Sarees have been a part of our Indian culture for years and years. It is a sophisticated clothing piece that can be worn for any event. It is also something that is jam-packed with memories. The one particular saree that you have worn and loved, must have been passed down for generations, by the women in your family. Or a saree that you have brought and worn through a celebratory moment. Sarees cannot be separated from the Indian culture, each state of India has its own way of draping sarees and styling these 6 yards of beauty. So here we are teaching you everything you need to know about sarees!
Before we begin, why not test your saree knowledge with this quiz. Test how well you can match the sarees with their respective state here.
The Nauvari saree is about 8 to 9 meters long and this style closely resembles a dhoti. This saree doesn’t require an underskirt (petticoat) and was worn by warrior women as they had to ride horses and fight with spears.
10 Easy Steps To Drape A Saree
Everyone has had to drape a saree at least once in their lifetime. Be it for graduations, farewell, teachers day or fancy dress competitions. And at that time we had our mom’s twisting us around trying to tie the saree, while we struggled to stand straight. But you are all grown up and it’s time you master this skill. Watch the video to learn 5 different ways to drape a saree. Also, here is a quick lesson on how to drape a saree.
1. Wear your saree blouse and petticoat. If you are wearing heels, wear that as well.
2. Make a knot on the top corner of the plain end of the saree and tuck the knot into the left side of the petticoat.
3. Make a complete turn from the right to the left. The lower end of the saree should be slightly above the floor.
4. Tuck in the fabric around the waist into the petticoat neatly. Ensure that only your toes are seen.
5. With the extra fabric hanging from the tucked area, start creating pleats. Make about 6 to 8 pleats.
6. Tuck the pleats into the petticoat while making sure the pleated sides fall right below your navel.
7. Hold the pleats of fabric up and adjust them until they are even and straight.
8. Now take the leftover part of the saree and make another complete round from right to left.
9. Get hold of the decorative end of the saree (pallu) and pleat the top edges of the pallu.
10. Adjust the pleats until they are even and drop the pleated pallu over your left shoulder.
- As a beginner, make sure to secure your saree with safety pins. Carry extra pins just in case.
- Always wear your heels before draping the saree. This ensures the correct length of your saree.
- Buy saree pins for extra assurance.
Draping a saree nice and tight is essential, especially during the wedding season. You need your saree to stay strong while you amaze everyone on the dance floor. Here are a few moves you can dance to, after wearing your saree.
How To Take Care Of Your Saree
Be it silk, cotton, georgette, chiffon or tissue, draping a saree brings out the feminine side in you. But taking care of your precious sarees, organising them neatly and maintaining them can be tough. Here are a few ways you can care for your saree.
1. Cotton Saree
- Before washing a cotton saree for the first time, soak it for 10-15 minutes in a bucket of warm water mixed with rock salt
- Wash the saree separately as dark colours tend to bleed
- Use a mild detergent and avoid wringing it vigorously
- Dry your saree in the shade to avoid discolouration
- Starch it after every wash to retain the shine and colour
- Store the saree in an airy cupboard that is devoid of humidity and direct sunlight
2. Silk Saree
- Silk sarees are supposed to be sent for dry cleaning only
- Refold these sarees from time to time to avoid fading on the creases
- Do not store them with sarees of other materials. Store them separately
- Try to keep them wrinkle-free
- Always iron on medium heat and do not spray water while ironing as it might leave a stain
- Store them folded and wrapped in a pure cotton or muslin cloth as this will allow the saree to breathe
- Never hang a silk saree to dry in direct sunlight as that can cause the colour to fade
3. Chiffon & Georgette Saree
- Chiffon and georgette sarees need to be hand-washed gently
- Wash them with cold water and a mild detergent
- Avoid hanging them for a long time as they might lose their shape
- Do not squeeze or wrap tightly
- Refold these sarees from time to time to avoid ripping on creases
4. Tissue & Organza Saree
- These are dry clean only clothing pieces
- It is best to keep these sarees folded and not hang them
- Store them by wrapping them in a muslin cloth
- Refold these sarees from time to time to avoid ripping on creases
5. Net Saree
- Dry cleaning is the most suitable option to wash net sarees
- Air them out before storing them
- Make sure to use a soft cloth storage box or use a saree bag
- Avoid using safety pins for net sarees as then can cause rips and tears
For a better and more detailed guide on taking care of sarees, click here.
How To Rework Your Old Saree
If you are wondering why reuse old sarees when you can buy new clothes, saving time and energy? It is because there is a lot you can create using your old sarees, which is not possible when shopping for new clothes. It is eco friendly and pocket friendly. Stitching your clothes allows you to create something that is comfortable and is size-inclusive. Here are a few ways on how to rework your old saree.
