The Gorgeous Potli or Drawstring Pouch

So Potlis always intrigued me. My grandmother always made a lot of them and gifted. She had quite a few of her own. Some potlis had colourful yarn spilling over (she loved to knit), some had mangled beads of all kinds and they were such a thing of beauty and excitement to a child like me, some had her medicines and so on and so forth. My other grandmother had her Paan making essentials in a potli.

Potlis came in all sizes, shapes and the ones that came out of my Grandmother’s design were beautiful, embellished with borders, made of silks, had tassles even. And every one of them were hand sewn. Potlis were like a mysterious place to stowe away all your stuff..and more like, you never know what you may find. Even Santa Claus carries one which has toys and gifts for all on this earth.

Potlis are also called drawstring bags. They are perfect for giveaways, party favours and make great gifts for kids.

drawstring 2

I made these for my daughter’s 2nd birthday for a Barbie theme party and were such a big hit. Even today, after almost five years, I have my neighbours tell me that they have these bags and find them so useful as there is no definition of what you can carry in them.

drawstring bag 1

Potlis have been around forever. The crude start of a bag, four corners pulled together to tie up into one big knot that served to close and also as a handle to lug it on your shoulder. Travellers, monks, wayfarers…everyone used Potlis. Some cuisines even required you to gather up herbs and spices and sunk into a pot of simmering cook to gently ease out the flavours of the ingredients therein without the discomfort of seeing them all over your dish. One of my mother’s most to-die-for Biryanis need her to slide in a potli full of her special ingredients in the meat to boil. The aroma that wafts around the house when she is cooking her special Biryani is something that I can only leave to your imagination.

Only now, potlis are no more nondescript pieces of luggage, but rather they are fashion statements. Paired with gorgeous lehengas and sarees, they are pretty much a wardrobe must-have. Gota borders, jaries, tassles, silks, mirror work, embroidery…name it and you have a potli custom made only for you.

Anu Potli


_DSC1401_DSC1330Anu potli

Potli 2


So, what are you waiting for? Like I told you, they are a wardrobe must-have, so how about picking up one for yourself?! πŸ™‚

And should you have some exquisite potlis to show, I would love to see them. Go on, post your favourite potli picture.

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