The word choga is from Turkish origin. The choga was worn as an outer garment in Central Asia. Ancient literature, Buddhist sculptures from Satavahana period and Gupta paintings signify that the origin of the choga predates the Christian era. By the medieval period, this coat-like garment had a very definite presence in India and was the preferred garment of the nobility.
In the Rajasthani context, the choga was a much more splendid and formal garment than one would gather from its usual description. Numerous museum-exhibits, portraits and paintings of royalty show that the choga was made of ornate fashion like brocade and embellished with lavish embroidery. The intricate detailing in its design, as with the loop, tells the story of the elite's extensive use of the choga. Thus, the choga was an elegant, comfortable overcoat that enjoyed royal patronage.
The choga made of muslin or woven in the jamdani (flowered muslin) style was worn in summer. It was lightly embroidered with silks, befitting the season. It usually had a narrow floral border on the edges and large floral sprays on its front, back and shoulder and on the lower edges. In winter, woollen and quilted choga were preferred, which were embroidered with silk and zardozi. Often, the embroidery was detailed and the choga was stitched with utmost care, sometimes, with a double-lining of cotton and silk. Though rarely worn now, the garment choga has reappeared, of late, in a more urban form and is occasionally incorporated in the collections of some contemporary designers.
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