About Sarees

The Saree Story-Origin and History of Saree:

A sari or saree is a strip of unstitched cloth, worn by females, ranging from four to nine yards in length that is draped over the body in various styles which is native to the Indian Subcontinent. The word Sari is also supposedly derived from chati or shati – a South Indian word. It is popular In India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Burma, Malaysia, and Singapore. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist, with one end then draped over the shoulder, The sari is usually worn over a petticoat (called lahaṅgā or lehenga) in the north, langa, pavada, or pavadai in the south, chaniyo, parkar, ghaghra, or ghagaro in the west, and shaya in eastern India), with a blouse known as a choli or ravika forming the upper garment. The sari developed as a garment of its own in both South and North India at around the same time, and is in popular culture an epitome of Indian culture.The sari signified the grace of Indian women

The word sari is derived from Sanskrit śāṭī which means ‘strip of cloth’. The word ‘Sattika’ is mentioned as describing women’s attire in ancient India in buddhist jain literature called Jatakas. This could be equivalent to modern day ‘Sari’.

In the history of Indian clothing the sari is traced back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, which flourished during 2800–1800 BC around the western part of the Indian subcontinent. The earliest known depiction of the sari in the Indian subcontinent is the statue of an Indus Valley priest wearing a drape.

Styles of draping:

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. However, the sari can be draped in several different styles, though some styles do require a sari of a particular length or form

It is five to six yards of unstitched cloth worn over a Blouse and a Petticoat. In North Karnataka and Maharashtra, women wear a nine yard saree without a petticoat

Kannadiga, Mangalorean, Kodava, Bengali, Malayali, Gujarati and Tamilian women wear sarees of different styles. In this globalized world, the dress of Indians is also getting westernized. Being most utilitarian in different occasions, it is still reigning in rural India.

Different unique draping styles:

1. Nivi: This style is worn in Andhra Pradesh. It is held in place by the tucks into the petticoat waistband and the pallu is hanging over the shoulder. In case of ‘Kaccha nivi’ , the pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back allowing free movement.

2. Maharashtrian: In this type of draping a sari, the centre of the sari is placed at the centre of the back. The ends are brought forward and tied neatly. Again the two ends are wrapped around the legs. An extra-long cloth is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulder. The difference between this type of sari and the male maharashtrian dhoti is this long cloth only. The traditional type of nine yards sari is worn by the Brahmin women of different Southern states of India.

3. Bengali: This style of draping a sari has no pleats. The pallu has a bunch of keys that falls over the shoulder.

4. Dravidian: In this style, it is pleated rosette, at the waist. It is worn by Tamil nadu women.

5. Gujarati: In this style of draping, sari is draped over the right shoulder in the front rather than over the left shoulder. The modern non-Gujarati women wear this type in social occations with the eye-catching magnificent pallus.

6. Coorgi: In this style, it involves tying the pleats in the rear and a small portion of the pallu is placed over the shoulder

7. Mundum Neryathum: This style is worn in Kerala. It made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or colored stripes and borders. It is also called as the two-piece sari.

8. Gond: In this style, the cloth of the sari is first draped over the left shoulder and then it arranged to cover the body.

9. Maharashtrian/Konkani/Kashta; this drape is very similar to that of the male Maharashtrian dhoti. The center of the sari (held lengthwise) 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.

10. Malayali style – the two-piece sari, or Mundum Neryathum, worn in Kerala. Usually made of unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or colored stripes and/or borders. Also the Set-saree, a sort of mundum neryathum.