Essay Brasso

Net Brasso Abaya Style Churidar Kameez

Wispy, soft tissue like fabrics with gorgeous designs, Brasso is unique in every sense of the word. Also popularly known as ‘burnt out fabric’, brasso has been around for years and has been a great source of creative inspiration for craftsman and designers across the world. From lehengas to saris, and salwar kurtas, brasso has been a defining niche of Indian fashion across various style spectrum. The fabric can vary from Chiffon to Velvet, and even Corduroy. Moreover, it can be textured in various ways and has an exclusive sense of style unlike other fabrics and designs.

Origin & History

This technique was prevalent in the medieval times as well, and was used to make bridal lehengas, gowns and other attires which presented royalty and glamour. Brasso truly defined high end apparel and clothes worn by people who belonged to the elite class. Initially the fabric used for brasso was mostly cotton, but with the passage of time this technique was also applied to other fabrics.

The Making of Brasso

Brasso is generally made out of an acid itch process which involves the burning of fabric in order to create a more textured design. This technique can be applied to all kinds of soft fabrics like tissue, chiffon, silk, and velvet. This technique is beautiful, ornate and looks glamorous on all kinds of Indian ethnic wear. The flowy drape like appeal that is intrinsic with a traditional style is an inherent quality present in Brasso.

Brasso fabric (source: pinterest)

Style & Variety

Several Indian designers like Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra have experimented with brasso to a large extent and have used their creative genius to make the fabric popular across various mediums. Resham, zari, brocade, and patch work is very popular and such designs are common with gorgeous looking saris and lehengas. Net dresses and skirts look very trendy and chic as well, and are a classic hit with the youth. Backless and choli style blouses go very well with in brasso.

Wearing the Attire

Quarter sleeved, vintage style sari blouses in brasso have also gained a lot of momentum in the Indian fashion circuit, and various Bollywood actresses like Deepika Padukone, Madhuri Dixit, Vidyabalan and Sonakshi Sinha have been seen flaunting this style. Apart from saris, brasso fabric looks divine in long flowy Anarkali suits with large floral motifs and embellishments.

Phool patti work, gota, and kundan have become a major trend with brasso fabrics and are attires that women love to wear during weddings, parties, large scale events or for traditional festivals and rituals. Brasso style fabric looks great in all sorts of colors that range from mehendi green, red, pink, yellow, black, cream, white and even gold.

Black Georgette Brasso Churidar Kameez


Apart from brasso sarees, salwar suits and lehengas, brasso fabric is also widely used in lingerie, cushion covers, curtains, table cloths, scarfs and bed spreads. Brasso defined accessories give off a more luxurious and elaborate look to one’s home, and are also considered high end in terms of style and fashion.



Brasso is a delicate fabric and therefore requires gentle care as well. Whether it’s a sari, salwar suit or a lehenga, one must send in their brasso made attires for dry cleaning in order to get the best results. Also, keeping the clothes in an air tight box is advisable in order to keep the longevity of the fabric, design and color.


Categories:   Textiles

Thirty-eight exceptional early prints from of one of the twentieth century's foremost photographers will be on view at Edwynn Houk Gallery from September 10, 2009 through October 17, 2009. Featured will be images from the series Paris by Night, Secret Paris of the 30s, and Paris at Day.

Brassaï (1899 – 1984) was born Gyula Halász a century ago in the Transylvanian town of Brasso (hence Brassaï, meaning "of Brasso"). After attending art school in Berlin, Brassaï moved to Paris in 1924. He was immediately caught up by the city's effervescent bohemian life. Supporting himself as a journalist, Brassaï took up photography in 1930, initially to illustrate his articles. His fascination for the hidden face of the city of light as it unfolds in the dark culminated in 1932 with the publication of his first book, the classic Paris de Nuit (Paris by Night).

Brassaï's subject matter was often candid. His approach however was at an opposite pole from the then emerging genre of photojournalism. The key to his art was patience and long exposures. Using makeshift and cumbersome tools - a wobbly tripod, a piece of string to measure the distance of object to camera, and the noisy, smelly bang of magnesium at a time when faster film had outdated it -Brassaï carefully composed each picture, turning his subjects into archetypes.

Unlike many of his contemporaries (such as Lartigue and Doisneau) who were portraying the fashionable and romantic sides of Paris, Brassaï was enraptured by the seedy underworld that could only be seen after hours. It was in the bistros, cafes and bars that Brassaï discovered his most fascinating subjects. And it was in their backrooms and back alleys where Brassaï captures prostitutes, nightclub entertainers, transvestites and their patrons in all stages of revelry.

Brassaï's extensive bibliography comprises seventeen books, including Paris by Night, The Secret Paris of the 30s, The Artists of My Life, Graffiti, Conversations with Picasso, two portraits of Henry Miller and an essay on Marcel Proust and photography.

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