This 21st December, as the world welcomes the winter solstice, Kashmir will be celebrating its Pheran Day. With the world evolving and the trends ever-changing, if there’s one thing that Kashmiris have held onto, it’s the love and utmost honor for their culture, pheran being an integral part.
Pheran has been an inseparable part of Kashmiri culture since its introduction by the Mughal ruler, Akbar in the 16th century. Although some Kashmiris believe that this garment existed even before during the times of Zain ul Abidin, the Budshah. Debatable as the two among the many other ideologies are, Kashmiris are grateful to have this asset and have held onto it ever since.
A traditional gown mainly worn to tackle the chilly winters, a pheran is retained even in the hottest summers, with the woolen fabric being replaced by cotton. There’s a reason why Kashmiris adhere to this typical clothing. The comfort and warmth of a Kashmiri pheran is beyond compare. Besides this, it also compliments their identity.
A below-knee length attire, pheran is the loose-fitted garment that makes it easy for a mother to cradle her baby, for the elderly to hold close the earthen pot (Kangiri), and for the youngsters to keep their playfulness alive amid the chilliest winters. In fact, every Kashmiri has memories of their first pheran and the reminiscence of how they grew into its various forms and sizes is always heart-warming.
Undeniably, a woman’s heirloom is considered incomplete without including this prized garment, especially the hand-worked tilla for which she must rely on an artistic craftsman to prepare this unique garment of her lifetime.
But keeping aside the aesthetics, have we been really that loyal to our traditional wears?
Because of globalization, our lives today are more impacted by the happenings of the world than our ancestors. We could have either disbanded our culture or welcomed this modernization into our lives but we chose the latter. To keep our culture alive while we walked abreast with the times, our culture had to absorb some of the modern ways. Holding onto our traditional wear with a western tinge to it, the result being: pheran has now shifted from an indoor wear to an outdoor, office, and even party-wear.
Moreover, the dimensions have changed, designs evolved, and a whole diversity of pherans have now emerged. By infusing variations in what was a simple yet unique attire, designers are keeping alive the Kashmiri tradition while making pheran a globally acceptable garment.
Embroidery is another factor that is adding glam to this native kashmiri wear. Tilla work pheran, zaevij kaem pheran, aari kaem pheran, and mokhethi kaem pheran are some variants that have evolved over time. In addition to this, other types of pherans have evolved depending on the fabric such as silk pheran, kaani pheran, quraab pheran, and makhmal pheran.
In particular, at this time of the year, the surge in purchases of kashmiri pherans is now at an all-time high in Kashmir. While the traditional tilla work still takes its sweet time of months altogether, most of the kashmiris are flocking the stores offline and online to buy ready-made pherans for the chilly winter ahead.
Men have also returned to their roots and are donning this traditional wear to work and gala meets. Pherans have been re-designed to go with all sorts of formal and informal gatherings and men who have always prioritized staying warm, find pheran the most feasible option to stay active and classy.
By reviving their tradition and carrying their identity with them, Kashmiris are reviving Kashmiriyat and are being proud presenters of it.
Winter is upon us! Is your apparel up-to-date for it? Check our online store to infuse it with the richness of our classy wear!