Clothing : A social history in India


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Changes of clothing style in India. Influence of the Colonial period in India. Different people who choose different thing in changes of clothing.

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Clothing : A social history in India

  1. 1. • The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of most human societies. It is not known when humans began wearing clothes, Anthropologists believe that animal skins and vegetation were adapted into coverings as protection from cold, heat and rain, especially as humans migrated to new climates; alternatively, covering may have been invented first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration, cult, or prestige, and later found to be practical as well. • Clothing and textiles have been important in human history and reflects the materials available to a civilization as well as the technologies that it has
  2. 2. AFRICAN:
  3. 3. • In medieval Europe dress codes were sometimes imposed upon members of different levels of society . • From 1294 to the time of French Revolution in 1789, the people were expected to strictly follow the system of ‘Sumptuary Laws’.
  4. 4. 1.the wOrd ‘suMPtuary’ cOMes frOM the LatiN wOrd which MeaNs ‘exPeNditure’. 2.Sumptuary laws (1294 to 1789) were laws which imposed social codes of food and dress upon different strata of society in France. 3.These laws were meant to emphasise social hierarchy and control behaviour of those considered 'social inferiors', i.e., unprivileged. 4.They prevented social inferiors from wearing certain clothes and consuming certain foods and beverages associated with the aristocracy. As per these laws only royalty could wear expensive materials like ermine and fur, or silk, velvet and brocade.
  5. 5. 1.During French Revolution a law was framed to control through freedom of common people. The social backwards and inferiors had to suffer in form of not having rights for wearing clothes, eating food, drinking beverages and hunting games as rich people do. This law was framed to broaden the valley between rich and poor. 2. The French Revolution ended these distinctions. 3.As we all know that the members of Jacobins club caLLed theMseLves as ‘saNs cuLOttes’ tO distiNguish themselves from the aristocracy who use to wear fashiONabLe ‘KNee breeches’. 4. ‘saNs cuLOttes’ actuaLLy MeaNt ‘withOut KNee breeches’.
  6. 6. • The color of France flag-Blue, White and Red became popular for their clothing often in the form of the red and blue pinned cockade. • Other political symbols too became the part of dress: the red cap of liberty, long trousers and the revolutionary cockade pinned on to a hat.
  7. 7. • The French and American Revolution as well as the influence of figures like Marie Antoinette inspired a variety of fashions among different groups. • Marie Antoinette , Queen of France, was one of the most influential figures of fashiONs duriNg the 1770’s aNd 1780’s especially when it came to hairstyles.
  8. 8. French Revolution had raised some what equality in the people. But this did not meant that all kinds of people had freedom to wear what ever dress they want. Because of this reason, different kinds of people decided their own kind of dressing style. Therefore the
  9. 9. •In Victorian era style of clothing means emphasising difference between men and women. •The men in the Victorian England must be serious, strong, aggressive and independent; but women were expected to be obedient, passive, should look beautiful etc. •Because of this women were trained to be like this from childhood. There was no difference between children and adults in the dressing style. From childhood girls were laced up tightly so that they don’t grow so fat. If they grow elder they had to were corsets which are again tight fittings so that it gives proper body shape. Having small waist, laced-up tightly showed that women are attractive, graceful and beautiful.
  10. 10. •Many women believe these ideals like being attractive, graceful, the education they received at home or school etc. from the childhood having small-waist, suffering the pain caused by the corsets became a woman’s duty. But there were also women who didn’t accept the pain. •But by the 1830s, women argued for the right to vote. At this time only they also campaigned for dress reforming. In many women’s magazines, many women used to describe the torture and pain caused by the corsets. These magazines also contained the illness caused due to these corsets among the girls. •This lacing up or wearing corsets stopped the growth in the body. Muscles didn’t devolve and spines got bend. There were many women suffering from fever, acute weakness, faintness etc.
  11. 11. Their traditional costumes were frocks containing long skirts. It was so long that it swept the ground. This caused illness to the women. These women were not able to work. Seeing this situation the men and some women decided that women will be prevented from working and earning their savings. This changed the position in which women are standing in the society. It was said that if their cloths were comfortable in working, they could work, earn their living and be independent.
  12. 12. Many changes were made possible in Britain due to the introduction of NEW MATERIALS and TECHNOLOGIES . Other changes came about because of the two world wars and new working condition
  13. 13. In 17th century Britain most of the ordinary women possessed very few clothes made up of ‘FLAX’ , ’LINEN’ or ‘WOOL’ which had many disadvantages.
  14. 14. These disadvantages are: Linen clothing can lose its charm if washed with hard water. Therefore, one need to be extra careful while washing texture clothing with chemicals and detergents. Texture clothing is restricted to a small range of colours, providing not much variety. It wrinkles and creases easily which can make one look untidy. It is best not to fold linen clothing for storage, one should hang it.
  15. 15. Care : Protecting fine wool clothing from damage requires special care and caution with storage and wear. Moths can quickly damage wool. Wool is more often damaged by stains picked up in the course of daily wear. It stains easily and the damage is usually permanent. Offensive odors can be a problem as wool tends to absorb cooking odors mustiness from long-term storage that are difficult to remove.
