Sarees have been dominating ethnic wear for hundreds of years now. However, the art of draping a perfect saree is an art, in and of itself. It may seem easy, but in reality, there is a touch of finesse and a whole lot of art involved when it comes to draping it. Wearing a saree is a long-standing custom that has been handed down from generation to generation and is worn in different styles in different states of India - each telling a tale of the rich heritage from which it came.
So if you're a newbie to the idea of draping a saree and are concerned, don't worry because we are going to break the process into simple steps and make it really easy for you. Get your saree ready and follow these simple steps to drape it effortlessly.
Here are a few things to have on hand before you begin:
Safety Pins: To prevent the saree from slipping, you'll need a few different sizes of safety pins. Always use the proper size safety pin when pleating on the pallu or in the front of your tummy - a safety pin will help to keep it in place.
Saree Pin(s): This is a little different from the classic safety pin in that it's usually inserted into the front pleats to settle them and also serves as an adornment, comes in a variety of designs and hues. Though optional, if you have a saree pin, consider using it.
Pallu Style Planning: The pallu, being a large piece of cloth, may be quite difficult to carry for those who are not used to wearing sarees. When you're a professional, there are several pallu designs to try, but for now, let's stick to the most basic pleated pallu style. It is also a great idea to leave a free pallu (not pleating it) because it saves time when you drape the saree on your own.
Pro tip: Pin your pallu to the back of your shoulder and at the hip for a beautiful front look without snagging the saree when you move around.
Matching Underskirt & Blouse: Underskirt is important and needs to be of the right size, wearing it loose can cause the saree to sag when you walk around. These days there are fitted underskirts available that not only give you a nice shape but can hold the saree in a perfect shape for as long as you are wearing it. So put on the matching blouse and skirt and get ready to drape the saree.
Footwear: Yes, before you drape your saree, you must put on your footwear so that the saree can be kept at the appropriate length. Most women prefer to wear high heels, therefore depending on the height of your heels, you'll need to keep the saree length so have them ready in advance.
Follow these simple steps to drape your perfect saree
Step 1: With your left hand, hold the inner end of your sari. leave the rest of the saree on the floor and look up straight in the mirror.
Step 2: Now, ensuring the other end touches the floor tuck the end you are holding nicely in the underskirt starting from the belly button.
Step 3: Keep tucking all around your waist until you reach back to where you started i.e. your belly button Now recheck the length and sure it is equal and not too high or low.
Step 4: Now repeat to make another round tucking in evenly while you move slowly in a circle - keeping the length in mind, has to even.
Step 5: Now Stand straight in front of the mirror again and decide the length of the pallu by roughly placing the other end of the saree on your shoulder and adjusting its length. It should be at least 90 cm in length from the shoulder to the end.
Step 6: Once the length of the pallu has been concluded, take the remaining middle of the saree that was left after you draped two rounds on your waist and start pleating it. Pleating is the most difficult part, use your thumb and pinky finger and start wrapping the pleats around them alternatively. With each of them according to the span of your palm make around 4-5 of them and to put a measurement, around 5 inches should be the ideal size. The trick here is that 5-6 pleats spanning from your thumb to index will help give you a comfortable drape while the shorter pleats will enhance and give you a full and gathered look. So make sure that you experiment with these and choose wisely.
Step 7: Hold the pleats together once completed and adjust them such that the bottom edge is at the floor level. Tuck them into the underskirt facing left. It is best to tuck it a little to the left at the belly button and adjust them to remain straight. Secure the pleats with a safety pin if you are going to leave a thin and pleated pallu, use a fancy saree pin, otherwise, don't worry use a classic safety pin and it will be barely visible under the pallu
Step 8: Now we come to the last and most interesting part of the saree draping process - Adjusting the pallu. Pallu generally falls slant and over your midriff and bust. It continues to fall long over your shoulder and is left free behind. Adjust the pallu by sliding your hand all through its length and pressing its pleats along the way. Ensure it is properly hugging your curves and is secure with a safety pin wherever needed.
The way sarees are draped varies considerably from region to region throughout India. As a result, it's fascinating to experiment with all of the draping styles that India has to offer. Trying out distinct saree draping techniques with a twist will give you more flexibility in your appearance than you've ever had before.If you understand the fundamental saree draping procedure as outlined above, you'll be able to execute any draping technique since all of them require tucking, pleating, and adjusting the pallu - just different ways.
Few other things you should know when draping the saree on your own
The Fabric: If you play around with different fabric kinds, the above method of saree draping might appear to be somewhat different. A cotton and linen saree is less flexible and needs more effort to settle than a silk and chiffon saree.
Pallu & Pleats: Some sarees already have the pallu length defined, in that case simply use the given length, and then the remaining fabric can be pleated. Pleats are a fantastic design concept; the same sari may be worn by any body type by altering the pleats.
Embroidery & Work on The Saree: A lot of embroidered sarees will come with a pre-defined pallu, pleats, and a boring part that must be tucked in. While the steps above are suitable for any type of saree, feel free to adapt them to your own preferences.