Long skirt (full skirt), or ‘pavada’ in native language, is a main traditional dress worn by teenage girls of Kerala. It is a cone shaped long piece of pleated cloth which hangs loosely from the waist by covering all parts of the lower body. It used to be worn with a blouse of the same colour and the nice combination of both gives the effect of a single dress from top to bottom.
Some long skirts are made of cotton to save the cost. But some of them are made of silk (‘pattu’ in Malayalam), and so they are known as ‘pattu pavadas’. Such long skirts are decorated by gold brocade along the edge known as ‘kasavu’, which is shown in this video.
These days the wearing of such traditional dresses like ‘pavada’ and ‘set mundu’ are limited to certain occasions like ‘keralappiravi’, the birthday of the state(November 1st), Hindu marriage functions and celebrations related to new year etc. Interestingly people now prefer to wear casual wears like ‘churidar’ on most of the occasions, which allow easy handling and free movement of the limbs unlike the long skirt.