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Wonders 6 yards of drape can do...
The story of the saree is a 2000-year-old romance. It is associated with the ancient North Indian terracotta worn by a woman, to the creations crafted by the 21st century designers. Today sarees continue to be worn for both fashion & form. The fashion-conscious understands the versatility of the drape while the urban and rural dweller its utility.
The saree is quintessential Indian female garment. An untailored length of cloth measuring between 4 & 9 meters long by approximately 1 meter wide-set against a wonderful array of fabrics, colors, patterns & draping styles. They come in all shapes, sizes from textured hand-woven fabrics created on age old traditional looms as well as modern sophisticated looms run on power. The saree is universal. Grandmother & granddaughter can both wear same saree with equal grace. It can suit any age and occasion. The saree is universal, highly adaptable.
Different regions of India have their own distinct forms of draping a Sari. Some of these are outlined below :
Gujarati Way : This version of draping, commonly known as the seedha pallu way, is also found in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. Instead of opening to the left, the pleats are tucked so that they open to the right. Then, the pallu is taken to the back and brought over the right shoulder. It is then spread across the chest, and the left edge is tucked in the petticoat at the back.
Maharashtra Method : Instead of the usual five-and-a-half meters, the sari in this version measures eight meters. One portion of the sari is drawn up between the legs and tucked in behind at the waist, while another portion is draped as a pallu over the bosom. Thus it forms a kind of divided sari, allowing greater freedom of movement.
Tamilian Version : Like the Maharashtra version, the saree in this version, too, measures eight meters. After wrapping around the waist, the pleats are positioned along the left leg. The rest of the sari is taken over the left shoulder, wrapped once again round the waist and tucked on the left side.
Bengali Style : The sari is worn pleat less; it is wrapped around the waist, brought back to the right side and the pallu is thrown over the left shoulder. The pallu is then brought up under the right arm and once again cast over the left shoulder.
If you get nightmares before wearing a saree- you need not worry anymore. We will teach you how to look stunning in saree.
You will need the below mentioned things to drape a perfect saree.
1. A blouse
2. A petticoat
3. Safety pins and
4. Accessories ( Bindis, bangles, earrings, necklace etc )
You should be aware that a petticoat needs to be worn below the saree and the colour of the petticoat should be similar to the saree.
You need to either a wear contrast colour blouse or matching colour blouse that should have a great fit to give you the flawless look. You can either wear a sleeveless or sleeved blouse or team it with trendy necklines. Don’t wear a very long blouse; it should end half inch below the bust line.
Draping the saree
Wearing a saree is an art and we will teach how to master this art.
You can begin the process of wearing the sari by tucking the sari into the petticoat. Do this neatly and keep the tuck to the right of the navel. The lower end of the sari should barely touch the floor. You need to wrap the saree only once around yourself. This ought to be done very carefully and neatly.
After you have wrapped it once around yourself you need to make neat pleats of equal width so that the saree falls in a graceful manner. Make around 7 odd pleats and gather them together so that it falls straight and the lower ends of the pleats are neat and even. Most women use a safety pin so that pleats do not scatter.
After this you should deftly and neatly tuck all the 7 pleats into the petticoat. Position it slightly towards the left of the navel.
Now, you should drape the remaining part of the saree. This is quite easy. Wrap the saree around once more from the left to the right while holding the top of the saree.
Add the finishing touches by raising the remaining portion of the sari on your back. You need to lift it up and place it on the right arm under the left shoulder so that the pallu falls till your knees. You can use a safety pin to fasten the pallu.
Spread and hold your sare in a manner that the plain end is held by your left hand. Remember again .... the bottom of the drape needs to touch the ground !
Tuck in the plain end to the petticoat and take the saree around you from the left side and bring it back to the front from the right side.
Now make around 6-7 pleats out of the drape and hold them together.
Tuck in the pleats to your petticoat and ... yes ... you have to repeat the procedure of bringing the drape around from the back.
From over the right shoulder, bring the drape to the front, leaving a considerable amount of drape loose at the back. You may pleat the drape in the front.
