The Ethnic fashion scene is constantly changing and innovating. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the elegant Saree. Sarees have been a staple of the Indian wardrobe for generations. Now with the influences of fusion culture, we’ve seen sarees transform into an extremely versatile garment from the different styles of saree draping, pairing with the latest blouse designs, wearing dazzling statement accessories, the only limit is your imagination.
Various saree draping styles can transform your entire look, and India is known for its diverse saree draping styles. Each state has its own unique way of draping or styling a saree.
Here are some popular draping styles to spark your imagination:
Athpourey Shari – Bengal
This is one of the most popular saree draping styles in India. This saree style is unique because unlike the traditional saree drape, the box pleats are worn in the front. The pallu is draped from the back and brought to the front on both sides. Usually, a bunch of keys was thrown over the right shoulder to signify who was the matriarch of the household; this was a proud symbol because it showed that the woman had control over the entire household.
Nivi drape – Andhra Pradesh
The modern drape is inspired by the Nivi drape which is worn by Andhra women. It’s one of the common saree draping styles for silk sarees, which is worn to accentuate a woman’s curves and it looks quite regal as well.
Kappulu- Andhra Pradesh
This draping style is worn by the elderly women of the Kappulu caste in Andhra Pradesh, and it’s one of the popular silk saree draping styles because it is quite elegant. This saree is wrapped from left to right, unlike the usual right to left draping style. This draping style flatters a woman’s curves and the longer the length the better it looks. The Kappulu drape has two distinct features which are the narrow pleats at the back, and two cascades of cloth that are formed by twisting the end piece towards the body. The pallu is draped over the right shoulder, you can either hang it loose or pull it over to cover both shoulders; you can wrap it around your neck as well.
Mekhela Chador- Assam
When it comes to saree draping styles the Mekhela Chador is an elegant way to wear an Assam silk saree. The saree is available in two pieces, the bottom half is worn as a sarong with pleats at the front, and the upper half is tucked to the left side of the waist in a triangle; the other end is draped over the shoulder, like a shawl.
Nauvari saree- Maharashtra
The saree draping styles for silk sarees list would be incomplete without the original nine-yard saree, the Nauvari saree speaks volumes about the strong and independent women of Maharashtra. The draping style is distinguished by the unusual pattern, which shows that it’s worn around the legs like a dhoti and the upper half is worn like a normal saree. The Lavani folk dancers are known for wearing Nauvari sarees during their performances because it allows easy leg movements and the drape accentuated every step, elegantly.
Mohiniattam drape- Kerala
The drape begins like a normal Nivi drape, but once the pleats are created they are twisted around the body and tucked at the waist from the other end, instead of the front. The pleats are then flared outwards and they are secured by wrapping them with the innermost layer. Then, the lower borders are picked at two extremes and brought to the back of the waist from either side so that it can be tucked in. This will require good material, like silk, which can hold its shape for long hours.
Seedha Pallu- Gujarat, UP, Odisha
This is an everyday draping style that is worn by the women of Gujrat, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh. The drape is similar to a lehenga choli and is used instead of a dhoti. The draping style is practical because it allows freedom of movement and works quite well with heavy sarees, where the shoulder does not carry the weight of the heavy pallu. By draping the pallu in the front, you can show off the intricate work and the border.
In the list of different styles of silk saree draping, the Surguja is one of the most elegant draping styles. It’s worn by the dancers of the Oraon community in Chhattisgarh. The 5.3-yard saree is worn in a way that it creates a whirling effect at the ends. The loose ends are then tucked in the back and front because it allows free movement to the dancers.
Bootheyara – Karnataka
This saree draping style was worn by nomadic performers of Karnataka. It’s draped from an eight yard saree which can be used as a one-piece pant style drape, or a two-piece drape which includes a shawl that covers the bust region. The style can be adjusted depending on the wearer’s preference.
Coorgi style- Karnataka
You can’t talk about different styles of saree draping and not include the Coorgi style. This style evolved to help the women of Coorg lead an active lifestyle; this included climbing hills in the Western Ghats and trees. The end of the saree is draped below the left shoulder, and it’s secured over the right shoulder with a firm knot called ‘molakattu’. Now, the gold and red Kanjeevaram saree are usually worn in the Coorgi drape style by brides during the wedding ceremony.
Kunbi Drape- Goa
This is an ancient draping style that was worn by the tribal women of Goa, even before the Portuguese rule- during the 16th century. The style is quite basic and it includes wrapping the saree around the waist and creating a knot over the right shoulder; this drape allowed women to work comfortably in paddy fields. The drape was completed by tying a knot above the ankles and it did not necessarily need a blouse or petticoat.
Santhal Drape- Jharkand:
You can recognize the traditional Santhall saree by its chequered print. It’s quite simple to drape and has evolved over the years. The style is similar to the Bengali drape, it has a box pleat in the front and the pallu is draped over the left shoulder in a triangle. The rest of the pallu is tucked at the front. The style is simple and comfortable, and it suits the lifestyle of the Santhali people.
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