The most ethereal piece of clothing- the sari is a traditional garment originated from the Indian subcontinent,  but has transcended across the globe and now showcases itself as a versatile style statement adorned by members across the gender and age spectrum. 

Sari may be a mainstream traditional dress, but it is not as simple as millions of Indian women project it to be.Here are five facts about the beautiful outfit that tells you more than you know about the illustrious garment!

There Are About 100 Ways To Go About Draping

Yes, you read it right- there are over 100 different ways of tying wear a sari. Such a huge number of variations occurs due to differences in geography and cultures among and within countries. Take India as an example; there are many cultures within the country which have influenced the manner in which saris are worn. Starting from the regular Nivi fashion of draping, or the culturally awe-striking Bengali or Gujarati draping- always remember that there is no single way of going about it, innovation is key!

 The Garment is Older Than You Expected

Often considered as the oldest garment to stand the test of time, many suggest that saris are as old as 5000 years old. The first documented archive wearing a sari dates as far as 100 BC. There are many statutes from the 2nd century which depict saris and that too in a range of styles. The garment has also found itself to be often mentioned in highly acclaimed Tamil epics such as Kadambari and Silapathikaram.

There were no petticoat and blouse once

Way back in time, there was no concept of a blouse and petticoats when it came to wearing a sari. In fact, women used to drape sari around themselves without them, with no pins to help support the draping. It was only during the Colonial times, during the entry of the British that blouses and petticoats became popular. In the Victorian era, exposing one’s chest was considered immoral, and this notion of what is and is not moral was imposed on colonies- India being one of them.

Each Colour Has A Meaning

The colour of a sari was traditionally of prime importance back in the past and is still considered largely in certain situations with the same rigour.

For example, a white sari is worn by a Hindu widow and represents the state of mourning. Red is worn during marriages and is also associated with fertility. Yellow saris are worn for engaging in ascetic practices as well as during the period following childbirth. However, modernity has been a factor of importance for the younger patrons of the garments- giving way for such concepts to be only followed when necessary.

Beauty in The Motifs

The patterns used in Saris are traditionally important because each pattern represents something. In many saris, for example, you will find elephant motifs which are representative of water and royalty. On the other side, patterns including parrots represent passion.  You will also find fish patterns on saris which represent resourcefulness and fertility. It is to be noted that in these changing times the designs are changing as well. There has been an increase in the production of floral motifs on saris, along with an increasing inclusion of contemporary designs as well.

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