Trace The Fascinating History Of Sarees

history of saree

The saree is a versatile and iconic garment that has been worn by women in India for centuries. It is known for its elegant draping, intricate patterns, and beautiful colors. But while the saree is an integral part of Indian culture today, it wasn’t always so ubiquitous. Let’s take a look at the fascinating history of the saree - a timeless garment!

The Earliest Origins of the Saree

The earliest known depiction of a saree is found in the Indus Valley Civilization, where a statue of a woman wearing a drape over her body was discovered. This drape, called a saree, was made of cotton and was worn by women as a practical and comfortable garment. 

During this time period, women would typically wear two pieces of clothing - a wrap-around skirt called an “antariya” and a long top called a “uttariya” - which they would then drape together and secure with a belt or sash. This two-piece ensemble eventually evolved into what we now recognize as the modern-day saree.

The Development of Regional Styles

As time went on, different regions began developing their own distinct styles of sarees. Each region has its own unique style of saree, with distinct colors, fabrics, and designs that are reflective of the local traditions and customs. 

For example, the pure Kanjivaram silk sarees from Tamil Nadu are known for their rich silk fabric, intricate borders, and bold colors, while the Chanderi sarees from Madhya Pradesh are known for their light and airy texture, delicate designs, and pastel hues. 

Similarly, the Bandhani sarees from Gujarat are known for their tie-dye technique, while the Banarasi silk sarees from Varanasi are known for their intricate designs, luxurious fabric, and elegant appearance, making them a popular choice for special occasions like weddings and festivals. The development of regional saree styles is a testament to the diverse cultural heritage of India and is a reflection of the unique beauty and artistry of each region. 

The Impact Of British Rule On Saree Design

When British colonists arrived in India during the 19th century, they brought with them their own ideas about fashion which had a profound influence on the history of saree. Women began wearing lighter fabrics instead of heavier silks and hence garments such as Ikat cotton sarees became increasingly popular due to their sheerness and airiness. 

Furthermore, British tailors introduced new designs that incorporated pleats around the waistline which helped improve comfort levels when sitting down or riding horses - another concession to Western fashion sensibilities!

Today, sarees remain one of the most popular garments across India thanks to their enduring elegance and versatility. From ancient times to modern-day trends, every region has added its own unique touches to make this timeless garment even more special! 

Whether you are looking for chic urban style or something more traditional, like a silk saree for special occasions or festivals, there is sure to be something out there for everyone who loves wearing sarees! For those who are new to wearing this classic garment – don't be afraid! With some practice, you too can soon enjoy all the beauty that comes with wearing a stunningly draped saree!