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11 Dhoti Types for Men – The Ultimate Guide to Explore Types of Dhoti

The dhoti, a timeless garment with roots in ancient India, remains a symbol of tradition and elegance. Worn by men across the country, it comes in a variety of styles, fabrics, and drapes. Whether you’re a seasoned dhoti wearer or just curious about exploring this classic attire, this blog is your one-stop guide to understanding the different dhoti types by culture and fabrics. 

Before diving deep into this topic, we would like to introduce Kumaran Silks – the ultimate destination for the best dhoti shop in Chennai for the plethora of silk dhoti collections available with vibrant colours and styles.

What is a Dhoti?

Dhoti is a popular traditional garment worn by Indian men. It is a rectangular piece of cloth draped around the waist, usually made of cotton or silk. The Dhotis are primarily worn by men, but women also wear them nowadays to make a fashion statement. Dhotis are traditionally worn by men in rural areas of India, while in urban areas, men typically wear them for festivals and special occasions.

Origin of Dhoti

The dhoti originated from the Sanskrit word “dhauti” which means to “cleanse or wash”. The evidence suggests that the origin of the dhoti was dated back to the 5th century BC. Another piece of evidence suggests that the draped trousers were worn during the Vedic period by rishis and munis. The dhoti was initially made from cotton, as the cotton industry thrived in ancient India and later it gained popularity across India, due to its comfort and durability. Dhoti was a respected garment worn by people of high caste and status.

How to Wear a Dhoti?

Unlike other readymade and ready-to-wear clothes, dhoti is a plain 5-yard fabric that you need to drape all over your lower body. Wrap the dhoti around your waist and ensure that one end is longer than the other.  Make the pleats with the longer end and tuck in them at the front, resulting in two separate parts for each leg, similar to a loose trouser.

Depending on the occasion, it can be worn with a shirt, kurta, sherwani or other men’s tops. While choosing the footwear, you can pair it with leather chappals or with traditional shoes like jutti or mojari.

Why to Wear a Dhoti?

In many regions of India, Dhoti holds deep cultural significance. It is often worn during festivals, religious ceremonies, weddings, festivals, and other auspicious occasions, etc. 

Dhoti is very comfortable to wear as it is lightweight and thin and ideal for summer climate.  Also, it is worn as a fashion statement. Pair it with a kurta or sherwani to elevate your traditional style. The dhoti is easy to wear and maintain and is also a versatile garment preferred by men of all ages and body types.

Suggested Read: Revamp your wardrobe with our comfortable cotton sarees in India for Summer.

Different Types of Dhoti

Dhoti, a traditional Indian garment, holds significant cultural importance and has evolved into various styles and types over time. Let’s delve into the diverse types of dhotis for men, exploring their fabrics, culture and styles.

Types of Dhoti by Fabrics

1. Cotton Dhoti

Traditionally cotton is renowned as one of the important dhoti types. They are made from cotton and are ready to wear for everyday comfort. The cotton dhoti is soft and transparent, hence it is comfortable to wear in all weather.  They are available in a variety of colours and designs, from plain white to traditional motifs for a touch of elegance. The cotton dhotis can be paired with plain or coloured shorts and are suitable to wear for any special occasions like weddings and family gatherings.

2. Silk Dhoti

Silk is one of the most popular types of dhoti, symbolising the essence of purity and rich traditions of India. As it is known for its purity, men worn during the wedding ceremonies. The silk dhotis are pleasant to wear and give a smooth feel.

3. Polyester Dhoti

Made from polyester, this dhoti type offers a blend of comfortability and durability. While it is not as breathable as cotton, it can be a good choice for any occasion due to its fine drape and vibrant colours.

4. Satin Dhoti

If you love wearing dhotis more often, then satin is the must-have dhoti type in your wardrobe. Satin dhotis offer a smooth and shiny feel similar to silk dhotis. They are typically worn for special occasions in several styles.

Types of Dhoti by Culture

1. Tamil Veshti Dhoti

Dhoti is known by different names in various parts of India. In Tamil Nadu, dhoti has a special name called Veshti. The people of Tamilnadu wear cream or white colour type of dhoti for special occasions, especially during the Pongal festival. Veshtis of silk, cotton and zari are famous in Tamilnadu.

2. The Kannada Kache Panche Dhoti

“Panche” is another name for dhoti, aesthetically worn by the men of Karnataka. This dhoti type showcases an ethnic blend of tradition and modernity. Karnataka men pair panache with the matching shirt on various occasions. Both Tamilnadu and Karnataka share the borders, so it can be the reason behind the influence of this traditional attire. The traditional dhoti type panche is normally worn with a shirt, kurta or some other angavastram.

3. The Kerala Mundu

The Kerala Dhoti, also known as “Mundu” a traditional garment worn by men in Kerala, India. It is a four-meter-long cotton cloth with a golden kasavu border, making it one of the most casual and traditional dhoti types in Kerala. The Kerala Dhoti is typically doubled and tucked around the waist, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region

4. Telugu Pancha Dhoti

A Telugu Pancha Dhoti is a traditional garment from Andhra Pradesh, India. A rectangular piece of cloth approximately 4.5 meters long is wrapped around the legs and knotted around the waist. In Andhra Pradesh, men often wear the Telugu Pancha Dhoti for various occasions, from everyday activities to special occasions.

5. Punjabi Dhoti

The Punjabi Dhoti, also known as “Chadra” or “Chadra Dhoti,” is a traditional type of dhoti from Punjab, India. It is a long piece of cloth, approximately 5 meters long, that is wrapped around the waist and legs, similar to a lungi. The Punjabi Dhoti is typically worn by men in Punjab and is often paired with a kurta or a traditional Punjabi shirt.

6. The Maharashtrian Dhotar

Dhoti is called by the name “dhotar” in Maharashtra and is one of the most demanding traditional dhoti types usually worn by men. These dhotis are usually paired with short shirts. The dhotar offers a royal look due to its unique colour and fabric.

7. Bengali Kochano Dhoti

Bengal is well known for rasgulla and also famous for kochano dhoti. This dhoti type is differentiated by its unique draping style which involves intricate pleating and delicate tucking techniques that create an elegant look.


In a world where fashion trends come and go, the dhoti remains a symbol of tradition, culture, and timeless elegance. Whether draped in the simple cotton veshti of Tamilnadu or the opulent silk dhotis of North India, men have different types of dhotis to choose from. 

By understanding the types of dhotis for fabrics and culture, one can embrace the rich heritage of Indian attire with grace and style. The next time you wear a dhoti, remember that you are not just wearing a garment, but carrying forward a tradition.

Looking for a traditional and elegant look for your next special occasion? Look no further than Kumarans Silks, where you can find a wide range of silk dhotis and matching shirts to complete your outfit. Our dhotis are made from the finest materials, offering a luxurious feel and a sophisticated look. Whether you’re attending a wedding, a religious ceremony, or a formal event, our dhotis will make you stand out in a crowd. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which material is best for dhoti?

The choice of material depends on your personal preferences and occasion. Cotton dhotis are lightweight, breathable, and suitable for everyday wear, while silk dhotis exude luxury and are ideal for special occasions.

2. How do you wash a dhoti?

The best way to wash your dhoti is by hand with water and a mild detergent. If you need to machine wash it, use a cycle and a mesh laundry bag to keep it safe.

3. Which is the best dhoti shop in Chennai?

Dhotis are available in a variety of shops in Chennai. But Kumaran Silks is the best dhoti shop to buy with good quality.