The Maharashtrian saree drape often called as the Nauvari saree drape, and is one of the most loved amongst the regional drapes having been showcased not just in popular cinema but also has made a splash on the fashion runway as well. This drape comes with a certain amount of playfulness that is very different from any other styles of wearing a saree. It highlights the curvaceous figure, gives one room to walk fast, and allows one to sit with ease on the floor or take on any amount of work with ease. It is believed that during the great famine, the women of the state took to working in the fields alongside their husbands and the squatting required them to take the saree in between the legs to tuck it at the back, hence this style.
The steps once understood with clarity, gives you the advantage over wearing sarees only the typical modern way. Rather go for this drape for an occasion and rake in those compliments.
Do remember that the Nauvari saree can be worn without a petticoat and so it’s better if you wear leggings that come up to the upper portions of your knee and not below that. Wear a blouse made of the typical Khun fabric that one gets in Belgaum –woven and very thick that makes any Maharashtrian saree come alive with more panache.
Also-the essential length of the saree is 9-yards and not the usual urban length of 5 and a half meters that we wear. In fact, the nauvari saree is famed for its whole nine yards of length and is especially woven being much in demand not just in Pune and Mumbai, but all across the globe where the saree’s demand has not diminished amongst many expat Indians.
Choose a saree that is dark green plain maroon or purple with a golden thin zari border – and with a pallu that has broad stripes. This being the simpler kind of saree it is alright to choose plain deep colors, but in case you wish to wear it for a wedding or a very special occasion ,choose a Paithani saree that glows every inch of its length, as it inherently is brightly colored with the most amazing of the peacock and the famous chandelier motifs.
Bring the saree around your back with one-meter length on the left side in your hand while the rest of the length lies on the right-hand side. Hold the two edges of the fabric from the border and tie a knot to tightly secure it at the waist. At the end of step 1, you should have one meter or more of saree on the left and the rest of the length on the right of you.
Now gather the entire length of the saree by holding it from the pallu side. Take the gathered pallu round the back and bring it to the front again and over the left shoulder as you would in any conventional saree. At the end of step 2, your pallu should be on the left shoulder and the rest of the length should be loose around you waiting for the next step to happen!
Now we begin the pleating-here we hold the saree on the right-hand side top-the place where it has been knotted at the waist, and begin making the typical 4-inch pleats. When we have gathered the entire length of the loose fabric into pleats we will have at least 8 to 9 pleats if not more. This will now have to be tucked into the center-at the navel. Flatten the pleats a little to ensure that you don’t have too much of a tummy bulge.
Now comes the easy tuck-take the center of the numerous pleats holding it at the border and carry it gingerly between the legs and then tuck it at the back. Note that there will be a double borderline at the back as the entire saree pleat has been tucked at the back.
Now that we have the pleating and tucking done with-here comes the time to make the pallu sit a little more elegantly and also help it cover the back in a proper way. The pallu had already been taken from the back and is already on the left shoulder, so the fabric has already, therefore, covered the portion at the back where the pleats have been tucked in. All you have to do is make the drape come across more neatly over the back and hip and then over the shoulder to come around the waist and could be tucked in at the waist on the left.
Here is another style of wearing the Nauvari:
Take the saree the same as previous step one except that the pleats are to be formed only by the one-meter or so of the saree on the left side and then taken to the back and tucked behind.
With the rest of the saree-at least, five to six pleats are made and then tucked in the front only.
The rest of the saree after front pleats are made and tucked in, will have to be taken around the back emerging at the front and draped like a typical pallu on the left.
The drape that you see below is the typical simple Maharashtrian style that has been draped as per the instructions given in style 2.
In this variation of draping the Maharashtrian green saree, the major portion of the front pleats has been lifted from the front along the border and tucked on the left side so as to make the drape look more interesting and different. The huge numbers of pleats that are made are simply picked up and given to drape in a perpendicular manner so as to make the pleats fall more like a cascade and also show the border a little more.
Essential to wearing the Maharashtrian saree are the green bangles and the crescent shaped moon bindi that can be made with wet bindi colors- or the stick-on ones too are available. Then other, of course, is the ‘nath’ that is of a typical shape and made of pearls. These three ensure the look to be accurate.
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