Saree draping is a systematic layering and pleating process mastered by practice and patience. For beginners, this may seem like an arduous task, but once you get the hang of it, you will find it not so difficult and you will love it too.
There are different variations of draping a saree in India, but even the most basic and simple style can look elegant on you. So don’t worry about going the extra mile to nail the newest, complicated style. It’s better to stick to the basics first. Here are some helpful guidelines on how to wear a saree for beginners.
Choosing the saree
If you are a beginner, it would be wise to choose a plain, lightweight saree for easy handling. Also, cotton saree tends to be tricky to drape, so go with chiffon or georgette material as they are easier to handle and they also hold form.
Make sure that you have a well-fitted, matching blouse for your chosen saree. A petticoat or a long underskirt is necessary for tucking in the pleats and holding the saree. Its color must match with that of the saree. If the saree is multicoloured, you have to choose the petticoat’s color which matches with that of saree’s lower half. You will need lots of safety pins to secure different points.
Instructions on how to wear a saree
- Hold one end of the saree which is not the pallu and check that the design on the saree is outwards. Also, the fall which is stitched along the bottom part of the saree should be down, which ensures that you are holding your saree the right way.
- Hold the saree slightly above the floor, just touching your toes and tuck-in an arm’s length of it towards the left side of your petticoat.
- Now bring the saree from the back to the front where you started tucking and do another round of covering from front to back and back to where you started and gather all of the saree and throw it over your left shoulder.
- Tuck a little bit of the middle layer inside the petticoat, to hold it while you do the pallu.
- Gather the saree from the shoulder and hold the end part the saree upright in your hand first. Holding one end of the pallu between the thumb and index finger, make a fold and repeat this till you make at least four complete pleats. This is the complex part which needs coordination, determining whether design is outwards while folding and ensuring that the pleats are uniform. With someone’s help, you may understand this better.
- Once you are done with the pallu, secure it with a pin slightly towards the back of your shoulder, so that the pleats don’t keep falling as you move about.
- Now, holding the first pleat of the saree in the front from the pallu, pull it close as you gather it towards the left side from the right and back and pin it tight to the petticoat.
- Next, take the middle layer which you have simply wrapped around yourself and hold one end of it with left hand and the other with right. To make pleats, you may start from left side or the right side as convenient to you. You have to stretch the fabric between your thumb and index finger and fold the fabric. Do this back and forth to make the pleats and hold them firmly at the same time. This is a tricky part which needs practice and guidance. You may make about 5-6 folds.
- Next, tuck-in the pleats into the petticoat at the centre, while holding them together and pin them from the inside of petticoat to keep them firm and neat.
- Now, you may tuck the inner layer of the saree which you have first wrapped around, inside the petticoat and adjust it according to your convenience.
- You are done with saree draping here.