Bangles are part of traditional South Asian jewellery. They are sometimes worn in pairs by women, one or more on each arm. It is also common for women to wear a single bangle or several bangles on just one wrist. Most Indian women prefer wearing either gold or glass bangles or a combination of both.
In the world of fashion, some accessories have endured the test of time, subtly expressing elegance and grace. Bangles take a unique position among these classic adornments. Bangles have a long history, a wide range of cultural importance, and adaptable designs that have made them an essential component of jewellery collections all around the world.
We will explore the fascinating world of bangles in this blog article, learning about its historical context, cultural significance, and enduring appeal.
A Glimpse into History:
Bangles are among the oldest types of jewellery, with roots dating back thousands of years. Bangles constructed of a variety of materials, including metals, shells, glass, and even bones, have been discovered in archaeological digs from ancient cultures all over the world. These alluring accessories have adorned the wrists of both men and women throughout history, from the exquisite gold bangles of the Indus Valley civilization to the vivid glass bangles of ancient Rome.
In many societies, bangles have significant cultural importance. They are frequently linked to customs, events, and rites of passage. Bangles play an important role in Indian culture, denoting fertility, wealth, and marital status. Bangles are said to provide a loud sound that fends off bad spirits and brings good fortune. Similar to this, bangles are prized for their cultural symbolism in other parts of the world including Africa and the Middle East and are worn during significant rituals and festivals.
Diversity in Design:
The variety of styles offered by bangles is one of their noteworthy features. There is a bangle to fit every taste and occasion, ranging from delicate, minimalist designs to dramatic, extravagant patterns. The complex designs, filigree work, and gemstone decorations found on traditional bangles showcase the artistry and craftsmanship of the corresponding nations. Contemporary materials including stainless steel, wood, and acrylic have been employed to produce one-of-a-kind and unorthodox bangle designs in more recent times.
Versatility in Styling:
When it comes to styling, bangles are unmatched in their variety. They effortlessly make every outfit; whether classic or modern, look better. Stack gold bangles with a gorgeous ethnic outfit or a traditional Indian saree for a timeless look. On the other hand, a single striking bracelet cans glam up an evening gown or cocktail dress. Bangles are an favorite accessory for fashion fans because of the unlimited options and personalization that can be achieved by mixing and combining bangles of various colours, materials, and widths.
Bangles for Everyday Fashion:
While bangles are often associated with formal occasions, they can also be incorporated into everyday fashion effortlessly. Delicate metal bangles or slim wooden bracelets can add a subtle yet elegant touch to casual attire, lending a bohemian or earthy vibe. Additionally, adjustable bangles have gained popularity, offering comfort and convenience for daily wear.
Who introduced bangles?
A bangle is a continuous ring of clay, metal, wood, glass, plastic, or resin that is worn on the wrist. It has been around for a very long time. You read about the discovery of the bangle telling us that it came from Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan, 5,000 years ago.
History of bangles?
The popular bangle-style bracelet, characterized as a circular and rigid bracelet, dates back to as early as 2600 BC. The ancient accessory holds cultural significance that dates back nearly 5,000 years to the Mohenjo-Daro settlements on the banks of the Indus River in what is Pakistan today.
In 1973, a British archaeologist discovered a statue of a teenage girl in an archaeological excavation of Mohenjo-Daro. The 4,500-year-old statue is called the “Dancing Girl” and she is depicted in the nude except for an arm that is entirely covered in bangles. This evidence of bangles is noted as the first instance of the accessory as a part of human culture.
The bangle is an important item of wedding jewellery for many Indian brides, though the meaning and significance vary from region to region and family to family. Glass bangles are meant to represent safety and luck in marriage. Depending on the bride’s origins and family traditions, she may be found wearing gold-plated iron bangles, green bangles, or ivory and red bangles.
In the jewellery world, the term bangle widely refers to the style of a bracelet that’s circular and closed by form or hinge and it’s more loosely applied to many different styles, not just the thin and rigid style of Indian tradition.
Types of Bangle:
Solid cylinder bangles:
The solid cylinder type bangle is probably the most recognised type, where the bangle is a continuous cylinder that slides over a person’s wrist.
Split/cylinder spring bangles:
Split bangles, also known as cylindrical spring bangles, allow for a snugger fit, thanks to their opening and closing features.
Cuffs are a more modern take on the traditional cylindrical bangle and tend to be sturdier in structure and design.
Plain bangles are a great understated piece of jewellery to complement an outfit and can serve a similar purpose to cufflinks – to give the overall look of an outfit an uplift and add sophistication.
Metals used in making bangles:
In the UK, bangles are made primarily of metals, both precious and non-precious. The metals that are typically used are white, yellow and rose gold, platinum, and silver.
White, Yellow and Rose Gold:
Because bangles made out of pure gold would be too soft to maintain a rigid structure, the gold is alloyed with copper and other metals to alter the colour and strengthen the final piece, as in other jewellery.
Silver is a more affordable precious metal option and is often worn by younger people. Silver bangles will mostly be worn plain and heavily layered, and they were made iconic by 1980s teenagers who even wore them over long sleeves.
Like silver, platinum has cool undertones. However, it is a brighter precious metal, which is reflected in the higher price.
Since ancient times, bangles have won over the hearts of both fashion devotees and jewellery aficionados. They are an everlasting fashion statement because of their extensive history, cultural significance, wide range of patterns, and adaptability. Bangles have an unrivalled capacity to improve the personal style and give a touch of charm to any outfit, whether they are used for formal occasions or to go with casual attire. So embrace the beauty that bangles radiate and let them glisten and reverberate on your wrists.