Hold one end of the 'pallu' falling in front and tuck it to the left side of your hip.
Bring the loosened end at the back over and covering your head, which is traditionally, called the 'Ghoongat'!
Hold the plain end of your saree towards the right side of your naval and tuck it into the drawstring petticoat. Remember .... let the bottom of your saree always touch the ground. Now take the drape.
Bring the drape to the front from the right side to a position in front of the naval in order to make a minimum of 6-7 pleats out of the drape.
Hold the pleats together and tuck them into the petticoat in the same position. Now take the loosened drape once again around from the left side and bring it to the front from the right side.
Hold the loosened end of the saree in front and start pleating ( approximately 3-4 pleats ).
Hold the pleats together.
Now bring the pleats over your shoulder, leaving the drape falling behind you. You may pin the pleats to your blouse if desired.
Bring the 'pallu' ( the drape that falls behind ) to the front and tuck it in for a stylish appearance !
Generally silk sarees should be drycleaned. In handwashing, the consistency of the silk may be altered, depending on the finishing treatment used to give it sheen and the colour may run. Chlorine bleach damages silk and causes it to yellow.
Certain pre-wash techniques have made certain washable. Raw silk, china silk, India silk, crepe de chine, Pongee, Shantung, tussar, dupion and jacquard silks are safer to wash. After washing, one should roll in a towel to remove the excess moisture, and then hang on to dry on a padded hanger.
Stained silk sarees should be drycleaned as soon as possible. Dyes and sizings tend to discolour with moisture. Therefore attempting to remove stains with water is not recommended without first testing the silk for colour fastness. It is difficult to remove a concentrated food or beverage stain. Scrubbing or pressing could ruin the fabric.
Protein Stains : These stains include blood, deodorant, egg, meat juices and perspiration. To clear such stains, first detergent should be applied to the garment. Then it should be soaked in cool water and laundered. In case of persistent stains, rubbing a mixture of a few drops of NH3 with hydrogen peroxide should be tried.
Combination Stains : These stains include chocolate, gravy, ice-cream and milk. First a dry-clean solvent should be applied and then dried. The protein part of the stain supplement can be treated by applying liquid detergent and rinsing with cool water. Then after using a prewash stain remover, the silk should be washed in the hottest water that it can stand.
Nailpolish Stain : This can be treated by rubbing acetone on the area.
Lipstick Stains : First Drycleaning fluids and then washing in soap and water can be used to remove lipstick stains.
Grease : These stains are usually caused by oils, butter, margarine, crayon, medicines and oil-based cosmetics. Dabbing on talc immediately will lift the stain. After brushing off the talc, a stain remover can be applied and the silk should be washed in the hottest water that it can stand.
Silkguard : Some manufacturers have developed a protective process using chemicals from 3 M corporation of US, which accidental spills ( of tea, coffee, food particles, ketchup, oil, etc. ) do not spoil the fabric. This treatment is effected at the yarn stage and hence the permeability of the fabric.
Match the colour and the fabric to the fall of the saree, as a mismatch or difference between the two can ruin the effect of an expensive saree. The fall of the saree can be replaced every few years to prolong the saree's lifespan. One should also check on the fall's colour fastness and quality.
An open Saree...PUNCHRA ( TAIL ) :
The fringe edges referred to as PUNCHRA are never stitched down, They remain either free, as thread ends or they are knotted in bunches though sometimes they are braided, knotted or beaded which are called GUNTHA PUNCHRA then."
CHIR ( Parting ) :
The chir is the inch or so which is left without any weft threads, for it is part of the finish given to the two ends of the saree. It is a technical device for stretching and adjusting, the warp and acts as a measure of the 'complete' saree.
KANIHAI PATTI ( Waist-Band ) :
The inner end-piece or kanihai patti is the most essential part of the saree with which the winding starts. It is the first anchor on the body, tild either with a knot around the waist as was the original manner or tucked into the underskirt as is common now.
AANCHRA / ANCHAR / JHELA / AANCHI / PALLO / PALLAV / PATTA / MUNH :
There is the outer end-piece known as the Pallav or Aanchra on which the drape ends in sequential winding, which is used to great advantage by the lengthening or shortening of it. The Pallav is a woman's veil of modesty or flirtation as need be.
