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Planning to Flaunt a Khada Dupatta? Master the Draping Style and Royally Make Your Way Down the Aisle Like a Queen

Wish for a regal appeal for your wedding, but want a new idea around it? Take your inspiration from the Hyderabadi Khada Dupatta. We explain how to get the look right and borrow a page from the erstwhile Nizams.

Makeup by Aliya Baig

Keen on a royal and elegant look for your wedding ensemble? Then, we have just the inspiration for you. From the treasure troves of the erstwhile Nizams of Hyderabad, comes the Khada Dupatta, a dupatta draping style meant to convey sophistication and grace. And while Muslim brides in Hyderabad still opt for the look, we make notes about how it's relevant and in style for any bride-to-be (beyond region or religion). The look this real bride is sporting in this photograph oozes charm, sophistication and is one of the most graceful looks we have seen so far.

A Hyderabadi bride is unimaginable without a Khada Dupatta. And, it doesn't end here. At a Hyderabadi wedding, you would come across even the sister of the brides and the family members adorning this regal piece of garment. So, what makes this Dupatta a hot favourite amongst a myriad of clothing options available when it comes to weddings? Read on to find out!

What is Khada Dupatta all about

Makeup by Aliya Baig

The Khada Dupatta, by some historical accounts, is a draping style that was fashioned and perfected for the Mughal Empress Noor Jehan. Meant to be a drape for the nobility, this dupatta draping style moved to Hyderabad, when the Mughal governor Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi established the estate of Hyderabad. 

The next big mention of the Khada Dupatta was in the 16th century (Qutub Shahi dynasty - Golconda Sultanate) and the Nizam household in the 17th century. The state's nobility took notes and the common populace followed. Khada Dupatta drapes became a style statement, which continued beyond the Hyderabadi Nizams and into our modern times.

The coolest bit about these royal dupattas? The Nizam begums had theirs crafted with real gold and silver thread, called Sancha! Sounds dreamy! Doesn't it? 

The Khada Dupatta style

Ayesha A.K.

Though often perceived as a Muslim dressing style, the Khada Dupatta defines elegance and sophistication of the bygone era. Why? As it's an art to drape the six-metre-long dupatta with a heavy and ornate zardosi border in the two-panel style and bring it up to cover the head!

A Khada Dupatta ensemble has four parts to it - a short-sleeved choli, a knee length open kurta, a set of churidar pyjamas and the magnificent dupatta atop it. The heavy dupatta border is replicated on the kurta and the neckline for the blouse, while the churidar pyjama is often left plain.

Fabric wise, the entire set can be in chiffon, Chandheri or Benarasi silk, with a net, chiffon or tissue dupatta on top.

How to Wear The Khada Dupatta

Ayesha A.K.

First thing first - the Khada Dupatta style isn't for the faint-hearted. Patience, pins and help are required. The intricate designing of the dupatta and the heavy embroidery that it flaunts, makes it a heavy piece. This often restricts the movements of the bride if she is trying to scuttle or walk quickly. The weight of the dupatta demands grace and elegance in your actions as it automatically slows you down. It cannot be left on its own hanging by your head and shoulders, and hence the pins and help.

Here is how you can achieve the look step-by-step:

1. Attach the dupatta to your pyjama:

Locate the middle point for the dupatta and pin that to the back of your Churidar pyjama, underneath the kurta.

2. Wing it, pleat it

Bring both ends of the dupatta forward - creating large loops of the fabric around your sides.

Pick the left side end first and pleat it, with the ornate border on top - this will go over your left shoulder first, with the other side on top of it.

3. Pin in place

Find an appropriate point for the pleated left side, where it can be pinned to your left shoulder. This can be the middle of this segment, or a close enough equivalent, where you still have the loop on the side, covering your height and still falling to near your waist, on your back.

Then, adjust the width of the dupatta to rest neatly under the ornate border and pin it into place.

4. Right side up

Next, we do the same for the right side segment, but bring it over to the left shoulder from the front, so that it diagonally covers your chest (border on top). This too should have a long tail behind your back, so that it could be used to drape over your head.

Adjust the width for this segment too (tuck everything to be under the border) and then pin it up. The idea is to leave elegant loose flowing layers of the dupatta to enhance the regal look and give more volume and weight to your overall look.

Here is a tutorial from Celebrity stylist Nisha Davdra on how to don the Khada Dupatta:

Why Should You Opt For the Khada Dupatta

Fakher Jehan's Bridal Studio

Here's why the Khada Dupatta ensemble makes the cut as  a part of your bridal outfit:

Individual appeal

The Khada Dupatta style is a prominent Hyderabadi bridal look, seen more on Muslim brides. With the revival of the Sharara and Gharara styles in modern bridal looks (thanks to celebrities who wore it, especially Kareena Kapoor), we have more options to wear to the weddings than the traditional bridal lehenga, bridal saree and salwar suit. This is the next step forward.

Outside India, the style has gained a lot of appeals, with many South Asian brides in UK and US opting for it. 

Heritage tradition

The Khada Dupatta style brings with it a complete heritage look - one that includes ornate Paasas, Satlada necklace designs and a defined bridal makeup. It will automatically evoke imagery of the nawabs of yore and beyond.

Royal look, on budget

The best part about this look? It's all about the perfection of the drape. It covers a person head to toe, which means that you can opt for a lighter set in bridal jewellery to go with it. That can help you in planning a royal look that fits your wedding budget comfortably.

Khada Dupatta Inspirations

Still not convinced? Here are a few cases where the Khada Dupatta worked, and how!

Image courtesy: BCCL

The bridal drape for the Khada Dupatta might not be exactly the same, but if you are the sister of the bride and her bridesmaid or if you opt for this look on your engagement, it can turn the heads in the room and you will be impressed by the overall effect of the look on you.

Kamal Kiran Photography

These are some of those many reasons why we would love to ditch the regular and go for a Khada Dupatta draping as it exhumes royalty and oozes charm. We hope that we've given you enough nods to consider the Khada Dupatta as your wedding garment. The royalty of the garment in itself is the reason why the Khada dupatta must be included in your ensemble for the big day. The metallic work of thread and stones or studs makes it get the bling that the queen can walk down the aisle in and make it a memorable one for all to see.

Connect with some of our Hyderabadi bridal lehenga vendors who also stock the garment.