  16. 16. Cleaning : Wool garments shrink when washed. Cost Trade with India brought cheap , beautiful and easy-to-maintain Indian chintzes within the reach of many Europeans who could now increase the size of their wardrobes . Comfort : Some varieties of wool are itchy. More often, skin reactions are caused by those itchy, low quality wools.
  17. 17. •MOISTURE CONTROL : Cotton fabric is breathable and transmits moisture away from the body and is absorbent and removes liquid from the skin. Cotton allows one to remain comfortable as you exercise, keeping moisture from building up between •INSULATION :Cotton clothing protects against one’s skin and clothing. from heat in the summer and cold in the winter by providing thermal insulation as the cotton fabric traps air between the fabric fibers . The cotton fibers in clothing hold the fabric away from the skin, further allowing for more air to be trapped between the skin and fabric which helps with insulation and comfort.
  18. 18. • COMFORT :Cotton clothing is soft and easily stretches, making it a comfortable fabric to wear. Due to its softness and comfort, it is often used in underwear and undershirts, according to the International Forum for Cotton Promotion. • DURABILITY :The International Forum for Cotton Promotion states that cotton has a high tensile strength, making it strong, durable and less likely to rip or tear. It is 30 percent stronger when wet, withstanding many washings in hot water.
  19. 19. HYPOALLERGENIC :Cotton fabric rarely causes allergic reactions and wearing cotton is often recommended for those with skin allergies, notes Cotton Incorporated. Because cotton is hypoallergenic and does not irritate skin, it is used in medical products and bandages and gauze, and is the fabric of choice when it comes to baby clothing. WEATHERPROOF :Cotton fabrics can easily be manufactured into weather-resistant garments through construction and finishing of the fabric. For example, cotton can be made into a tight, dense fabric with a weather-repellent finish to make weather resistant clothing, yet the cotton fabric retains its comfort and breathability.
  21. 21. • Till 1914,clothes were ankle length , they had been since 13th century . • By 1915 ,the hemline of the clothes rose to mid-calf.
  22. 22. • THE TWO WORLD WARS are major causes for these change . Many women stopped wearing jeweler and luxurious clothes . • Clothes got shorter during 1st World war due to practical necessity.
  23. 23. There were significant changes in the clothing of males and females, during the colonial period in India. There were people who reacted in three different ways when the western-style of clothing came into India. Cloth and clothing became very important symbols of the national movement.
  24. 24. 1. One who adapted the western style of clothing totally . Wealthy Parsis from western India were the first one to adapt it. Western style was very attractive for the dalits. 2. One who rejected western style totally. 3. One who incorporated the western style with the Indian tradition. Most of the Bengalis used this way. The policeman in Poona would take off their trousers in the street and go home with tunic and undergarments only.
  25. 25. Sir M. Visveswaraya.: He wore a turban with his three-piece Western style suit.
  26. 26. The caste system clearly defined what subordinate and dominant caste Hindus should wear, eat, etc. and these codes had the force of law. The Shanars (also called Nadars) were considered a ‘subordinate caste’, they were prohibited from : • Using umbrellas • Wearing shoes • Wearing golden ornaments • Never covering their upper bodies before the upper castes.
  27. 27. Under the influence of Christian missions, Shanar women converts began in the 1820s to wear tailored blouses and cloths to cover themselves like the upper castes. Soon Nairs, (one of the upper castes) attacked these women in public places and tore off their upper cloths. The Government of Travancore issued a proclamation in 1829 ordering Shanar women ‘to abstain in future from covering the upper parts of the body.’ But this did not prevent Shanar Christian women, and even Shanar Hindus, from adopting the blouse and upper cloth. The government issued another proclamation permitting Shanar women, whether Christian or Hindu, to wear a jacket, or cover their upper bodies ‘in any manner whatever, But not like the women of high caste’.
  28. 28. Parsis in Bombay, 1863. (who adapted the western style clothing)
  29. 29. How did the British react to Indian ways of dressing? How did Indians react to British attitudes?
  30. 30. When European traders first began frequenting India, they were distiNguished frOM the iNdiaN ‘turbaN wearers’ as the ‘hat wearers.’ TURBAN FOR INDIANS The turban in India was not just for protection from the heat but was a sign of respectability, and could not be removed at will. TURBAN (i.e. HAT) FOR WESTERNERS
  32. 32.  Another such conflict related to the wearing of shoes.  In 1824 - 1828, Governor- General Amherst insisted that Indians take their shoes off as a sign of respect when they appeared before him.
  33. 33. In 1862, there was a famous case of defiance of the ‘Shoe Respect’ rule in a Surat courtroom. Manockjee Cowasjee Entee, an assessor in the Surat Fouzdaree Adawlut, refused to take off his Manockjee Cowasjee Entee shoes in the court of the sessions judge.
  34. 34. Lady Bachoobai
  35. 35. Sarala daughter of R. C. Dutt
  36. 36. KHADI • In India, khadi is not just a cloth, it is a whole movement started by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The Khadi movement promoted an ideology, an idea that Indians could be self reliant on Hemp and be free from the high priced goods and clothes which the British were selling to them. • The British would buy cotton from India at cheap prices and export them to Britain where they were woven to make clothes. These clothes were then brought back to India to be sold at hefty prices. The Khadi movement aimed at boycotting foreign goods including cotton and promoting Indian goods, thereby improving India's economy.
  37. 37. Why all could not wear khadi ? • Mahatma Gandhi wanted the whole nation to be covered by khadi. He had a believe that khadi can erase all the religious and class difference between people. • Motilal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, kamala Nehru wore clothes which were not made of khadi instead of this they wore colorful designed clothes. • Nationalists like Babasaheb Ambedkar never gave up the western suit and preferred to wear a three piece suit.
  38. 38. 4) RAJASTHAN CAP