The kinar or borders delineate the outer edges and are thereby crucial to the design, drape and function of the saree. The borders mark the contours a saree's river-like flow, over and around the body, through the pleats and along the curves, till it climbs the shoulder and falls beyond.
PETA / DEH / ZAMIN ( Midriff / Body / Ground ) :
The Deh or body of the saree is the mass that sculpts itself into a definite form without breaking the link between one voluminous space and the next, according to the local wearing style.
DHADI ( Fold ) :
The Dhadi is the measure of the fold by which the saree is most efficiently packed and stored. As the first fold comes most, often at the end of the outer end-piece, the sari's length can easily be measured by the counting of the folds without unfolding it.
Saree an Indian wear makes a woman look graceful, stylish, elegant and sensuous. But it's important to drape a saree properly as a clumsily draped saree ( sari ) brings down the look of the saree and spoils the whole appearance. Some basic steps on how to buy and drape a saree .
1. Women on heavier side should buy sarees in Georgette, Chiffon or Chignon. Heavy Mysore Silk sarees look beautiful and one tends to look slimmer.
2. Shorter women should buy sarees with small borders or no borders. They should definitely avoid big borders as big borders make one look shorter.
3. Thin women should buy Organza, Cotton, Tissue and Tussar sarees. These sarees gives a full effect.
4. In printed sarees, avoid big prints, as it gives a gaudy and a huge look. Delicate print on a saree, gives a delicate look.
5. Dark skin color women should generally buy dark colours like maroon, green, dark pink etc.
Few Tips on Draping a Saree :
1. In office Pinup your Sarees, this looks smart and is manageable too.
2. For an outing or a function, just pinup the tip of the saree and let the rest fall on your hand. This gives a very graceful look. But of course the saree should have a good fall.
3. Cotton, Tissue or any starched sarees should be ironed properly and at the time of draping, the pleats should be done with your hands pressing and shaping it properly.
4. Put the pin on the back shoulder as this keeps the saree intact and does not show the pin too.
5. Don't wear a very flared petticoat inside.
The core of any good saree wardrobe is to have at least one traditional saree from every region from India. In addition, there should be some plain, single coloured sarees, to show off accessories - be it elegant jewellery or a shawl to perfection.
A range of gorgeous sarees come from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Western Madhya Pradesh. The dominant characteristic of the saree of these regions is obtained by dyeing rather than weaving techniques. In fact, the three major forms of Indian resist-dyeing - block printing, tie & dye and ikat have evolved here.
1. Bandhani :
a. These are sarees created by dyeing the cloth in such a manner that many small resist-dyed 'spots' produce elaborate patterns over the fabric.
b. The traditional bandhani market has shrunk however, because of the rise of low-cost silk-screened imitations and most modern bandhani sarees are made with larger designs and fewer ties than in the past. There are varieties available in two contrasting colours, with borders, end-pieces and one or more large central medallion called a pomcha or padma ( lotus flower ). Red and black is the most common colour combination but other pairs of colours are also found. For instance, the panetar saree is a Gujarati-Hindu sari of satin weave and Gajji silk with red borders, central medallions and a white body, which may contain regularly spaced red tie-dyed spots.
c. Single colour sarees and odhnis with white spots are also common. The most famous of this type is the Gujarati sari called Garchola It is usually red, but occasionally green, and is divided into a network of squares created by rows of white tie-dyed spots or woven bands of zari. The Garchola is a traditional Hindu and Jain wedding saree, which used to be made of cotton, but is now usually in silk. The number of squares in the saree is ritually significant multiples of 9, 12 or 52.
2. Patola :
a. The most time consuming and elaborate saree created by the western region is the potole ( plural patola ) which has intricate five colour designs resist-dyed into both warp and weft threads before weaving.
b. Double ikat patola saree is a rare and expensive investment. A cheaper alternative to double ikat patola is the silk ikat saree developed in Rajkot ( Gujarat ), that creates patola and other geometric designs in the weft threads only.
