17 Traditional Saree Draping Styles From Different Parts Of India

10,474 Views Updated: 29 Jul 2018
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17 Traditional Saree Draping Styles From Different Parts Of India

Isn’t it beautiful how a long rectangular piece of cloth can be draped in more than one ways to give an elegant look to the attire? Yes, we are talking about sarees. Not just one, but a range of styles of traditional Indian sarees that are peculiar for their form of draping. Hence, India is rich in different styles of draping saree. 

India is a treasure trove for traditional saree with every state having its unique way of wearing the traditional dressing attire. Explore some types of saree draping from different states in India and wear saree in a different style:

#1. Kapullu – Andhra Pradesh

(Image Courtesy: Craftsvilla)

Worn by the women of Kapullu caste in Andhra Pradesh, the drape is one of the most elegant ways to wear a saree. Unlike other forms of saree, this rectangular piece of cloth is worn from left to right. There are narrow pleats at the back which flatter the form and instead of one, cascades of fabric formed by twisting the pallu twice around the waist before taking it over the shoulder. Thus, the longer the saree, the better fall it has. Once the longer, the better fall it has. Once the pallu is over the shoulder, you can pin it according to your wish, with pleats or open.

Fabric: Tussar Silk

#2. Nivi Drape – Andhra Pradesh

(Image Courtesy: Pinterest)

The modern form of draping a saree comes from Andhra Pradesh’s style of wearing a saree. Mostly everyone in India and abroad wears the Nivi draped saree for formal occasions as it looks elegant and shows off the curvaceous waist of the girl. The saree is draped around the lower body as a skirt, before making 6-7 pleats that must be tucked in the center of front below the navel. Once that is done, it’s wrapped around the upper body with the pallu usually open as it adds grace to the look. Once the saree is draped, ensure to put pins on the pleat and in the pallu to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.

Fabric: Cotton, Silk, Synthetic

#3. Athpourey Shari - Bengal

(Image Courtesy: Fashion Pro)

The most popular styles of draping sari in India, Bengali saree is draped without pleats. It is instead wrapped around the waist as both the pallus are brought to the front on both sides. In older days, a bunch of keys often hung at the edge of the pallu over the right shoulder to denote the lady in command. She would be the most important person in the house as she runs the household.

Fabric: Pure Cotton

#4. Nauvari Saree - Maharashtra

(Image Courtesy: Craftsvilla)

When it comes to elegance, there’s nothing more elegant than a Maharashtrian saree. The 9-yard long saree is one of the most extended pieces of cloth used to drape the traditional form of saree. Although it looks complex, it isn’t difficult to wear this form of saree. What differentiates it from others is the lower part that looks more like a dhoti, while the upper part is worn like any other normal saree. Since there’s no skirt, the movement of legs is this form of saree is easy.

Fabric: Paithani

#5. Pinkosu - Madurai

(Image Courtesy: Utsav Pedia)

If you don’t have a petticoat, try draping this saree. Most ideal for warm weather, the saree is draped 1.5 times around the waist before the pleats are made on the outside of the saree. Thus, the underside of the saree will be showing. Therefore, not all sarees can be worn in this fashion. Thus, try opting for cotton saree if you want to wear saree in different style.

Fabric: Cotton.

#6. Mekhela Chador - Assam

(Image Courtesy: Sanjukta Studio)

One of the few traditional types of saree draping from different states includes Assam’s Mekhela Chador. While sarees are usually one long rectangular piece, the Mekhela Chador is a two piece dress. The lower piece is worn like a sarong with pleats while the upper piece is wrapped around the body from the stomach area and is twisted like pallu around the waist to go above the left shoulder to give a triangle look near the pleats.

Fabric: Pat Silk

#7. Seedha Pallu - Gujarat

(Image Courtesy: Style Drapers)

If you love wearing lehenga-choli, this will be your favorite style to drape a saree. Unlike most of the sarees, the rectangular piece of cloth is wrapped from left to right, and the pallu is from the back to the front, over the left shoulder. While one extreme point of saree is left loose, the other is tucked around the waist, to give it a look similar to lehenga choli.

Fabric: Polyester

#8. Coorgi Style - Karnataka

(Image Courtesy: Dare2Drape)

If you want to experiment with different Indian styles of saree draping, try wearing a saree in Coorgi style. This saree was originally worn by women to help lead an active life. Since they had to climb the hilly slopes of the Ghats on an everyday basis, other forms of sarees were a little difficult to handle. However, over the last few years, it has moved on to young brides who adorn the style on their wedding day for it looks royal. Wrapped around the lower body, the pleats of the saree fall at the back. The pallu is, however, draped interestingly. Instead of taking it over the shoulder, it is tucked below the left shoulder and wrapped around till the right shoulder, where it’s firmly pinned.

