Guest Author - Preena Deepak
The sari is a piece of material, 6 to 9 yards long and between 42 and 49 inches wide, worn by Indian women with a blouse and petticoat. One end of the sari is plain while the other end, called the pallu is elaborately decorated and forms the part that hangs over the shoulder.There are several different types of wrapping around the sari, the most common among them being the Nivi drape.
Saris are region specific garments and in many cases each community has their own style in draping the sari. In the past it was not uncommon for saris to be worn without a blouse and some of the older Indian women still prefer to wear saris in this fashion.
Some forms of wearing the sari require material of different length and some can be worn without a petticoat. Saris are quiet common in neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Bankladesh, Pakistan and Nepal as well.
The material used to create a sari determines the cost of the same. There are very cheap saris made from cotton and synthetic fabrics as well as expensive ones made with silk and georgette materials. Chiffon saris are light weight and offer great comfort than other fabrics. In India saris can be purchased with as less as 150 INR and as much as 100000 INR.
Each Indian state has specialist sari types. Kancheepuram in South India is noted for its exquisite silk saris, Lucknow in the North prides itself in fancy chickan work saris and Mysore silk saris are famous in the state of Karnataka.
It may seem arduous to drape the 6 yard long sari. However the Nivi drape is a simple form of wearing a sari without much hassle. Pre stitched saris are on sale now and these are extremely easy to wear and form the ideal choice for those unaccustomed to wearing saris.
The Sari is recognized as a formal attire for women in India. Many schools in India insist on sari as the dress code for teachers. Married women in India are expected to wear the sari. However these are traditions that are soon disappearing. Another Indian attire, the salwar kameez is now popularly accepted as a formal attire for working women and given the ease in wearing one, most women seem to prefer salwar suits over the sari.
Western wear and Indo western wear have also captured the market sufficiently, affecting the sari. In spite of this, the sari continues to remain the authentic Indian attire for women. Several new styles in sari blouses, sari patterns, embroidery and fabrics have managed to secure enough patrons to keep the sari the best known Indian womens attire.