Evolution of Thawb  

Thawb (Arabic- ثَوٌب ), as the linguists define it , is  An ankle-length, long-sleeved, gown-like garment worn chiefly by men of the Arabian Peninsula. However, if you were to ask an avid Thawb wearer, he will tell you that the garment is much more than what the dictionaries encrypt.

Seldom do linguists know that the clothes one wears defines his personality, ambitions and even temperament!

Clothes have not always been as influential a 'tell' of our personalities as they are today. Where in early civilizations, the key purpose of clothing was to keep us warm and relatively dry, today, clothes have transformed from being a protective asset to a social statement.

Thawb, or as it is also known as Jubbah, Kandoura, Dishdasha, Kanzu and Qamis based on the demographics, has also gone through various transitional phases over the period of time thereby adapting and keeping up with the ever evolving purpose of donning clothes. Unlike most of the orthodox forms of clothing that faded away with constant modification of garments, Thawb has time and again refashioned itself to always continue being on of the most admired and accepted form of clothing. Thawb is an Arabic word which when translated verbatim means a 'garment', and that is exactly what it served as prior to the invention of functional buttons, fasteners and sewing machines. Either suspend on the shoulders or wrapped around the waist the served the purpose of providing insulation against extreme weather conditions and acting as a hygienic barrier for the skin. However, with the advancement in technology coupled with the spread of the primitive Thawb wearers in different parts of The Arabian Peninsula, Africa and Levant for imperialistic or commercial reasons came into existence the different styles, fabrics and stitching techniques of a Thawb.  

Is wearing Thawb only for The Arabs?   

 Before answering this question it is highly imperative that we ask our selves what do we look for in a garment while buying it ?

We're sure comfort and good looks top the checklist, and if the before mentioned stands true, then Thawb as a form of dressing is sure to be an instant hit among shoppers across continents.

Although it is an undeniable fact that Thawb originated from The Arabian Peninsula and continues to be closely knitted with Arab culture, but its popularity has today superseded geographical prejudice. The Thawb today, might be a novel, but certainly is not an unknown garment in any continent of the world. Whether it be the more traditional types of Thawb which are predominantly worn by the elderly and the bedouins or the more contemporary style of Thawb preferred by the youth and the westerners, Thawb has become a common sight during festivals, celebrations, Friday prayers and also daily wear across the globe.  

Is a Thawb suitable to be worn under all circumstances ?  

A lot of popular notions arise in the minds of the first time Thawb wearers, Can I walk comfortably in a Thawb? Will I trip over?

Let us reply, there is no reason why you can't perform your daily chores wearing a Thawb, let alone walking swiftly, but also riding a motor-bike, gymming or playing your favorite outdoor sports. Owing to its expansive hem and light weight fabric which are peculiarities of any Thawb, it gives you the needed comfort and allows you to perform activities that most of the other garments would do.

The inference being, whether it be work or play there's a Thawb for every occasion.  

What supplementaries are worn with a Thawb?

 A Thawb is sometimes worn with a bisht, also known as a 'cloak'. It is a flowing outer garment worn over a Thawb. Men generally wear a 'sirwal' under the Thawb which is a cotton trouser held by a drawstring or an elastic at the waist. An Izaar is also worn under Thawb which is a waist wrap, it can be stitched or un-stitched from both ends. A number of head-gears are also worn to further emboss the appearance of The Thawb, from among them is a kufi, which is a skull cap, a ghutrah which is also known as shemagh which is a square shaped scarf and is usually made up of cotton and is worn as a head gear with a Thawb. An Iqal, which is a doubled black cord and is usually worn over the ghutrah to make sure it stays firm on the wearer's head. However, these supplementary garments differ from one place to the other in accordance with the culture, habitat and climatic conditions of the people.

 Mashroo's vision

 When we decided to register the first ever Indian brand dedicated to manufacturing and selling Thawb we knew we were sailing against the winds, however, a keenness do play the catalyst in further popularizing modest clothing and making it accessible in India and across the globe is what drove us to materialize our vision to life. From the very advent of Mashroo's journey it has made every effort to cater the needs of Thawb wearing millennials and to simultaneously stay truthful to the traditional audiences. From being the first ever brand to make a Thawb of Dry fit sweat absorbing fabric, to launching a series of never seen before designs of Tuxedo, Hooded and Denim Thawb, Mashroo has left no stone unturned in being the pioneer of many modest clothing trends. From here, we are determined to take our vision from strength to strength and see nothing below the sky as the limit.

Author

Faisal I.Qureshi,

Mashroo Apparels LLP.  

5/4/2020