3. Gujarati Brocade :
These are extremely expensive and virtually extinct. The main distinguishing characteristics of the Gujarati Brocade Saree :
a. Butis ( circular designs ) woven into the field in the warp direction instead of the weft, resulting in their lying horizontally instead of vertically on the saree when draped.
b. Floral designs woven in coloured silk, against a golden ( woven zari ) ground fabric. Although such 'inlay' work is a common feature in many western Deccan silks, the Gujarati work usually has leaves, flowers and stems outlined by a fine dark line.
4. Embroidered Tinsel Saree :
a. TThe western region also has a rich embroidered tradition, made famous by ethnic groups such as rabaris and sodha Rajputs.
b. The saree with zardozi, the gold gilt thread embroidery technique, at one time patronised by the Moghul emperors and the aristocracy, is toady an inextricable part of a bridal trousseau.
c. Balla tinsel and khari work are the cheaper variations available in metallic embroidery, which have also become quite popular.
5. Paithani :
a. This saree is named after a village near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Now also woven in the town of Yeola, these sarees use an enormous amount of labour, skill and sheer expanse of material in their creation.
b. Distinctive motifs such as parrots, trees and plants are woven into the saree. The shades vary from vivid magenta, peacock greens and purples. In the pallav, the base is in gold and the pattern is done in silk, giving the whole saree an embossed look.
6. Chanderi and Maheshwari :
a. The Chanderi saree from Madhya Pradesh is light and meant for Indian summers. It is made in silk or fine cotton with patterns taken from the Chanderi temples.
b. The Maheshwari sarees are also both in cotton and silk, usually green or purple with a zari border. The traditional block-printed tussar can also be found in contemporary designs nowadays.
1. Benaras Brocade :
a. This saree from Benaras is virtually mandatory in the bride's trousseau. These sarees vary tremendously as weavers create different products to suit different regional markets and changing fashions.
b. Most brocades usually have strong Moghul influences in the design, such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel. A characteristic found along the inner, and sometimes outer, edge of borders is a narrow fringe like pattern that often looks like a string of upright leaves called jhallr. This is almost a signature of Benarasi brocade.
2. Other Sarees from this Region :
a. The region is also famous for producing ornate sarees such tanchois, amru brocades, shikargarh brocades and tissues. Abrawans ( literally meaning flowing water )- Tissue sarees, usually woven with the finest silk thread are also quite popular. A classy design in Abrawans is tarbana ( woven water ) with a fine silk warp with a zari weft giving an almost metallic sheen. Kincab or Kinkhwab sarees are the most popular of the brocades and are so covered with the zari patterning that the underlying silk cloth is barely visible.
b. Jamawars also come from Uttar Pradesh. These silk sarees are embellished with zari threadwork. The popular theme is a jacquard weave in 'meena' colours like orange and green.
c. Tanchois ( in zari ) are another item from of Uttar Pradesh and have different designs, not just Moghul motifs.
d. Another type is the kora silk saree which is starched as brittle as organza.
1. Kanjiwaram Saree :
a. No Indian bridal trousseau is complete without the 'Kanjeewaram' saree, characterised by gold-dipped silver thread that is woven onto brilliant silk. Kanchipuram is a town in Tamil Nadu with more than 150 years of weaving tradition - completely untouched by fashion fads.
b. Kanjeewarams are favoured for their durability. Kanjee silk is thicker than almost all other silks, and is therefore more expensive. The heavier the silk, the better the quality. Peacock and parrot are the most common motifs. Though lightweight kanjee sarees are popular as they are easy to wear and cost very little, the traditional weavers do not like to compromise. While Korean and Chinese silk is suitable for light-weight sarees ( machine woven ), only mulberry silk produced in Karnataka and few parts of Tamil Nadu, is right for the classic Kanjeewaram.
2. Konrad Saree :
a. The konrad or the temple saree is also a speciality item from Tamil Nadu. These sarees were original woven for temple deities.
b. They are wide bordered sarees and are characterised by wedding related motifs such as elephants and peacocks, symbolising water, fertility and fecundity.
