Saree : common style

1 Feb

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, though some styles do require a sari of a particular length or form. The French cultural anthropologist and sari researcher Chantal Boulanger categorized sari drapes in the following families:

  • Nivi – styles originally worn in Andhra Pradesh; besides the modern nivi, there is also the kaccha nivi, 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 – 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
  • 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, and 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.
  • Dravidian – sari drapes worn in Tamil Nadu; many feature a pinkosu, or pleated rosette, at the waist.
  • Madisar – this drape is typical of Iyengar/Iyer Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu.
  • 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.
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