Dopatta is the part of the ladies’ dress in Pakistan and South Asian region where it is worn in different forms with different names.”Chaadar”, “chunri”, “chunni” are the alternates of dopatta.
It is the common part of ladies’ outfit all over Pakistan. It is the symbol of female elegance and modesty. Though different styles of wearing dopatta are in vogue and find popularity among ladies but religion and cultural values ask for covering the head and beauty of ladies with dopatta.
The exact origin of dopatta is unknown but the traces go back to Mohenjodaro where the “Ajrak” was found to be present as the ruins of Harappa have outspread a sculpture of its king who is wearing Ajrak. From there, the ladies of Sub-Continent inherited dopatta which has now become an inevitable part of female dresses. Islam forbids ladies to show their beauty outside their homes and asks them to hide themselves in “chaadar” or dopatta when they come out of their homes. It shields them against the evil eyes and intentions of the people.
In the present day world dopatta has been fashionized and its inviolability and purity has been undermined as the western culture has infiltrated into Pakistani society. The elite class has abandoned dopatta especially on their head. They have made it a luxury instead of embracing it as an identity. In the past dopatta was not available with the shalwar Kamees suits as it is available today in the shops. The ladies used to dye their dopattas with their suits. Technology and the new age have renewed the dying process and printing has made it easier to get the matching dopattas with silk or cotton suits.