Wrapping a traditional Indian saree can seem like a very daunting and confusing prospect, particularly if you are doing it on your own having never done it before!
An important thing to remember when buying a Saree online is that you don’t need to worry about the size as most Sarees come at a set length of 5.5 metres (some styles come at 8 metres long) which is always plenty and if it feels like there is too much fabric then you can wrap it around a bit further to make it fit nicely!
Learning how to put a Saree on isn’t too complicated, simply follow through our instructions or watch the Saree instructional video below and it shouldn’t take you anymore than 12 minutes, hopefully less if you have someone to help!
Before starting ensure that you have all of the following:
• A saree shirt
• An underskirt
• The saree
• Pins to hold parts of the saree in place
Step 1: Fit the Saree Underskirt
Ensure your Saree shirt fits well with the pullover closing just beneath your bust. Put on an underskirt with the shirt. The underskirt should be tied firmly with a drawstring or it may causes the Saree to crease.
Step 2: Tuck the Saree into the Underskirt
Make a bunch on the top corner of the plain end of the saree and tuck the bunch into the left half of the underskirt. Ensure the weaving of the saree is facing outwards. The lower end of the saree ought to be just above the floor by a few inches.
Step 3: Tuck the Saree into the Waistband
Tuck the fabric around the midriff into the waistband. Ensure that the saree is at a length which just about shows your toes.
Step 4: Crease the Saree
Make around 5 to 7 creases of equivalent width of 5 inches, beginning at the tucked-in end. Gather the creases together, ensure that the lower edge of the creases is even and off the ground and that the creases fall straight and uniformly. A pin should be used to prevent the creases from opening up.
Step 5: Secure the Sarees Creases
Tuck the creases into the midsection, to one side of the navel, in such a way, to the point that they open to one side. Wrap the rest of the texture around yourself left to right, and bring it around your hips to the front, holding the top edge of the saree.
Step 6: Bring the Pallu over your Shoulder
Place the rest of the Saree on your back, bringing it up under the right arm and over the left shoulder so that the end of the Saree tumbles to about the level of your knees. The part which hangs from the front of the left shoulder is known as the Pallav or the Pallu, and can be kept from slipping off by attaching it at the shoulder to the shirt with a pin.
Well done – you’re now all dressed and ready to go!
Alternative Saree Styles:
Different parts of India often have their own distinct styles of wearing a Saree:
The Gujarati style: This style of Saree is also knows as the Seedha Pallu style. It is a common style in areas such as Utter Pradesh, Rajasthan and other areas. Instead of having the saree open on one side the Pallu is taken over the shoulders from the back. Then is is spead over the stomach area and the left end of the Saree is tucked into the back.
The Maharashtra style: Maharashtran Sarees are much longer than the usual 5.5 metres sarees, with 8 metres of fabric that means that is a whole lot more wrapping to do! The Saree is drawn up between the legs and tucked in at the waist, the other end of the Saree is hung over the chest as a Pallu.
The Tamilian Style: This Saree also measures 8 metres long! After it has been wrapped around the waist the opening is left at the left leg and the rest of the Saree is wrapped over the shoulder and around the waist before being tucked in at the left of the waistline.
The Bengali style: This Saree is worn without pleats. It is the usual 5.5 metres in length and is wrapped around the waist before being took back to the right side of the body with the Pallu over the left shoulder. The Pallu is then tucked under the right arm and hung over the shoulder.