How to Drape a Punjabi Dupatta

By Pallavi Agarwal

A dupatta is a long scarf or shawl draped over the head or shoulders. Dupattas are made of softer fabric than stoles or shawls and are most commonly used to complement the shalwar kameez – the traditional dress of Northern India. The two main ways of wearing a dupatta are around the head or shoulders.



Hold the dupatta in front of you to see the material you need to adjust on your shoulders.

Hold the right side of the dupatta in your right hand and place it over your right shoulder. Leave a long trail hanging over the right shoulder.

Drape the left side of the dupatta over the left shoulder with the left hand and leave a trail over the left shoulder. Make sure there is an equal amount of fabric in the front, hanging uniformly on both the sides.

Adjust the cascade, or trail, of the dupatta so it looks attractive. Leave the trail long or short depending on the look you prefer.

Gather some material at your shoulders and pin it neatly with a safety pin to keep the drape and flow in place. Gather a small amount of material so most of the material drapes gracefully over the body for a long look. Gather all the extra dupatta material on your shoulder to avoid the dupatta draping over the arm if you prefer a shorter style.


Hold the dupatta in front of you.

Gather the dupatta in both hands with equal amounts on each side.

Lift the dupatta up and place it behind your neck. Allow it to rest against the back of the neck.

Pull the dupatta material from the back of your neck over your head. Cover your head as much as you want. Wrap the dupatta around your neck on either side, depending on your choice. Let the other side hang loose or wrap both ends.