Before beginning with the science behind a saree, let’s start with the basics. A “SAREE” is a traditional yet extremely popular outfit for Indian women whose legacy comes from ancient times. However, one will recognize it as a glamorous party dress whose length usually ranges between 5 to 9 yards. Whatever its original intention may be, Indian sarees remain one of the few garments of the Indian culture that all classes of society wear equally. In fact, you can drape a saree in numerous ways, in many fabrics and in many designs.
What is the science behind a saree?
A saree is more of an outfit for events & functions than for day-to-day wear. However, research by a UAE-based Indian researcher shows that this particular Indian traditional attire comes with optional insulation.
Also Read: Spiritual Importance of Wearing a Saree
Parallels between a saree and a thermos flask!
Like a thermos flask, a saree can insulate its wearer’s body temperature depending on the surrounding weather. Being warm-blooded beings, we can survive in a very narrow band of varying temperatures.
Being near the equator, India has unique climates that vary all year long. With both Himalayan and desert-like conditions, the temperature at which people experience thermal comfort varies across India.
The science behind a saree lies in its pallu!
(Source: Grist Media)
Depending on the style in which you drape a pallu, wearing a saree can insulate your body temperature in a variety of ways. For example, in the study by Madhavi Indraganti, it was found that if you just cover your arms completely with the pallu, you will experience an increase in body insulation by 47%! Whereas, if a person puts her pallu up on her shoulders, then the body insulation comes down. This helps in cooling down the body very much like how any western loose garment would. A cloth that can change the body temperature like this is a very dynamic attire.
How does the science of insulation in a saree work?
Firstly, let’s take the shape of the saree into question. The saree is conical in shape and when a person ties tight pleats around their waist, the saree flares into a larger circle near the feet. The swishing of the feet triggers motion in the saree’s pleats that enables the air currents to move up and down the legs, thereby, cooling down the lower half of the body.
We all know that when wearing a saree, the midriff is left exposed. This actually helps keep the skin cooler. For those engaged in physically intense activities, they can further insulate their bodies by lifting their hemlines and pleats and tucking them into their waistbands. This helps insulate the body by another 40%.
Sarees are a prime example that we have a lot to learn from the traditional style of clothing. Just because something owes its origin to ancient times doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective in modern times as well!
From cowboy hats of the ancient Americans to headdresses of the Arab men, these styles protect the humans from harmful solar radiation and keep the head cool during massive heat periods. This also proves that traditional clothes can pull off many tricks without much technology.
Love wearing a saree?
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