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The Sari - A Traditional Indian Garment For Women

Jul 7, 2008
A sari is a traditional garment worn by the women of India. A sari is a strip of cloth between four to nine meters in length. It is draped over the body in various styles, the most common of which is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist with several pleats tucked in at the front and then the end draped over the left shoulder.

Saris are woven with one plain end, that is the part you tuck under the pleats, and a decorative one to three foot section at the other end called a 'pallu'. This is the part that is tossed over the shoulder. At the top and bottom of the sari there are also two decorative borders that run down the length of it.

In past times, saris were woven of silk or cotton. The rich could afford finely woven silk saris that were so fine that it was said they could be passed through a finger ring. The poor wore coarsely woven cotton saris.

Today villagers wear simple hand-woven saris that are often decorated with checks or stripes woven into the cloth. Inexpensive saris are also sometimes decorated with block printing using carved wooden blocks and vegetable dye.

More expensive saris having elaborate geometric, figurative or floral patterns are created on a loom. For very fancy saris, the patterns are woven with gold or silver thread called 'jari'. Wedding saris are often made using jari.

The history of silk goes back 4,500 years. India is the second largest producer of silk, contributing to about 18 per cent of the world production. Today, the silk weaving tradition in India revolves around the sari. The Indians dress themselves in elaborate and colorful silk saris on festive occasions. The vibrant colors, lightweight, resilience and excellent drape add a gracefulness to Indian women. Indian silk is popular all over the world for its variety of designs, weaves and patterns.

The silk saris of India are a wonderful testament to the excellent craftsmanship of the weavers of the country. Their mastery lies in the creation of graceful designs, beautiful textures, fine geometry, durability, and of course, the vibrant colors they choose for making saris. Handloom saris from all states of India like Andhra, Tamilnadu, Orissa and West Bengal each have their own unique pattern.

Of all the arts and crafts of India, traditional handloom textiles are one of the oldest. Handlooms are an important craft product and comprise the largest cottage industry of the country. Millions of looms across the country are engaged in weaving cotton, silk and other natural fibers. There is hardly a village where weavers do not exist, each weaving out the traditional beauty of India's own precious heritage.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books. You can find the best marketplace for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books at these sites for Krishna art, sari gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books.
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