping. She styled saree with neat pleats in the middle and introduced elegant blouses with high collars, classy frills and ornamental brooches.

Adorning Tradition: Women's Jewelry and Beauty Practices in British India

Throughout British India, women continued to embrace their rich cultural heritage by donning traditional jewelry pieces, including necklaces, earrings, bangles, armlets, anklets, maang tikas, and nose rings. These ornaments, crafted from precious metals such as gold and silver, were often embellished with exquisite gemstones, adding a touch of opulence to their attire.

With the influence of British culture, new designs emerged that showcased simplicity and elegance, complementing the evolving fashion trends. Women adorned their hair in braids and buns, enhancing their hairstyles with delicate flowers and jewelry accents.

Additionally, henna became a beloved practice, as women used it to dye their hair and decorate their hands and feet with intricate patterns. In Bengal, the application of alta, a vibrant red dye, became a customary way to embellish the hands and feet, further enhancing the beauty of women in the region.

These timeless traditions and beauty practices allowed women to express their individuality and celebrate the cultural richness of their heritage, even amidst the changing landscape of British India.

The Impact of British Industrialization on Indian Textiles: Tariffs, Exploitation, and Decline

India's pre-British era was renowned for its exquisite textile craftsmanship, boasting a diverse range of fabrics such as silk, cotton, velvet, muslin, linen, and wool. However, with the advent of industrialization in England, the British imposed various tariffs and taxes on indigenous artisans, compelling them to export raw materials to England at significantly reduced prices. In turn, machine-made clothing from England flooded the Indian market, undercutting the prices of domestically produced garments.

This unequal trade dynamic severely affected the Indian textile industry, leading to its gradual deterioration and near-destruction. The exploitation of Indian artisans, coupled with the influx of inexpensive British textiles, created an imbalance that undermined the local market for Indian textiles. The once-thriving industry faced immense challenges and struggled to compete with the mass-produced goods from England.

The repercussions of British industrialization on Indian textiles were far-reaching, disrupting the established ecosystem of indigenous craftsmanship and trade. The consequences of this exploitative trade relationship left a lasting impact on the Indian textile industry, marking a significant decline that would take considerable time to recover from.

Textile Dyes and Blue Revolution

The British introduced new dyes and chemical process to reate new colours and designs. They encouraged the production of indigo which was used to create a deep blue dye that was highly priced in England, but this cultivation of indigo had negative impact on the Indian economy leading to decrease in production of food crops, famines and soil degradation. Though, upgradation in the field of textile production helped to create new infrastructure, but the backbone of Indian textile industry was fractured for long time.

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