What is Phiran? (AKA Pheran/ Firan)



So if you have been curious about those cool Kashmiri garments, known as phirans, which we see around us and did not know much about them, we thought we will help everyone out!

Image courtesy of @jaya.m 

Phiran is the name of the traditional clothing worn by the men women and children of Kashmir. It is designed to be a clothing item that helps keep the body warm in the cold wintertime of Kashmir. There is no consensus as to the specific nomenclature/ spelling of this word. As the title of this blog post suggests, there are multiple ways to spell it – phiran/ pheran/ pheron/ firan. However, it seems that the word is a corruption of the Persian word ‘perahan’ which means shirt. The outfit has been in vogue in Kashmir since before the 15th century.

For the women, it is available as both a long phiran – till the knees OR as a shorter version – like a blouse or tunic. The ladies’ phiran is made of pure wool with intricate hand embroidery and in present times even machine embroidery. Embroideries are usually bright floral multicolor embroideries and give the authentic Kashmiri touch to the garments. Some phirans have embroidery just at the collars whereas others have it all over. The phiran is normally loosely gathered at the sleeves without any side splits. Given the unique look and nature of the phiran, it has become a popular item of clothing even outside of Kashmir. The garment fits perfectly well in both modern and traditional forms of fashion and clothing. It can be paired with jeans and sneakers as well as salwar and dupattas.

Men’s phirans are made quite differently than women. There is a different pattern/ cut/ shape to the garment as well as the kind of design. Men’s phirans are usually in simple plain designs or at most check/ plaid designs. They are made of thick wool to protect the body from the cold and snow. Men’s phirans usually fall to the feet, like a gown, but again with modern variations to this outfit, more of today’s phirans are ending till the knees. There are again no open slits in men’s phirans.

Phirans are also worn by children, both babies and adolescents. Smaller sizes are made for men and women’s phirans respectively as per the size of the child. Children wear their phirans to school, for play, etc. It is indeed the beloved garment for the people of Kashmir and is proudly worn by them! If you don’t believe us you should see results for #phiranismyidentity!

Image courtesy of @jaya.m 

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