3. Gadwal :
a. Gadwal saree is made in cotton in a style influenced by the Benarasi weaves. While the ground of the saree is cotton, there is a loosely attached silk border.
b. Copper or gold-dipped zari is generally used in these sarees. The motifs of the murrugan ( peacock ) and the rudraksh are popular.
c. Traditional colours for these sarees are earth shades of browns, greys and off-whites. However, brighter shades have been introduced for the North Indian buyer.
4. Others :
a. Pashmina silk, kota silk, Mysore crepes, pochampallis and puttapakshi sarees are also popular South Indian sarees.
Typical wedding sarees from Kerala are the nayayanpets and bavanjipets which usually have a gold border on a cream base.
1. Baluchari Saree :
a. This saree from Bengal is usually five yards in length and 42" wide in flame red, purple and occasionally in deep blue. The field of the saree is covered with small butis and a beautiful floral design runs across the edges. The anchal has the main decoration depicting narrative motifs.Taingalsandkanthas are other speciality items from Bengal.
The epitome of the every woman's mystique is wrapped around her. Here's a closer look at the endearing saree.
As far as the world of design is concerned, embroidery is the backbone of India. It has left an indelible imprint even on international fashion like Escada, Lingara and Ferra have their ensembles embroidered in India. Do we know enough about our own embroideries and how to use them efficiently? The thoughtful use of embroidery can enhance an ensemble, and take it from the mundane to the extraordinary. Some Indian embroideries that can do wonders for an outfit are :
Aabla : Mirror work which has its roots in Rajasthan and Kutch.
Aari : Embroidery done on a cot. Also known as khatla work aari originated in Barabanki.
Badla : Flat metallic wire, silver or gilt wire embroidery.
Butas and Butis : Motifs composed of floral forms fitted into paisley shapes derived from the Mughal era.
Lari : Fine quality gold thread embroidery found in Bareilly , Benaras ( Varanasi ), Lucknow and Agra . These days silver zari is equally popular.
Phool Patti Work : Applique work from Aligarh where usually organdi or other fabric cutouts in floral and leaf motifs are affixed on to a plain fabric sometimes in tandem with silver tilla embroidery.
Chikan Work : Originating from Lucknow this involves a technique of finding separated warp and weft threads for a textural effect.
Taipchi : Darn stitch on muslin.
Khatwa : Inverted satin stitch on muslin.
Murri on Funda : Satin stitch knots.
Jaali : Network.
Phulkari : Flower motifs, geometric patterns, surface satin stitching using silk floss threads. Phulkari has its origin in Punjab.
Zardosi : Leaf-scroll worked in gold and silver thread on silk, satin, velvet and other rich fabrics. Zardosi is also combined with Dabka work and is originally from Lucknow.
Mokaish : Silver dots strewn all over is Mokaish work.
Kashida : Mix of textile embroidery and printing.
Kantha Work : Originally from Bangladesh, it resembles the running stitch.
Ek Taar : Single thread embroidery used in tandem with crystals.
Resham : Fine silk thread-work.
Bead and Crystal Work : Resham work is teamed with beads, baggets, diamantes, rhinestones and Swarowski crystal.
Sitara Work : Sequins are embroidered into the fabric.
Indian women love to drape sarees. No garment can offer you the ultimate grace, sophisticated look and ethnic looks like a saree.
Whether it’s a wedding or a social get together a saree looks eternally beautiful.
Choosing a saree for a particular occasion can be taxing. You need to think about the colours dominating the season, the current trend and what would look great on you. Silk sarees look marvellous and never go out of vogue. The vibrant colours, excellent finish and excellent craftsmanship make women look stunning.
Bridal Sarees : Bridal sarees look eternally beautiful. The reds and maroons with intricate gold work make a bride look like a million dollar bucks.
Casual Sarees : You can make your presence felt with casual sarees that have good prints and great colours.
Formal Sarees : If you have to make an important presentation at office then you must select a saree that is light, crisp yet beautiful.
Party : Look trendy and fashionable by choosing a perfect party saree. Wear the colours of the season and look amazing.