The graceful sari is a long segment of fabric, which isgenerally five to nine yards long and is classically wrapped around a woman’s body in the most unpretentious way. Today, this modest attire is worn by almost 75 percent of the female population of India. The sari is undoubtedly one of the oldest known clothing that is still in use. Saris were mentioned in the ancient sacred literature of the Hindu religion. After India got independence, the Sari became a symbol of integrity and character.
The Greeks and Romans followed them too, however the form of draping was different from how an Indian woman draped this piece of garment. The population from ancient India were experts in intricate weaving and embroidery—but they chose wearing woven cotton or silk saris suitable to the climatic conditions and also because these allowed great flexibility and creativity.
How it all began
The history of the sari diversifies from an ancient woman wearing this simple garment to the saris created by designers from across the world in the latter part of the 20th century. The indispensible modesty of the sari is set against an extensive variety of fabrics, colors, patterns, weaves, work, embroidery and draping styles.
Due to the flexibility discovered by man from its inception, this elegant piece of garment has become absolutely experimental in the recent past where designers from within the country and across have tried a number of styles and patterns from intricate embroidery, net or brocade saris and lehenga saris to utterly interesting draping patterns. Tracing the experiences from villages across India, designers from across the globe have creatively explored the merit, attractiveness, adaptability and personality of India’s quintessential and conventional garb. Surviving and flourishing through this ordeal, the Sari still continues to enhance a women’s attire making her look as poised and enchanting as ever. And all of this has been possible in spite of almost the whole world resorting to western fashion.
Saris have been the most timeless and essential garments of Indian woman wardrobes. In ancient times, while Indian queens draped themselves in full regalia, it was the humble sari that made up their garb. The gorgeous sari gives us a harmonious picture of the lives of women in India today and ages before.It has been the medium for people to think about their relationship to the clothes they wear.
Unknown Facts about Saris
There are a number of unknown and interesting facts about our beloved Indian Saree.
Most of us would agree that the Sari is one of the most gorgeous pieces of clothing a woman can wear. Saris make women look more feminine, modest and coy. In today’s world, the sari has become more of a style statement; the traditional indications are still important and compelling to an extent. You will be surprised to know the deep meaning and traditional values which evolved around the following beliefs;
*Hindus originally considered the navel as a source of life and creativity. This spells out why the midriff is left bare in a sari
*They also considered cut and stitched clothes impure and thus the sari is a long running piece of clothing which has been worn for ages
*The word sari has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘sati’ which means ‘strip of cloth’
Ways to wear a Sari
There are more than 80-recorded ways to wear a sari. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with the loose end of the drape to be worn over the shoulder, baring the midriff. However, the sari can be draped in several different styles.
• Nivi – styles originally worn in Andhra Pradesh; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kacchanivi, where the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. This allows free movement while covering the legs.
• Gujarati/ Rajasthani/Pakistani – after tucking in the pleats similar to the nivi style, the loose end is taken from the back, draped across the right shoulder, and pulled across to be secured in the back.
• Maharahtrian/Konkani/Kashta – this drape is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti. The center of the sari is placed at the center back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, then the two ends are wrapped around the legs. When worn as a sari, an extra-long cloth of nine yards is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. They are primarily worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa.
• Madisar– this drape is typical of Iyengar/Iyer Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu. Traditional Madisar is worn using 9 yards saree.
• Kodagustyle – this drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagudistrict of Karnataka. In this style, the pleats are created in the rear, instead of the front. The loose end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder, and is pinned to the rest of the sari.
• GobbeSerre– This style is worn by women in the Malnad or Sahyadri and central region of Karnataka. It is worn with 18 molassaree with three four rounds at the waist and a knot after crisscrossing over shoulders.
• Gond– sari styles found in many parts of Central India. The cloth is first draped over the left shoulder, then arranged to cover the body.
• Malayali style – Worn in Kerala, it is usually made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or coloured stripes or borders.
• Tribal styles – often secured by tying them firmly across the chest.
• Kunbi style or Denthil – This form of draping is created by tying a knot in the fabric below the shoulder and a strip of cloth which crossed the left shoulder was fasten on the back.
(Info credit – Wikipedia)
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