Chiffon sari: A fabric that defines Rajput women

It is the one fabric royal Rajput ladies were known to historically patronise and wear everyday with élan. When holidaying in the Swiss Alps, enjoying at an open-air garden party in winter or even when seated inside their plush palace in Rajasthan, the one thing that would drape around their beautiful self would be chiffon.

Add to this translucent, rich textile a hint of embroidery, a touch of lace, a vintage border or bold hand-painted or printed floral and voila you have the look of the regal Maharani alive before you. Chiffon saris, resonate completely with a princely era witnessed by Kanwarani Dipti Singh of Kachhi Baroda and she with her daughter Rohini Singh Gupta are keeping this legacy alive through their brand Just Chiffons. 

Rohini Gupta
Nandini Singh
Maanvi Kumari

The sheer velocity of a gossamer chiffon, the cadence of wearing an ombre that goes from a calm blue to a haute red, the thrill of recreating past bastions of embroideries like cut work, badla, sequins, tissue appliques and thread work, Just Chiffon presents their look for the festive season of 2020. Their winning story being the cut worked saris, a craft they have painstakingly revived. Shares Dipti, “It is the most indulgent of crafts as the artisan first sketches the border, and then embroiders it with pure gold. Later carefully burning out the fabric within the embroidery to give his design a rare sense of lux.”

And the royals residing in Indore wear their cut works with full justice: Princess Maanvi Kumari of Jobat, Princess Nandini Singh Jhabua, the Thakurani of Limdi, amongst others.

A bride who came from the noble family of Baidia to wed into yet blue-blooded family of Madhya Pradesh, Dipti was inspired by legendary women like Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur, Maharani Reeta Devi of Kapurthala who made the chiffon an icon of royal India. She decided to work with a dwindling lot of beaders and embroiderers who were creating chiffons for erstwhile yuvranis, maharanis and kanwaranis. She created a little craft karkhana and began dipping into old family portraits, treasure trunks and vintage textiles to recreate past regalia.

“The one thing that binds together every Rajput woman is her love for the chiffon,” opines Rohini. “When it’s day time we wear our prints, fussed up with a vintage border, when it is time to go clubbing, out comes our Chantilly lace and when we are going to a wedding we couple the heirloom jewels with a delicately embroidered ombre chiffon.

Published on October 23, 2020

ByAnshu Khanna as on The Daily Guardian