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What’s in The Clothes: AdiValka’s Tassels


AdiValka’s mission from day one has been to create fashion with a purpose, while bringing Indic styles and traditions into the contemporary idiom of fashion. Every aspect of the garments we produce is aimed towards this goal — be it the fabrics we use, the cuts of our clothes — every detail (none too small) have been carefully crafted. So with our tassels on our dhoti pants. 

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Uninterrupted Traditions — The Inspiration Behind AdiValka

The presence of mind, intention, and commitment that is brought to any and all endeavours is one of the key defining characteristics of Indic culture. This is especially the case with the development of kalaripayattu, yoga and traditional dance forms from the region. While each of these art forms and practices are different from each other, they still maintain the common thread of movement with intention. The lessons we learn from these practices form the very heart of India. 

It is then no surprise that AdiValka’s products draw inspiration from these uninterrupted traditions and practices. When we set out, we aimed to create versatile, contemporary products that would enhance one’s practice, and complement their efforts. Our pants serve to allow for all levels and age groups of practitioners to experience restriction-free movement, so that their practice is the most centered and productive it can be. 

When we developed our designs and worked on our brand, our CEO & designer, Manisha Naidu, studied the garments that the first practitioners of these art forms wore. She researched how the garment fell, where it sat on one’s body, how the fabric was draped. She studied this firsthand from the rich heritage of Indian temples.

Many of these temples carry stories of the Ramayana, Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita. They also demonstrate the various ways in which people from generations and centuries past dressed and wore dhotis and related garments — the inspiration for AdiValka’s signature dhoti pants.

Many temples show dancers and yogis in complex splits, difficult postures, and demonstrating not only clear mastery of their chosen practice, but also the ability of the garment to support any kind of movement.

yoga inspiration

AdiValka stems from a deep respect for this knowledge. One of our main missions is to help bring these styles into the contemporary idiom of fashion. In defining the new Indian haute couture, we aim to enhance and promote the ideas of versatility and functionality in fashion as we move forward in our journey. 

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Yoga & AdiValka: Freedom From All That Confines

ˇyoga citta vritti nirodhah

While yoga as a discipline has overtaken and changed the world with it’s grounding nature, simplicity of purpose, and versatility of form, in our story yoga is one of, if not the primary reason AdiValka came into being. 

AdiValka was born of the void Manisha Naidu, designer and CEO, felt of comfortable, functional clothes that would allow yogis (as well as dancers, martial art practitioners & students of these disciplines alike) to experience unrestrictive movement in clothes that were not body-hugging and tight fitted. Manisha found her inspiration for what would become AdiValka’s signature dhoti pants in the kachche dhoti (more about this in our previous blog post), and began the process of tailoring AdiValka’s signature dhoti pants to complement and enhance one’s yoga practice.

yoga inspiration

AdiValka’s signature dhoti pants are the epitome of functional comfort wear that embody the concept of “fashion with a purpose.” Every aspect of the pants were researched and developed for its utility while maintaining the aesthetic of the contemporary idiom of fashion.

The cut of our dhoti pants allows one a wide range of motion and complete freedom of movement. Add to this, we only use only the best fabric — (ethically sourced) 100% cotton — to create our garments. Every aspect of our process is approached with the same tapas that yoga teaches and encourages in its students. 

yoga inspiration

We embellish our garments with natural healing elements with the explicit purpose of protecting the wearer and encouraging positive energy in their environment. These elements are said to not only promote spiritual connectivity and radiate positive energy, but also actively combat negative influences and help enhance your meditative practices. Most importantly, we constantly innovate to make sure our pants are providing what any yogi (of any level) would need. 

In our latest collection, Kalakrama: The Rule of Art Sanctioned by Tradition, we’ve embellished our garments with rudraksha, sandalwood, and tulasi bead tassels and buttons. The aroma of sandalwood helps the mind to unwind and increases spiritual energy. The tulasi beads radiate positive energy and help center the mind. 

Kalakrama — The Rule of Art Sanction by Tradition

yoga citta vritti nirodhah yoga frees you from the drama, the tragedy, the saga your mind creates, and allows you to experience your true self.

AdiValka’s products free you from the world of synthetic, tight-fitted, restrictive garments. Our products are an experience of a rare luxury — of warm, flowing and comfortable clothing, that aid you in your journey to connect with your truth.

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AdiValka’s Signature Dhotipants — The Best of Many Worlds

Our brand, AdiValka, has a deep connection with, and roots within, Indian apparel and designs and is grounded in the Indic philosophies of versatility and adaptability. When we began, our desire to create contemporary products inspired by the history of Indian textiles, art and culture, ayurveda, yoga and Indic traditions was a driving force. Through our journey, we now find ourselves well on our way to creating our own version of Indian haute couture. 

AdiValka’s designs are inspired by the flowing lines of Indic cuts that have withstood the tests of time and tradition. And, what’s more, they are meticulously crafted to not only meet, but surpass the exacting standards and quality that defines brands like AdiValka in today’s market. Our products are designed to carry the contemporary idiom of fashion while incorporating features that lend themselves to functionality and protection afforded both by the fabric and form of the garment. 

adivalka dhoti pants

Prior to our official launch, AdiValka’s designer and CEO, Manisha Naidu, thoroughly studied the history of Indian textiles and fashion so she could come up with the perfect patterns that would allow people absolute flexibility and functionality, and a comfortable and unrestrictive clothing experience. The initial need that sparked the flame that today is AdiValka, was the vacuum she felt in the market specifically for activewear that allowed one to practice yoga (no matter what the level). This need was what created AdiValka’s signature dhoti pants.

