Everything You Need To Know About Adding Volume To Your Lehenga: Can-Can 101

Not everyone can afford a lehenga with 24 kalis. Not everyone WANTS a lehenga with 24 kalis – the fabric adds a ton of weight.

But if you’ve picked a lehenga that falls straight, chances are you’re wondering how to make it look more bridal and royal, without spending more money on additional kalis.

There is ONE way you can make your lehenga go from flat to flared (so that it puffs up and spreads out) like all those gorgeous lehengas at designer stores:

Add can-can underneath!

Like this…

can can stitched underneath skirt to add volume

So that your lehenga looks like this…

What Is Can-Can?

It is a frill of net under your lehenga, that adds flare to it through the use of crushed net and occasionally, underwire.

Types Of Can-Can

#1 Soft Net: this is ideal for your wedding lehenga as it will settle down well when you sit down for your pheras. Hard can-can might keep your lehenga embarrassingly upturned!

#2 Hard Net: when you want to add some serious volume. Best for any day except wedding day (since you have to sit down on a low chair or floor for a long period of time)

How Much Can-Can?

That depends on how much volume you want! The more the can-can, the more the volume.

How To Add Can-Can

There are two ways in which you can do this:

  1. Attach can-can directly onto the lehenga, on the inner side. Ideally, it should be stitched in such a way that the can-can itself is detachable so you can re-use the lehenga after the wedding (as you won’t need the extra volume later on)
  2. Wear a separate can-can skirt underneath the lehenga

Do The Sit Test

Once your lehenga and can-can are made, put it on and sit on a low seat. Does the lehenga turn upwards and reveal an embarrassing amount of can-can? If for any reason you have no option but to stick to hard net, arrange for chairs of a higher height to sit on during your pheras. That might help with the issue of the can-can sticking out too much.

royal blue lehenga with white blouse by Anita Dongre

Important To Remember

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO HAVE SOMEONE FLUFF YOUR LEHENGA FOR YOU (basically, open it up physically with their hand) when you’re getting dressed for your event – otherwise it will remain flat!


After your wedding, you can remove can-can from underneath all your lehengas to reduce the volume (which is why I mentioned opting for detachable can-can) as this flattens the silhouette and is more comfortable to wear to other people’s weddings. With too much volume, you might look like you’re trying to steal the bride’s thunder. Now why would you want to do that?! 😉


Everything You Need To Know About Adding Volume To Your Lehenga - the secret

17 thoughts

  1. I had so many layers for my lehnga that it looked so fluffed from bottom and i cud not sit on the mandap :D. every time I needed some one to pull me up for the pheras and other customs… So i wud suggest to go for soft fluffy layers underneath.. mine was hard net..Kinda looked like i was sitting in the basket when i was sitting on the mandap ..


    1. I had this experience while Lehenga shopping for my own wedding. I had tried on a beautiful Lehenga but it had hard net underneath. And when I did the “sit test” it looked like exactly how you’re describing it – a basket!


  2. Your blog is such a gem, totally love it – it is really like the DDLJ of blogs. No matter how many times I read the posts, I keep revisiting every couple of months!


  3. Hi I liked your blog. I bought one for my sister’s wedding. It’s pretty but I want to add flairs to it. Can you send me any link where I can buy the soft detachable net online. Or should I search in local market?


  4. Pls mjy ye bta dein k mera lehnga sides sy thora uper ki trf sy or smny or back sy wo thora lmba lgta hy .or sides sy thora ouncha let me know the reason please help.


  5. Hiiii…..
    Can you plz tell me how much fabric will I need for hard net attached cancan approximately????? Plz tell it to me as early as possible bcoz its urgent……


  6. What design would you suggest for a detachable can can? I’m looking for just the thing but unable to find any images online to provide to my tailor to make it. What is the softer net fabric called? Is it tulle?


  7. Hi I would like to know about the layers of can can that we need to attach beneath the gown or lehenga…Like it would be useful if you could suggest some examples with pics 🙂


  8. I am already married and have loads of lehengas without any can can. So where can i get soft can can from? I even need it to stitch my daughter’s ensemble. I doubt designer stores will sell me ‘only can can’ unless I buy an outfit from them. Any help?


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