NINE YARDS OF ELEGANCE AND GRACE

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India is a land known for its rich culture and heritage. Many beautiful features make it stand apart from different countries. When one thinks about Indian women, perhaps the first image that comes to their mind is a woman wearing a saree.

From Banarasi to cotton silk sarees, there is so much variety in this attire. If a person is keen on collecting saree, they will have their breath taken away due to the vast collection of sarees available from the North of India to the South.

They vary in textile, color, and tradition. There is so much to see and learn about the elegant nine yards of grace.

History and Tradition:

A saree is a lady’s garment that is an unstitched drape that is usually nine yards long. It is wrapped around the waist, and one drape goes over the shoulder.

It is traditionally worn in South Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. The word saree is derived from ancient Sanskrit scriptures, which now has various terms coined in different languages.

Types of Sarees and Drapes:

Right from cotton silk sarees to muga, there are multiple types of sarees available for purchase. A few of them that are extremely popular are given below with their respective states of origin.

  • Taant – West Bengal.
  • Kasavu – Kerala.
  • Kanjeevaram – Tamil Nadu.
  • Sambalpuri – Odisha.
  • Paithani – Maharashtra.
  • Bandhani print saree – Gujarat.
  • Muga – Assam.
  • Banarasi saree – Varanasi.
  • Pochampally saree – Telangana.
  • Chanderi silk – Madhya Pradesh.
  • Leheriya prints – Rajasthan.
  • Phulkari – Punjab.
  • Sarees with Chikankari work – Lucknow.

Just like there are different types of sarees available in India, there are many different drape styles too. Cotton silk sarees are the easiest to drape while draping might be a little more complicated on a Banarasi saree because of the stiffness or softness of the fabric used.

Following are the different drape types:

  • Namboothiri: The Namboothiri drape is traditional to Kerala. This drape is worn to cover only the torso of the body.

This is done with a combination of two pieces of saree material; one is called the mundu, which is the upper garment while the lower garment is called the neriyathu. This is traditionally worn for dance performances during the festival of Onam.

  • Phanek and Innaphi: This form of traditional drape originates from the state of Manipur. The material is a sarong, and it can be classified into two types – tribal and the Meitei Phanek.

The Phanek is usually handwoven and only comes in a single color or with stripes. The Innaphi, worn as a shawl over the upper body, may have patterns or other delicate designs.

  • Madisaru: The Madisaru is a very traditional drape that originates from the state of Tamil Nadu. This drape is a very crucial part of an Iyengar and Iyer culture, where women wear cotton silk sarees in this drape. Brides of Tamil Nadu belonging to the caste wear saree in Madisaru, where the lower half is draped like a dhoti.
  • Coorgi style: This style of drape is local to the town of Coorg in the state of Karnataka. This form of drape helped the women of Coorg live a highly active lifestyle. The drape allows them to move around the tea plantations and work with ease.

Cotton silk sarees and Banarasi sarees are usually worn in this drape by Coorgi brides on their wedding day.

  • Seedha pallu: This drape is traditional to the state of Gujarat. It is worn almost every day by the women there, as it permits free movement. Most women carry the weight of heavy pallus on their shoulders in other styles. However, this drape allows women to avoid it.
  • Gol Sari: This Parsi drape is nothing short of simplicity and elegance. This drape is popularly worn during festivals or even sometimes regularly. Most women prefer to wear this drape using chiffon sarees with floral prints, where the pallu is taken from behind and is draped over the blouse.
  • Santhal: This drape originates from the state of Jharkhand. The chequer patterns characterize the Santhal sarees. This drape is closely related to the Bengali drape because both use a box pleat in the front; the pallu is pulled over the left shoulder in a triangular shape.
  • Nauvari drape: This drape belongs to the state of Maharashtra. It reflects the nature of the strong and independent women of the state. The drape involves the saree being worn like a dhoti at the bottom, while the top half has a pallu like a regular drape.