Perhaps one of the states of India that not only creates the best in sarees but the love for traditional wear has always existed. Tamil Nadu and its women are extremely close to their saree wearing culture and this closeness is evident when one travels through the state. What is even more interesting is that like other parts of India, not only the draping style varies as per region, but would also change as per married status, caste and profession. So some parts of the state have a Brahmin drape, that is quite similar across the entire region. But women , which ever walk in life , still continue favoring sarees as major art of their clothing option, not just in the heart of Tamilnadu but more so in the rural parts of the state.
What is worth noting is also that the Tamil style is most suited to the hot and humid conditions of the state, the natural textiles they produce and the kind of work women often are traditionally supposed to perform, supports the kidn of draping styles they have.
Here’s looking at some of the most well known styles and a step by step guide for you to follow.
As the name makes it evident, this was the style that was preferred by Brahmin women who adopted this to show their status in society that was caste ridden.
This style of saree wearing was and is preferred by the Iyengar women.
Tamil women call the saree length as the pudavai and the madisar pudavai has to be draped like a trouser and thus not require one to wear a petticoat. So the best thing for your comfort would be of course to wear your choli or blouse and some short tight leggings that reach above your knees and prepare yourself for the step by step process.
Remember that the Madisar pudavai has to be worn in trouser style and thus the six yard length will not be adequate for it and it is better that one gets a nine yard saree for this.
Taking one end of the saree make at least 7-9 pleats that are of medium width. Take it to the left side of your waist and hold it firmly at the waist height. You could make up to ten least if the lady is slimmer.
Now holding the pleats firmly , take the other side of the saree and bring it to the same side where you are holding the pleats but now from the right side. So while you have taken the pleats that you made from the left side, you will bring the other end of the saree from the right to meet the pleats at the left side of the waist.
Now take this side of the longer end of the saree and run it over the pleats so that it overlaps them and comes to the front of the saree. Now you are ready with one end of the saree in your hand and will have to tie a knot over here. Be sure to tie a tight knot here as this is very important. The knot should be right in front of the waist and this will prevent your pleats that are on the left from loosening.
Here comes a change in the angle of the saree-this is where you have to take the saree width-wise and tuck it along the front of the waist loosely. At the end of the tucking it should seem like the front is adequately covered with the width and the rest of the saree length is still there.
Now take the rest of the saree length and pass it between the legs so that it emerges on the back. Now tuck the saree by gathering the width in neat ruffles. But after tucking in take some more of the saree and tuck it at the same place where you have made those pleats at the back so as to cover the spot with a swathe of saree. This gives the back an elegant look.
Now you will once again gather the rest of the length and take the saree from the left side and bring it to the front, all the while making sure that the front is half covered-or at least till the knees with the width of the saree. Keep tucking in and carry the sari once gain around the body emerging at the left side.
And then drape the saree pallu like you would pleat up any other saree and take it over the right side . Bring the rest of the pallu to the front again and tuck at the waist with the pallu design showing boldly right in front.
The next style is the pinkosu style that is also often called as the Chettinad style of Saree draping
The beauty of this drape is not just the simplicity but the fact that since it takes the pleats to the back it gives the appearance of a flatter stomach and also gives the hips that extra curvaceous look that is most appealing .
Here is the step by step guide:
Pinkosu means pleats at the back, so what has to be done is to take one end of the saree that is on the opposite end of the pallu side, and make at least 5-6 pleats with it and then take it to the right side of the waist and hold it there.
Next would be to take the rest of the length of the saree and carry it across the front of the body and drape it neatly and come back to the same position where the pleats are, approaching it from the back, carry it over the pleats, overlapping it and go again across the front and bring it back to the front right in the middle.
This is where you tie the all important knot that keep the pleats and the rest of the saree in place.
So at the place of the knot you will have two layers of cloth and all you need to do is to take the one at the back and make it form a flap over the upper layer. This fold of cloth should be made to fold over in such manner that it forms a graceful folds over the hip on the right side, from the navel arching to the lower part of the hip.
You could at this point once the saree is more secure, take the pleats and arrange them neatly so that the upper edge of the pleats folds over the edge of the second layer and forms some kind of a drape over the back.
The next step of course is the forming of the pallu which can be taken across the left shoulder, made to travel across the back and get tucked over the front once again. The saree will be flatter at the back and front with the pleats fanning out on the side while the back gets the second layer of cloth from the leftover pallu that goes over it to get tucked in the front.
Remember one more point that the pinkosu drape can be worn with two separate pieces of cloth too- one that forms the basic pleats back to front and another that goes round as a half saree.
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