Puthia, Traditional Rajasthani Costume for Women


Puthia is designed beautifully with attractive colors, shapes and patterns. This is an upper part costume for women in Rajasthan. Both young girls and unmarried women wear puthia in Rajasthan and beautify themselves. The upper garment is an important part of Rajasthani women that can be seen in daily wears, festivals and special events.

Puthia represents non-fertile phase of women. The costume is not worn after the girl reaches puberty. However, during child marriage cases which are prevalent in Rajasthan that dress is abandoned. Though puthia is worn by girls in all Hindu communities of Rajasthan, slight differences can be seen in its designs, styles and colors. These may vary from one community to another. However, the pattern to wear puthia remains the same as an upper body part garment.

Puthia looks similar to angarkha, particularly in its shorter form such as angarkhi. Girls beautify themselves with beautiful looking puthia with a wide variety of designs and styles. These days many fashion designers also come up with fashionable puthia to attract modern girls. The indigenous and antiquity origin of such costume is originated from the roots of angarkha. Unbleached khaadi clothing (hand-woven) cloth is employed for making the costume. Puthia is a beautiful double-breasted garment with the larger flap that crosses above the right hand side and then properly tied with cord below the left armpit. The garment is made from fabric without any joints at the garment corners and waist. Its sleeve length can differ from full-length, elbow to short. The garment is commonly red poplin, white, magazi or divergent piping. It’s sewn from all corners.

The desert environment had transformed the clothing of Rajasthani people. They have been wearing costumes according to the weather conditions. Puthia is also cut due to hot weather in triangles, rectangles and other shapes. This is done to decrease the wastage of cloth and provide enough relief from the burning temperature. Puthia is made of 2 front panels, 1 back piece, 1 front extension, 4 side panels, 2 sleeves and 2 gussets. The front opening with 1 to 3 ties or buttons. The deep neck is shaped in a way like horseshoe. Parda or inner flap cloth covers the breast.

The color used in Puthia is very strong and represents the social status of women. A newly born baby is covered with a red colored puthia with green strips. After the first Holi festival of the child, the color of puthia is transformed to white. Unmarried girls in Bishnoi community of Rajasthan wear white pichodi with red strips. Jat unmarried girls also drape a red chhint with the dress. Unmarried girls of Rajput community wear puthia made of satin, velvet fabric, brocade or cotton commonly in white, pink and yellow colors.

Puthia is a comfortable dress for girls. They can easily wear the beautiful outfit and do their daily tasks and play around without any problem.