Styles of Draping Sarees
Methods of draping sarees vary by region.
The saree is one of the cornerstones of traditional Indian dress, and methods of wearing this garment vary by personal style and local tradition. Most sarees are roughly 6 yards in length. Saree draping styles can include longer lengths of fabric, folding to the left or right, and even result in a pants-like appearance.
o An outfit that includes a saree is made of three basic items. A petticoat, or skirt, runs from the waist to the floor. A tight-fitting blouse should cover the upper torso, though the sleeve length and neckline can vary. The third part is the saree itself.
o The traditional method of draping sarees begins with tucking the unstitched end, called the punchra, into the petticoat at the navel, and then wrapping the saree around the waist, completely covering the petticoat and ending at the left hip. Take the other end of the saree, called the pallu, and pleat the fabric by folding the fabric back and forth, 1 foot in length. Drape the pallu over the right shoulder, letting it hang down the back. Fold the remaining material in the front into pleats, and tuck it into the waistline.
o Originating in northern areas of India, like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, the Gujarati opens to the left with pleats facing the right. The pallu then drapes across the chest. The remaining left edge tucks into the petticoat at the back.
Maharashtra and Tamilian
o These methods involve sarees measuring 8 meters. In the Maharashtra, the pleats are pulled through the legs and tucked into the petticoat at the back to make a divided saree, similar to pants. The Tamilian style pulls the pleats along the left leg after wrapping around the waist, and then over the shoulder.
o In the Bengali style, the saree is not pleated. Instead, the pallu drapes over the left shoulder, around the waist and under the right arm. It then drapes over the left shoulder again.