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AdiValka’s dhoti pants are based off the kachche dhoti. All texts and pictures indicated that the garment worn by yogis (especially female yogis) during long practice sessions was, at its core, a piece of cloth wrapped around one’s waist that was draped such that the wearer had completely free and flexible movement.

Depending on occasion, there were variations in the length, style and type of drape that people used. Per our research, the kachche dhoti style was, and continues to be, the most commonly used garment for what can today be termed activewear – think yoga, dance, kalaripayattu, and what have you. 

dhoti pants inspiration

AdiValka’s signature dhoti pants are the confluence of the best of Indic tradition and modern fashion, giving you a garment that is not only functional, but also chic, comfortable and that can be worn from studio to street

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Rangavalli As A Logo — Embodying Uninterrupted Traditions

adivalka blog

Comfort, protection, adaptability are AdiValka’s main priorities — as with our pants, thus with our logo. By Indic tradition, knowledge served a larger purpose than being restricted to books meant only for a select few to be privy to — many ancient practices were steeped in scientific reasoning, and the rangavallis are no exception. Traditionally, the rangavalli was drawn by women outside their houses to create a welcoming and calming effect on a visitor who is just about to enter. 

Rangavallis are the embodiment of the scientific and mathematical principles underlying Indic societies in many ways. In it’s true form, the rangavalli is said to create vibrations that cause it to serve as a center of positive energy. In Vedic times, (and in places, even today) women chant shlokas and mantras while drawing rangavallis. Per ancient knowledge, the vibrations from the chanting combined with the specific symmetry of rangavallis formed the foundation of the rangavalli as a positive energy center. Rangavallis are usually drawn by women in front of their houses before sunrise. As the keeper of the house, it is believed that the woman of the house by chanting mantrams and drawing the rangavalli kept at bay negative energies from impacting her family and home. 

Credit: Sahapedia

The choice of the rangavalli as AdiValka’s logo was an easy one — parallels abound between the philosophy of our brand, and the realities of the rangavalli. A pertinent example is that rangavallis are both aesthetically beautiful, while serving the purpose of having a calming effect on the observer. Similarly, we aim to make AdiValka’s products chic and comfortable, while also providing elements of protection, positivity and balance to the wearer. In adding the rangoli to our logo, we hope to create a similar feeling of balance and calmness for our customers — one that is amplified by our products.  

Our world of rigid structures and tight-fitting schedules is often mirrored in clothing today, and AdiValka’s purpose is to counter this reality. Through our comfortable clothes, We aim to free your mind by freeing your body, and our logo plays its part in this as well. AdiValka’s intention is to be synonymous with feelings of contentment, comfort, and adaptability — thus the welcoming effect the rangavalli is known for makes it the perfect foundation on which to rest our brand.  

Credit: The Hans India
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AdiValka’s Beginnings

adi [Sanskrit] — the first in time, beginning ; valka [Sanskrit] — covering, the bark of a tree

AdiValka — the first protective covering

India’s textiles have been renowned the world over for millennia for their quality, color, styles, designs, and most importantly their appropriateness and adaptability. AdiValka was born from the desire to create a product that had a deep connection with, and roots within, Indian apparel.

Our vision from the start was threefold: protection, comfort & adaptability — we wanted to create versatile, contemporary products inspired by the history of Indian textiles, art and culture, Ayurveda, yoga and Indic traditions.

While AdiValka launched on June 21st, 2018 — the seed was sown two and a half years prior to that date. Manisha Naidu, co-founder and designer of AdiValka, a novice yoga practitioner at the time felt a need for an alternate form of activewear to the yoga pants and nylon wear that characterise the market today. Dissatisfied with any of the solutions she came across, Manisha decided to take it on herself to develop attire that reflected the need she perceived. Thus, AdiValka began to take shape.

adivalka beginnings

For two and a half years, Manisha thoroughly studied the history of Indian textiles and Indian fashions, in order to achieve her goal of combining the best of Indic apparel traditions with the modern design language of fashion. Teaming up with Jayakumar, co-founder of AdiValka, the duo began translating the research into reality. Fueled by the same fire — the Indic civilizational heritage — Manisha and Jaya, each in their own way and through their own experiences, felt the need to give shape and form to what has been a source of inspiration for many designers for millennia.

To fill the vacuum in the market for pants that were comfortable, functional, and made from natural fibers, Manisha extensively studied the kinds of clothes yogis had worn back in the day, initially focusing her study on female yogis. Through this study, she developed the concept of Adivalka’s signature dhoti pants as a tailor-made garment for yoga practitioners that also doubled as street fashion.

adivalka beginnings

AdiValka’s dhoti pants are inspired from the kachche dhoti style — the kind of dhoti pants that were most commonly worn in India while practicing dance, yoga, sword fighting, kalaripayattu and so on. One of the primary requirements of the garment was that it be draped such that the wearer felt no restrictions while practicing their chosen art, sport, and activity.

AdiValka’s dhoti pants at their core are functional, stylish and adaptable, similar to its inspiration — a garment that in essence was a cloth wrapped around one’s waist, draped to different lengths and in different styles depending on the occasion.

AdiValka is our humble and contemporaneous effort to celebrate the unity of both style and function with everyday life with designs that reflect a deep harmony of fabric, color, comfort, and style. As we reflect on our first year, we’re thankful that our designs have resonated with people from all over the world — going as far as Europe, the USA, and even Australia.