The word ‘Mashru’ comes from the Arabic word ‘shari a’ that means “permitted by Islamic law.” Mashru was developed around the sixteenth century to allow Muslim men to exercise some agency within a rigid sartorial system that prohibited luxury in their lifestyles; in this system, silk was equated with leisure and decadence. Not quite silk, and not quite not, Mashru was a brilliant, highly skilled invention that presented a blurring of binaries in being both silk and cotton. The warp faced satin weave allowed silk to be visible on the surface, giving the fabric its desired shine. Mashru broke a rule within a system, and emerged as a legally ‘permitted’ fabric for men to wear. Mashru came to India through the silk route. It was originally woven in three parts of India: Gujarat, The Deccan and Uttar Pradesh. The colour palettes used to weave Mashru were mostly bright, often striped, and the textile was commonly dotted with motifs. One type of Mashru even used ikat. Despite its versatility, Mashru showed its deep Ottoman and Mughal influences.


jahanzeb jacket, mehzun pajama

mumtaz lehanga, begum top, amina dupatta

jahanara lehanga, nadira top, nur dupatta

rehmat jacket, mehzun pajama

ruqaiya overcoat, do kali abha (l) Maham skirt (r)

Zinat Abha, Mestan Pajama (l) Nergis phiran, padshah Pajama (r)

che kali oya abh, mehzun pajama, leyla dupatta

jana dress, mehzun pajama

gulchehra lehanga, meliha top, nadide odhni

sahiba jacket, ozan dress, rana pajama

sultana abha, malika pajama

remziye kurta, mestan pajama

noriye abha, mehzun pajama, rahmat dupatta

khan zada lehenga, zaina top, rahmat dupatta

selma kurta, oya pajama, jahanzeb dupatta

barkha abha, mestan pajama

mubaraka jacket, yusufai kurta, chand pajama

aisha kurta, faiza pajama, darya dupatta

sabiha overcoat, hamida banu skirt, zinat top

salima abha, qusia pajama

hafeeza kurta, roshanara lehenga

barkha dupatta

aamira jacket, abida kurta, mehzun pajama

inayat overcoat, husna kurta, mehzun pajama

aaliya jacket, hana kurta, abida pajama

jahida abha, mehzun pajama (l), samah phiran, inayah pajama (r)

fauzia dress, jahan pajama

do khali fahima abha, fadyaa pajama, erina dupatta (l)

saiqa abha, mehzun pajama

reyhana lehenga, sabina top, saara dupatta

faria abha, ghayda pajma

sabri kurta, jalilah pajama, pariza dupatta

sana abha, mehzun pajama, reham dupatta

hooria jacket, jannat jacket, ifza pajama

imani top, rifat sari

gulbanu top, saira sari

jodha bai lehenga, izbah top, fayruz dupatta