Gamchha: A tog in rural IndiaGamchha, made up of thin coarse cotton fabric, is a well known headgear around the world, especially, in Arab countries where it's worn as the essential part of their attire to protect themselves from scorching sun and sand and is called as shemagh or keffiyeh but in India Gamchha is traditionally used as towel for drying one's body after bathing, it serves other purposes also. For instance, physical laborers like coolies, construction workers and farmers use it as bun to carry any load on their head . Sometimes, they also spread it out on the ground like a mat and take a nap on it or wipe out sweat while toiling. Perhaps, the best thing about a gamchha is that being thin, it does not take long to dry and thus can be used many times during a day.
A mix of checks and stripes in red, orange and green is the most common print, a white gamchha is also not uncommon and plain white gamchhas with colored, embroidered or printed borders are very popular in the states of Orissa and Assam.
(An entry for A thread a day contest)