A sari (sometimes also shari or misspelled as saree) is a women's garment from Indian Subcontinent that consists of an unstitched drape varying from 4.5 to 9 meters (15 to 30 feet) in length and 600 to 1,200 millimeters (24 to 47 inches) in breadth that is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, partly baring the midriff. It is traditionally worn in the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. There are a range of styles of sari manufacture and draping, the most common being the Nivi style The sari is worn with a fitted blouse commonly called a choli (ravike or kuppasa in southern India, and cholo in Nepal) and a petticoat called ghagra, parkar, or ul-pavadai. In the modern Indian subcontinent, the sari is considered a cultural icon.
The Hindustani word sari (साड़ी, ساڑی), described in Sanskrit शाटी shati which means 'strip of cloth' and शाडी shadi or साडी sadi in Pali, and which evolved to sari in modern Indian languages. The word satika is mentioned as describing women's attire in ancient India in Sanskrit literature and Buddhist literature called Jatakas. This could be equivalent to the modern day sari. The term for female bodice, the choli evolved from ancient stanapaṭṭa. Rajatarangini, a tenth-century literary work by Kalhana, states that the choli from the Deccan was introduced under royal order in Kashmir.
Origins and history
The history of Sari-like drapery is traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished during 2800–1800 BCE around the northwestern part of South Asia. Cotton was first cultivated and woven in Indian subcontinent around fifth millennium BCE. Dyes used during this period are still in use, particularly indigo, lac, red madder, and turmeric. Silk was woven around 2450 BCE and 2000 BCE.
The word sari evolved from shatika (Sanskrit: शाटिका) mentioned in earliest Hindu literature as women's attire. The sari or satika evolved from a three-piece ensemble comprising the antariya, the lower garment; the uttariya; a veil worn over the shoulder or the head; and the stanapatta, a chestband. This ensemble is mentioned in Sanskrit literature and Buddhist Pali literature during the sixth century BCE. This complete three-piece dress was known as poshak, generic term for costume. Ancient antariya closely resembled the dhoti wrap in the 'fishtail' version, which was passed through legs, covered the legs loosely and then flowed into a long, decorative pleat at front of the legs. It further evolved into Bhairnivasani skirt, today known as ghagri and lehenga. Uttariya was a shawl-like veil worn over the shoulder or head, it evolved into what is known today as dupatta and ghoonghat. Likewise, the stanapatta evolved into the choli by the first century CE.
Red is most favored color for wedding saris and are traditional garment choice for brides in Indian culture. Women traditionally wore several types of regional handloom saris made of silk, cotton, ikkat, block-print, embroidery and tie-dye textiles. Most sought after brocade silk saris are Banarasi, Kanchipuram, Gadwal, Paithani, Mysore, Uppada, Bagalpuri, Balchuri, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Mekhela, Ghicha, Narayan pet and Eri etc. are traditionally worn for festive and formal occasions. Silk Ikat and cotton saris known as Patola, Pochampally, Bomkai, Khandua, Sambalpuri, Gadwal, Berhampuri, Bargarh, Jamdani, Tant, Mangalagiri, Guntur, Narayan pet, Chanderi, Maheshwari, Nuapatna, Tussar, Ilkal, Kotpad and Manipuri were worn for both festive and everyday attire. Tie-dyed and block-print saris known as Bandhani, Leheria/Leheriya, Bagru, Ajrakh, Sungudi, Kota Dabu/Dabu print, Bagh and Kalamkari were traditionally worn during monsoon season. Gota Patti is popular form of traditional embroidery used on saris for formal occasions, various other types of traditional folk embroidery such mochi, pakko, kharak, suf, kathi, phulkari and gamthi are also commonly used for both informal and formal occasion. Today, modern fabrics like polyester, georgette and charmeuse are also commonly used.
Styles of draping
Nivi style sari - Bengali and Odia style - Gujarati/Rajasthani style - Himalayan style – Nepali style - Nav-vari style - Madisar style - Pin Kosuvam Style - Brahmika sari style - Kodagu style - Gobbe Seere style Karnataka style - Kerala sari style - Tribal indigenous styles - Kunbi style - Riha-Mekhela style - Innaphi and Phanek style - Jainsem style - Banarasi - Shalu - Tanchoi - Pattu - Chanderi sari - Maheshwari - Kosa silk - Dhokra silk - Tant sari - Baluchari sari - Kaantha sari - Garode / Korial - Shantipuri cotton - Jamdani / Dhakai - Rajshahi silk / Eri - Dhakai Katan - Mooga silk - Mekhla Cotton - Sambalpuri Silk & Cotton sari - Ikkat Silk & Cotton sari - Bomkai sari - Khandua Silk & Cotton sari - Pasapali sari - Sonepuri Silk & Cotton sari -Berhampuri silk - Mattha Silk sari - Bapta Silk & Cotton sari - Kotpad Pata sari -Tanta Cotton sari - Manipuri Tant sari - Moirang Phi sari - Patt Silk sari - Kotki sari - Kotpad sari - Paithanpattu - Yeola sari - Peshwai shalu - Mahalsa sari - Narayanpeth - Khun fabric - Karvati tussar sari Bandhani Kota doria -Lugade - Patola - Bagru - Mysore silk - Kanchipuram Silk (locally called Kanjipuram pattu) - Arani silk - Ilkal sari - Molakalmuru sari - Sulebhavi sari -Venkatagiri -Mangalagiri Silk saris - Uppada Silk saris - Chirala saris - Bandar saris - Bandarulanka - Kuppadam saris - Dharmavaram silk sari - Chettinad saris – Kumbakonam - Thirubuvanam - Coimbatore cotton - Salem silk - Chinnalampattu or Sungudi - Kandangi - Rasipuram silk saris - Koorai - Arni silk sari - Chennai - Karaikudi - Madurai cotton saris - Tiruchirappalli saris - Nagercoil saris – Thoothukudi - Thanjavur saris – Tiruppur - Kerala sari silk and cotton – Balarampuram - Mundum Neriyathum - Mayilati silk - Kannur cotton - Kalpathi silk saris - Maradaka silk - Samudrikapuram silk and cotton - Kasargod -Pochampally sari or Puttapaka sari - Gadwal sari - Narayanpet
The name of the sari in various regional languages
Assamese: শাৰী - Bengali: শাড়ি - Gujarati: સાડી - Hindi: साड़ी - Kannada: ಸೀರೆ, Konkani: साडी, कापड, चीरे - Malayalam: സാരി - Marathi: साडी - Nepali: सारी - Odia: ଶାଢ଼ୀ - Punjabi: ਸਾਰੀ - Tamil: புடவை - Telugu: చీర - Urdu: ساڑى