Exploring Regional Variations: Different Types Of Women’s Kurtas Across India

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Ethnic women’s kurtas showcase the vast cultural diversity in the country and the rich textile art that have been passed down for generations. There are many handloom and handmade fabrics produced in different parts of the country that reflect regional pride. Each of these regions also have distinct embroidery and unique embellishments that add a signature touch. You can style these ethnic kurtas for multiple occasions and functions and dress it up or down for a variety of looks. Keep reading to explore the regional variations in different types of women’s kurtas and how to style them for different aesthetics.

Types Of Women’s Kurtas:

1. Chikankari: Chikankari originated in Lucknow and is known for its signature floral thread work on muslin cloth. The sheer and lightweight fabric is ideal for summer looks. Pair chikankari women kurtas with matching trousers and oxidised jhumkas for a traditional outfit. Add a touch of fusion by wearing distressed baggy jeans and sneakers with the kurta.

2. Mirror work: Mirror work involves attaching mirrors in floral and geometric patterns with colourful embroidery thread. Also known as sheesha and abhala bharat, mirror work is a significant part of textile art from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Mirror work women kurtas pull focus and need minimal styling. You can wear them with minimal jewellery for a stunning festive look.

3. Chanderi: Chanderi kurtas are a signature of Madhya Pradesh and have a unique shimmering look. The handspun Chanderi kurtas are lightweight and fall gracefully. Wear a solid Chanderi kurta and trousers with a statement contrast colour dupatta for an eye-catching outfit. For an interesting silhouette, pair short chanderi kurtas with dhoti style pants.

4. Aari: Aari embroidery is done using a hooked needle and was developed by cobblers in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, eventually becoming popular among the royal Mughals. The Kashida embroidery style from Kashmir also has a similar look. The intricately embroidered women kurtas have a royal feel and can be styled with dainty jewellery for a casual look. You can also wear them with kundan chokers and matching bangles for a festive look.

5. Brocade: Brocade fabrics have metallic designs that are added during the weaving process. The earliest mention of brocade in India was found in 19th century Banaras. The shiny floral patterns on plush fabrics have a royal look and are ideal for pre-wedding ceremonies. Style them with exquisite beaded necklaces and chandbalis for an elegant and regal outfit.

6. Jamdani:  Jamdani finds its origins in the Bengal region and is one of the most labour-intensive fabrics. It is a finely woven muslin with decorative intricate motifs made on its namesake loom. The fabric is soft and allows for air circulation, making it perfect for summer and outdoor events. Wear them with flared pants and chunky sneakers for a fusion aesthetic.

7. Bandhani: Bandhani is a resist dyeing technique that is used to create distinct colourful patterns on fabrics and popularly developed in Gujarat. Another signature tie-dye style is the leheriya design from Rajasthan. The colourful kurtas are perfect to reflect the vivid colours and vibrant vibe of the spring season. You can wear them with equally colourful beaded jewellery for a fun outfit. For a cocktail party look, wear a V-neck tie-dyed kurta with a statement necklace and matching maang tikka

8. Kalamkari: Kalamkari fabrics are beautifully hand painted with floral designs. Literally translating to ‘pen work’, Kalamkari textile art comes from the state of Andhra Pradesh. Find beauty in simplicity with the Kalamkari kurtas as its stunning designs on the humble cotton cloth will help you embrace your desi side every day. Wear Kalamkari kurtas with leather juttis, a watch, and slick back hairstyle for a daily wear look.

9. Zardozi: Zardozi was known to have its earliest origins in Persia. However, it is significantly practised in Lucknow and the state has been awarded Geographical Identification tag for the embroidery work. Zardozi is the process of creating raised designs made with fine metallic wire on silk, velvet, or a satin. The metalwork combines with the rich base to create beautiful women kurtas you can proudly wear for special occasions.

10. Ikat: Ikat fabrics are created by dyeing the weft or threads before the weaving process. With its roots in Indonesia, Telangana is the hub of producing Ikat fabric in India today. Other regions such as Odisha have also developed their own variations of the Ikat technique. Wear ikat kurtas with balloon sleeves for a whimsical silhouette and pair them with clear heels.


The historic evolution of textiles in India is reflected in the many regional varieties of women kurtas across the country. From embroidery originating in India to decorative styles adapted through trade relations, the popular kurtas made using the many ancient techniques are deeply rooted in Indian culture. Silk fabrics are produced across the country – known as Pattu in South India and Resham in the North. Pure cotton kurtas, and its variations such as mulmul are also used to create kurtas with many different patterns and designs. We hope you can eventually add one unique kurta from each state to your collection with the help of this guide. 

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