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#MakeInIndia: Jamdani 101

As Indian fashion comes into it’s own, cotton wears a crown as queen of ethnic wear.  Designers including Aneeth Arora, Rahul Mishra, Anavila and Gaurang Shah show their love for India’s famous fabric that spearheaded satyagrahas and Indian freedom struggles. Cotton may seem your plain, old Jane — but she’s not. She can style herself like a seasoned fashionista. Sometimes she shows up as the fabled jamdani and here’s why you should pay notice.


Jamdani who?

Jamdani is an intricately woven, highly breathable cotton fabric famous for its signature, geometric motifs and interplay of muted and vibrant colours. The pattern of the motifs are drawn on paper, pinned under the loom and as the weaving proceeds, the motifs are woven in like embroidery. Most Jamdani weavers improvise and innovate on their motifs on the go, making this fabric a homeground of creative freedoms. For wearers, its sheer and breathable qualities alone are reason enough for it to be adored in the place of its origin, Bengal. Jamdani even holds a coveted spot on UNESCO’s representative list for humanity’s intangible cultural heritage.

Jamming in Jamdani

Anju Modi

Anju Modi

Why should you care for jamdani? For starters, every jamdani piece is unique from the other because weavers innovate on the palette. This makes them special to textile connoisseurs. What’s more, jamdani’s sheer and comfort- friendly qualities lends itself to daily wear. While they’re available as sarees, it’s not just the old gen that can incorporate this lightweight fabric into their every day wardrobes. Jamdani’s versatility makes it a perfect bet for western, easy fit silhouettes and pyjama parties.

Who’s Jamming with Jamdani?


Rahul Mishra

from sprty cuts, western wear and Indian silhouettes, designer Rahul Mishra has innovated with jamdani like no other. Gaurang Shah has been a big supporter of the weave from the very onset.  Aneeth Arora is another designer to embrace jamdani with asymmetrical, knee-length dresses and jackets. Other designers include Rimzim Dadu, Paromita Banerjee, Abraham and Thakore and Eka.



To style your own jamdani, pair a jamdani saree, draped high waisted with a boxy crop blouse with ruffled sleeves and tribal jewellery. Or wear it casually as culottes or an anti-fit dress tailored from fabric with metallic shoes for contrast.