Nov 29 2016
The traditional bridal dress potloi gives the Manipuri brides a striking look. The cylindrical skirt usually comes in red, pink and green colours. The skirt is adorned with traditional motifs; it is worn with a shawl known as innaphi and a blouse made of rich fabrics.
The cylindrical skirt is attached to the belt (like in an ordinary skirt) worn underneath it.
The unique looking attire became popular in the state after Maharaj Bhagya Chandra of Manipur who ruled the state from 1769 to 1798 introduced the Ras Lila Dance where the women dancers were seen wearing the potlois. It was based on the 'ghagra's worn by the women of Vridhavan.
Due to its elegance and uniqueness, the outfit became very popular in the state and the brides soon started to follow the trend. The dress was designed following the religious tenets. Changes were brought to the designs of potloi during the reign of other kings. Thus the metallic and shining embellishments, mirror works, brass pieces etc were thus added to the costume in later centuries.
The potloi is designed using bright coloured fabrics; traditionally these fabrics are first dipped in starch to get the stiffness. The main difference from the Rasa Lila costume and the bridal potloi is in the upper portion of the dress.
As it is stiff and not at all bendable the skirt is stitched to fit your size. It will take about 15 to 20 days to complete the skirt.
Nowadays instead of the starch dipped fabrics rubber sheets and cane (for the spherical shape) are used; it is then covered with velvet fabrics later these layers of fabrics are embellished using stones, glitters, mirrors, metallic pieces etc...
Image source: Google