Sari- The choice of Hindustanis

The pulchritudinous and the exquisite saris that are extensively worn by women today were just a simple and unstitched piece of cloth to be draped around the body during its initial years. The history of saris can be traced back to The Indus Valley Civilisation and its shreds of evidence can also be found in the Hindu sacred text of ‘Rigveda’. There are also several ancient Indian sculptures that showcase the culture of drapery and the craze for saris. As a matter of fact, the word ‘Sari’ itself has been derived from the Sanskrit language in which it refers to a piece or a strip of cloth. The earliest of saris comprised of 3 distinct garments collectively known as a ‘Poshak’. These include Antriya or the garment covering the lower body, Uttariya, the veil that was taken to cover the shoulders or the head and, Stanpatta, the garment covering the bosom. Gradually, the Antriya evolved into modern skirts, the Uttariya into a dupatta or ghoonghat and the Stanpatta into a blouse or chest band. The mention of these garments can be extensively found in the Tamil epic of Silappadhikaram , in the works of Kalidasa and even in the Hindu epic of Mahabharatta. 

While the tale of the origins of saris can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilisation, the tale of the evolution of sari starts with the arrival of Britishers in India. This was the time when the women belonging to the rich and highly respected families started asking the weavers and artisans to add stones and lustrous threads to their garments in order to showcase their supremacy and position in society. Though even after such instances, the saris were happily worn by all the women in the society, regardless of their position in the society.

Further, with the advent of industrialisation, the Indian handloom sector experienced many changes. Some of them included the use of the newly imported chemical and synthetic dyes. The improvements in the handcrafted textiles and handloom sector were evident with the wide range of saris now being available in the markets. The traditional saris were gradually being replaced by new designer saris with a wide range of colours motifs and numerous printing techniques being introduced. Because of such augmentations taking place in the textile and handloom business, the sari became India’s very first garment to reach the international markets and ever since that day, Indian saris have been an inseparable part of women’s fashion all over the world. 

Symbolising femininity and power, the sari still continues to be the perpetual garment of women in India. It is worn with pride by the young and the old. With more than 100 ways of draping, each woman discovers her favourite style and makes it a part of her personality. The sari is also the perfect and the most preferred wedding attire in India. Specifically, the saris of red colour in the north and yellow in the south are considered to be the bride’s favourite. Other than weddings and festivities, some women also prefer to wear saris in their routine life whereas some consider it to be an Indian formal attire. It is therefore also worn extensively in homes, hospitals, schools and other offices. Perhaps, each woman associates a different vibe with the sari she wears.

While some prefer to wear it at home, some in offices and others on their wedding day, one thing that remains constant and unchanged is the fact that almost all Indian women prefer wearing saris at one point or the other in their life which therefore makes the sari, a beloved attire of almost all the women in India.

Chowdhrain aims at making sari to be visualised as a contemporary power outfit that is preferred by the women of today, not just for occasions but for an important presentation, for a casual outing and any scenario that women think sari would be uncomfortable to carry. Explore our collection of handwoven, handcrafted six yards and fall in love with the most humble and sustainable ensemble. 

References:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/the-story-of-the-sari-in-india

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/fashion/buzz/the-history-of-sari-the-nine-yard-wonder/articleshow/70277974.cms

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