Saree is one of the oldest forms of clothing in the world. The brief history of the 6-yard wonder actually started out as a simple piece of unstitched cloth used by women thousands of years ago. Originating from an ancient Hindu belief that says that the cloth becomes impure when you stich it and so one must always wear it in its purest form.
That’s why in ancient times, the men used to wear the dhoti and the women used to wear a saree. The origin of a saree can be traced all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation (circa 2800–1800 BC).
The Traditional Usage Of A Saree:
Originally, women traditionally wore regionally crafted sarees made of cotton, silk, block-print, embroidery and much more. Owing to the unique climate of the equatorial region of India, the sarees enable proper insulation of body temperature. This was mainly based on whether the women used the ‘pallu’ of their saree or not.
Recommended Blog: The Science Behind The Saree: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RUhpC8ETgC8jLD5bjaRlc1INs59r0iqEKNGyXVtWgX4/edit?usp=sharing
Evolution of the 6-Yard Wonder
As the foreign populace started streaming into India, the upper-class Indian women began to use embedded stones and threads of gold on their sarees. The aim was to make the women stand out to the visitors from the rest of the naive populace. This intention consequently led to the usage of intricate figures, motifs and flowers onto the saree’s plain fabric.
Saree, in the 21st century, has become the symbol of Indian femininity. It’s not just a cloth to cover the body anymore; over the centuries, it has evolved into a sumptuous, chic all-time-wear for women. A saree is now a ‘blank canvas’ of designers and the weavers on which they let their creativity fly!
The Saree and its Royal Roots
If there ever was a rich country with an abundance of jewels and natural resources, then it was India. The Indian nobility, usually the controllers of such resources, created a demand for clothing that showcases India’s natural wealth.
Only the finest fabrics made the clothing where the royals commissioned their master weavers to create sarees from the highest quality of silks & muslins. It used to be so smooth that the whole saree could pass through a small jewelled ring. As decades went by, the usage of these fine sarees made its way into the pages of history. Accordingly, the women of Indian nobility and their expert weavers became the ancestors of the Indian textile arts; something that the chronicles of global trade continuously praises.
The Brief History of Sarees throughout the Centuries
Throughout the centuries, as civilisations changed, so did fashion. Styles evolved from using gold & silver to using block-prints and tie-dye designs. From using real gold in the fabric to printing intricate patterns onto the same.
Even though the styles changed, throughout Indian literature, women were always described gorgeously when wearing the 6-yard drapes. As the popularity spread, each state began to modify the saree according to their own culture, traditions, climates and other geographical and political factors. Consequently, every weave acquired its own specific name. Apart from being used for day-to-day wear, sarees began to be specially woven for auspicious ceremonies.
The brief history of the 6-yard wonder comes to an end The allure of this pleasing garment has still not waned within most women, even though the saree’s conception as the Indian woman’s hereditary garment was done centuries ago. In 20 years or so, sarees are beguiling curious women across international borders. From Hollywood celebrities to international sportswomen, sarees are not just charming the Indian women anymore but slowly making their way higher in the world of fashion.
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