Origin of the Indian Traditional Saree
The Saree has travelled quite a bit around the world of fashion today, but few know the surprising truth about its history.
The origins of the saree can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization.
Thousands of years ago the worshippers of five elements lived in a lush valley that is surrounded by five rivers. In other words, it was the earliest Indus valley civilization, as mentioned in the Vedas.
These Vedas were passed down from generation to generation orally, the sculptures with no text. Now we can say that the primogenitors were responsible for the existence of the Indian sarees during 2800–1800 BC in North-West India. Let’s discover how Indian sarees came into existence.
The Beginning of the Saree
The journey of the saree begins around the 5th Millennium BC. Sarees were first mentioned in the Rig Veda, which is a Hindu book of hymns dating to 3000 B.C.
The earliest fabric that was used for making the saree was cotton which was first cultivated in the Indian subcontinent. After that cotton-weaving became big in that era because weavers started using dyes like Indigo, red madder and turmeric to make the drapes that are used by the women.
In Tamil ancient poetry such as Silappadhikaram and the Kadambari by the Banabhatta, the women are described to be in an exquisite drape of saree. In the ancient Indian tradition, the navel of a human being is considered as a source of life and creativity — the reason why the midriff is to be left bare while wearing the saree.
How the Name of the Saree Came About
The word saree or sari has its origin in the ancient Prakrti language that means a strip of cloth. According to the Vedic sculpture, the men and the women are required to wear a single or unstitched cloth. Therefore, according to the gender, they were either loincloths or saree.
Sarees are also mentioned in the Buddhist sculptures under the name Sattika. After that, the name transformed to Sati and then eventually came to be known as saree or sari.
Evolution of Saree — Styling and Draping
With the advent of foreigners, the rich Indian women started asking artisans to use expensive stones, golden threads to make the sarees stand out. But the saree did remain unbiased, each strata adapted the saree in their way that was the beauty of the garment.
Alongwith the advent of industrialization, the British brought synthetic dyes India. After that local traders started importing the chemical dyes from the other countries and with this many techniques are explored for dyeing and printing the sarees. The Indian sarees got the variety after this.
As the textiles developed in India, they started reflecting on the sarees as well this started including figures and flowers motif on the sarees. The saree became the first Indian International garment and the symbol of Indian femininity.
In the 21st century, every region in India has their unique style of saree. Indian women are known in the world for their femininity, grace and captivating persona. In a country where people worship a lady like a goddess, a traditional saree goes on to be a perfect dress for Indian women.
The saree involves a three-piece garment known as antariya lower garment, uttariya veil worn over shoulder or head and stanapatta, a chest band which was mentioned in Sanskrit literature during the sixth century BC. The complete look of a saree is mainly known as a Poshak, a generic term for the costume.
Different Draping Styles of Saree in India
Today, with varying lengths from 6–9 yards, the saree adds sensuality, grace and style to every woman who wears this. It forms a perfect bridge between ethnicity and modern styles. Where it’s the humble cotton silk saree, or cotton-silk blend saree, or the elegant linen saree and much grander and ethnic.
Over the 4500 plus years, sarees have constantly evolved so much, so that today 18 distinct draping styles are found in India.
1. Nivi — Andhra Pradesh
2. Kappulu — Andhra Pradesh
3. Mekhela Chador — Assam
4. Surguja — Chhattisgarh
5. Kunbi — Goa
6. Seedha Pallu — Gujarat, Odisha & Uttar Pradesh
7. Santhal — Jharkhand
8. Bootheyara — Karnataka
9. Coorg — Karnataka
10. Halakki Vokkaliga — Karnataka
11. Kasavu (set Mundu) — Kerala
12. Nauvari — Maharashtra
13. Phanek — Manipur
14. Innaphi — Manipur
15. Gol Sarees — Parsi Style
16. Pinkosu — Madurai (Tamilnadu)
17. Panchagajam (Madisaru) — Brahmin Style from Tamilnadu
18. Athpourey — West Bengal
How many of these styles have you personally known?
Sarees have to be the most non-judgment garment ever worn. They don’t care about the size, shape or colour of the wearer. They are fluid, one size fits all and most importantly a prized inheritance in every woman’s life.
As a brand that is driven solely by the tastes of our customers, Farico brings the best sarees to you from around the country, in different kinds of fabrics, be it soft silk, cotton silk, tissue cotton or Bangalore silk.