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Green Mannar Silk Chiffon Saree

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Light Gold Melia Banarsi Saree

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Styles of draping a Sari

The most common style of draping the sari is wrapped around the waist, then one end is draped 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. The French cultural anthropologist and sari researcher, Chantal Boulanger, categorizes sari drapes in the following families. Each family may contain many, slightly different styles.

  • 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.
  • North Indian/Gujarati – this style differs from the nivi only in the manner that the loose end is handled: in this style, the loose end is draped over the right shoulder rather than the left, and is also draped back-to-front rather than the other way around. Having formerly lost ground to the nivi, this style now represents a fashionable alternative for non-traditional wearers to use on social occasions.
  • Maharashtrian/Kache – This drape (front and back) 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 is used and the ends are then passed up over the shoulders and the upper body. There are many complicated styles based on this wrap. They are primarily worn by Brahmin women of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Dravidian – sari drapes worn in Tamil Nadu; many feature a pinkosu, or pleated rosette, at the waist.
  • Madisaara style – This drape is typical of Brahmin ladies from Tamil Nadu and Kerala
  • Kodagu style – This drape is confined to ladies hailing from the Kodagu district 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • tribal styles – often secured by tying them firmly across the chest, covering the breasts.
  • More modern drapes : Sarees can be worn in more stylish ways that will look entirely different. for different modern styles, refer Styles of draping below.

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Pakistani and Indian Sarees


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