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What is a Lungi?

A Lungi is a sarong like garment which is wrapped around waist and the length extends till ankels. Lungis are worn by both men and women. Lungi is a traditional garment in South East Asian countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore etc. It is the national dress of Burma.  It is particularly popular in regions where the heat and humidity create an unpleasant climate for trousers.

Many people think that a dhoti and a lungi are a similar garments, which is not the case. Dhotis are linear like sheets whereas lungis are sewed into tube shaped pieces. They are typically worn in hot & humid regions where wearing a trouser is uncomfortable. the standard lungi (for an adult) is 115 cm in height and 200 cm in length. Children’s lungis are approximately 2/3 of the adult lungi sizes. The lungis are usually made in cotton which is the perfect fabric to be worn in hot climate. Although silk lungis are also available to be worn at ceremonial occasions and some communities wear them for festivals as well.

The most common styles are either solid-colored or plaid, reflecting the relative ease and cost-effectiveness of producing these patterns on a power loom. Blue is particularly popular, since it fades to pleasant tones in contrast to other colors. Regardless of the design or color, lungis are often lined at the top and bottom with a black/white stripe containing reinforced weaving to prevent fraying. Depending on local tradition, lungis can be worn by men and very rarely by women as well. They are tied or fastened in various ways, and can be used in different cultural activities, ranging from normal daily life to elaborate wedding ceremonies.