Buttoned Up

By Sudhir Kasliwal

Jewelled buttons are an indispensable accessory in a man’s traditional wedding attire, be it an embroidered achkan which requires as many as 13 buttons (seven for the jacket and three each for the cuffs) or its cousin,the classic five-buttoned bandhgala. For those who appreciate the discreet luxury that they represent, there is a wide variety available to choose from.

You’ve probably heard of the famous Thewa buttons from Pratapgarh designed using an intricate technique of gold-work inlaid in glass. The more adventurous usually go for big peacock motifs, which compliment the ceremonial black and earthy hues in the wedding ensemble.

Others are adorned with floral motifs (borrowed from Persian paintings and murals), and are usually made using the more familiar technique of enameling. For those who want something with a bit more pizazz there are kundan buttons, which are encrusted with rubies and emeralds.

For a unique look, an heirloom piece, such as a photograph of a family ancestor, can be mounted on a gold frame or one can even use a period currency like mohars (from the Mughal era), or ginnis, to stir some nostalgia on a joyous occasion. And for those with an eye for detail, stone carvings on emeralds, sapphires or rubies make a regal statement. For grooms who want an elegant no fuss look, a string of mother-of-pearls (with delicate diamonds) go very well with the ivories and caramels of the wedding outfit.


Sudhir Kasliwal’s family was once the court jeweller for the Mughal emperors. Their legendary shop– The Gem Palace – is a landmark in Jaipur and has been frequented by royalty and celebrities including the likes of the late Princess Diana and a galaxy of European aristocracy.

Sudhir can further be reached at
or through www.gempalacejaipur.com

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