Fabric: Kasavu Mundu and Kasavu Neryathu.

#9. Mohiniattam - Kerala

(Image Courtesy: Utsav Pedia)

If you’ve ever seen Indian classical form of dance Bharatnatyam, you will be able to relate to the type of saree. It is worn in the same fashion as a nivi saree. However, it takes a complicated turn when pleats are made. Instead of tucking the pleats to the center, it’s tucked in the end, and the pleats are rolled outwards. The innermost layer secures them. The lower borders are picked at the two extremes and brought to the front over the shoulder from either side and are tucked in. Since the saree requires staying in shape for long hours, heavier material such as silk is used to drape this form of saree.

Fabric: Silk

#10. Gol Sari - Parsi

(Image Courtesy: Pinterest)

If you have watched Akshay Kumar’s movie ‘Rustom,' you would have seen Ileana D’Cruze sporting a Parsi saree in the film! The saree is quite similar to a nivi saree. Just that it has, what they call ‘gara’, in which the pallu is taken from behind and draped over the blouse. It hangs in loose folds on the left shoulder while it is wrapped above the right folder in such a manner that the folds are splayed out in the front extending the front of the pallu to fall close to the hem.

Fabric: Crepe, Chiffon, and Georgette

#11. Kunbi Drape - Goa

(Image Courtesy: Livemint)

The Goans are famous for this form of traditional saree draping styles. Since women had to work extensively in paddy fields and near water areas, the saree was draped in a fashion that it did not spoil the cloth. Thus, it is draped from the shoulder below, with the ends tied on top of the right shoulder. This way, the saree remained intact and did not act as a hindrance to the work as well. 

Fabric: Kunbi Cotton

#12. Madisaru – Tamil Nadu

(Image Courtesy: Ethnic Photography)

One of the different styles of draping saree, this plays a major role in the Iyer and Iyengar community after marriage. However, the use of it has now been restricted to special occasions and festivals. Since it was designed for the Ardharaneeshwara, half man half women, there is no use of blouse and petticoat for this style of saree draping. The lower half is worn like a dhoti while the upper half is pleated like a saree.

Fabric: Madisar

#13. Halakki Vokkaliga - Nagaland

(Image Courtesy: Untold)

Unlike most sarees, the long piece of cloth draped in their culture requires no blouse or petticoat. They simply hang the long yard of rectangular cloth around their body and tied the ends at the neck. This is one of the most different Indian styles of saree draping.

Fabric: Cotton

#14. Surguja - Chattisgarh

(Image Courtesy: Craftsvilla) 

(Image Courtesy: Border & Fall)

If you ever want to wear a Saree in a different style, choose this form. It’s pretty, but not many can pull off this look. Mostly worn by dancers of the Oraon community, the 5.3-yard long saree is worn firmly around the waist, with a loose end to give a whirling effect at the back. The loose ends are tucked in the front and the back, as it allows enough room for movement of hands during the dance.

Fabric: Chanderi Silk

#15. Namboothiri - Kerala

(Image Courtesy: KHBUZZ)

One of the forms of drapes that is losing its value in modern times, Namboothiri is one of the oldest remnants of saree draping practiced in Kerala. It consists of two pieces – Mundum and Neriyathum, signifying the upper and the lower garment respectively. The upper garment is tucked under the blouse to give a dress form of a look.

Fabric: Chanderi Silk

#16. Bootheyara - Karnataka

(Image Courtesy: Border & Fall)

The beauty of this kind of draping saree lies with your comfort level. Confused? This saree can be worn either as one piece or two pieces, depending on the look and the comfort level. Mostly, women use the 8-yard long saree to wrap the lower body, with a knot called ‘molakattu’ in the front along with a blouse. But, those who wish to cover their bust add a shawl or another piece of cloth in the form of a dupatta from the top, covering the bust area. 

Fabric: Molakalmuru

#17. Santhal Drape - Jharkhand

(Image Courtesy: Pinterest)

The draping style of the saree bears a striking resemblance to that of a Bengali saree. The box pleat is present at the back, while the pallu is pulled over the left shoulder in the form of a triangle. The rest of the pallu is tucked in the front. This is probably one of the easiest types of saree draping from different states.

Opinions (2)
Athpourey Shari

 I think Bengalis have an unusual method for hanging sarees. It is mesmerizing to watch individuals wear it on Durga Puja and formal family social occasions. It looks so authentic. I had been watching tutorials on the web with the goal that I can wear this on an upcoming event however it is quite troublesome. I never have at any point draped a saree, in this way. It would be interesting to learn a new method of draping a saree and adorning the Indian look in one of the family functions.

Athpourey Shari

I love Athpourey Shari, it looks amazing and so beautiful, extremely feminine. 


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