It is very interesting to read about the well developed textiles and artefacts of Harappan times. With the recent excavations more and more is coming to light. Read on to know more.
From various Harappan sites hv been found many spindle whorls of wool & coarse cotton, along with copper sewing needles that show sewing was in practice at that time, dispelling the myth that the art of sewing was unknown to Indians until the Islamic invasions.
From various artefacts found at the sites it is seen that men & women wore unstitched fabric draped around their bodies, combined with stitched clothes like cloaks, tunics, skirts, etc. This breaks the myth that stitched clothes were not part of the indigenous Indic tradition.
Male apparel of unstitched type for covering upper part of body was generally seen worn by priests or nobility both in covering and uncovering modes. In case of covering mode both the shoulders were covered, and uncovering or open mode one shoulder was left bare.
Another unstitched garment was dhoti. Here also the rich wore long dhoti going below the knees, and the poor had short dhoti draped above knees (observations based on painted scenes occurring on Black-on-Red Ware vase fragments reported from Rakhigarhi & Harappa).
Similarly, the length of kurta of rich was long and loose, while poor relatively short and tight. The female dresses had more variety, in terms of stitched & embroidered than unstitched type.
Terracotta female figurines show dresses, with chess board patterned full sleeved ball gown type party wear, short skirt girdled by mekhala (waistband), tight fitted tunic with overlapping knee length skirt.
Ref: AmarendraNath (ex- ASI),
Harappan Textiles and Tools of Trait from Rakhigarhi, 2019.
All images from Google.