Marriage in Indian society is the merging of two families. It is then the responsibility of the new family to take care of the newlywed bride. Gharchola is a symbol of this thought and belief that has been followed by Gujarat and Rajasthan since time immemorial. The word ‘Gharchola’ is a union of ‘ghar’ which is (home) and ‘chola’ which indicates (cloth). So, the term refers to the newlywed bride’s new house and the costume she wears when she enters this new house. The Gharchola is used to cover the head of the bride when she enters her marital home. This signifies her entry into a new phase of her life with everybody’s wishes and blessings.
What is it exactly and how is it worn?
Gharchola silk saree is essentially a head drape, which extends to the shoulders. It is also commonly known as ‘Chunari’ or ‘Odhani’. It is worn by women on their wedding day, so it usually comes in shades of maroon, red and green. One end of the saree is neatly tucked in the waist on the left side and the other end is draped on the right shoulder, from behind. Nowadays, many brides do not take the head drape, but just leave it flowing on their right shoulder, which is knotted to the groom’s drape during the rituals. Traditionally, these sarees are gifted by the mother-in-law of the brides, when they enter the new house as a sign of blessing and good wishes from the entire family. It is a type or a modification of the very famous Bandhani saree. However, it is distinguishable due to the ‘grid’ pattern throughout the saree.
The classic ‘Grid’ patterns
Gharcholas are known for their chequered designs which are created in several combinations and permutations. They usually come in nine, twelve, and fifty-two square arrangements. The twelve square patterns are called ‘bar bhag’ and the fifty-two ones are called ‘bavan bhag’. Every square includes a ‘bandhani’ design which is created through a tie and dye method. The same patterns are followed throughout the saree in shades of red. Further, the sarees are given Zari embroidery with some intricate designs to give it a royal look. These are specially hand woven.
Original ‘gharchola’ pieces have Zari on the pallu, with just one color. However, the modern designs have pallu attached to them in colors of green and yellows. Sometimes, extra borders are also attached to the pallu to make the saree look beautiful and wedding-ready. This is then followed by hand embroidery on every grid and pallu, throughout the saree to decorate it.
Khatri Jamnadas Bechardas strives to bring to you the pure and rustic designs of Indian culture. We are redefining the meaning of traditional, yet modern ways of creating clothing pieces that will suit all styles and customs. We keep in mind that clients want to retain their traditions and at the same time wear contemporary designer clothing. Rediscover ethnic Gharchola sarees online with Khatri Jamnadas Bechardas.