1. Desi Pant Suit Combo
What says ‘Boss Woman’ more than a power suit? A desi power suit! Ditch everything boring and strut in a power suit made from your old sarees! Add a little extra oomph to your outfit by styling it with a statement neckpiece and a bold lip.
2. Kimono Jacket
Imitate those beautiful Japanese kimonos but this time, make it desi! Use the pretty printed sarees locked away in your closet to create a flowy kimono jacket. A perfect addition to your closet to wear over your western outfits.
An outfit perfect for thumkas at every shaadi. A lehenga is a 2 or 3 piece outfit made with a floor-length skirt, blouse or crop top and a dupatta or a jacket. With a soft and flowy chiffon saree or a heavy banarasi one, you could create the perfect lehenga. Use the decorated pallu for the blouse. You can spice it up by adding borders and sequins to the skirt.
Found that beautiful brocade saree and stuck with thinking about how you can reuse it? Create a beautiful brocade straight kurta for those office parties or haldi ceremonies. With the gold or silver zari work, fine silk embroidery, stand out from the crowd wearing a DIY kurta.
5. Accessories and Decor
You can also make quick and easy decor items with the leftover fabric of your saree. Here are a few things you can do.
- Starting with curtains and pillow covers. A simple and quick DIY that doesn’t need a lot of stitching expertise and effort.
- Scrunchies, hair ties or hand bands can be made from the leftover scraps of all your other DIYs.
- Scarf tops, not necessarily made of scarves but with the leftover square piece of your saree. This DIY tie-top is just a knot away from a new top in your closet. For smaller squares pieces, use it as a headscarf!
- Patchwork Quilts are one of the most cherished and heirloom items. Use all the frayed and moth-eaten cotton sarees or even leftover pieces of reused sarees and create a quilt. These feel like a nice warm hug!
We are sure your brain is already running and deciding which idea to pick. But if you need more ideas on how to reuse your old saree, click here.
How To Style Your Saree
Always slay your saree with the perfect but comfortable footwear. If heels are a no-go, opt for wedges or kolhapuris. To be on the safer side, purchase blacks or browns, they match with every colour!
Accessorizing your outfit is a must. Keep it simple with a pair of chandbalis and a timeless watch for a classy look. Check out beautiful chandbalis that will match every outfit, here. For a more extravagant look, add bangles, neckpiece and bold lipstick. Check out this saree-accessories guide here.
We cannot lie that sarees are a little tedious to handle. You are nervous with the pallu or pleats as it could unravel. This is why you must not carry a big, baggy bag. Opt for a small clutch, potli or even a fanny pack that fits all your essentials.
There is a hairstyle for every hair length. Try styling your hair in a classic updo or even a timeless braid! Here are a few braid hairstyles you can try. Dance your way through the night, without your hair causing a bad scene!
Tying your outfit and accessories together is your makeup, and with the long night of dance, music and yummy food, you need to have sweat-proof makeup. Learn how to sweatproof your makeup here. Keep a light makeup look to avoid patchy and sweaty looks, and always keep a blotting paper in hand.
5 Online Saree Stores That You Need To Check Out
Finding the perfect saree is not easy. And with online saree stores, it gets more difficult to check the fabric, colour and look. Here are a few online stores that deliver beautiful sarees as per their word. If this list doesn’t have the saree of your dreams, check out another saree heaven here.
With the love for the loom, sisters turned entrepreneurs started Suta, a desi handwoven saree brand for women who love their sarees. Suta combines India’s centuries-old weaving traditions with contemporary style- so that what looks good, feels good. Suta makes a range of sarees with different patterns, colours, and fabric.
Price: Rs 2,000 onwards
Bringing traditional and contemporary together, all the latest trends in fashion are found under one roof. Bunaai brings pretty organza sarees and frill sarees that can be paired with one of their many earrings and bracelets.
Price: Rs 4,000 onwards
3. The Indian Ethnic Co
Offering the best everyday cotton sarees, abstract prints and mellow earthy colours, The Indian Ethnic Co is a saree heaven. An initiative that began by a mother-daughter duo and aims to bring their customers timeless handmade outfits.
Price: Rs 1,999 onwards
Check out this video to see how gorgeous their sarees are!
4. AKS Clothing
Sarees with fun prints and designs are what you’ll find at AKS clothing. Choose from a selection of fabrics, designs ranging from geometric to animal prints and floral, and colours from dark maroons to pastels! AKS clothing is surely a saree destination you need to stop.
Price: Rs 2,999 onwards
For all your grand occasions, feel like a queen when draped in Colorsootra sarees. They are made by the finest craftsmen and fabrics, offering the best for the best! Select from a wide range of Banarasi, Maheshwari, silk and Chanderi saree.
Price: Rs 4,000 onwards
Sarees are a statement clothing item that is super versatile and comfortable if you know how to make the best of it. With the given guide on saree care, styling, revamping and saree destinations, we are sure that your saree outfit will be a 10/10!