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Sarees: The History and Patterns of Womens Clothing in India Sarah Rossignol EDU 553 Fall 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Sarees: The History and Patterns of Womens Clothing in India Sarah Rossignol EDU 553 Fall 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sarees: The History and Patterns of Womens Clothing in India Sarah Rossignol EDU 553 Fall 2007

2 What is a Sari? A Sari is an unstitched and uncut piece of fabric that is available in a variety of lengths, colors, designs and fabric. The fabric ranges in size, anywhere between 5 to 9.5 yards that is loosely tied, folded and pleated. Sarees can be draped in various ways depending on the different regions of India. Fabrics of a Sari is dyed and painted using fascinating colors and pigments. During the early 20 th century upper class women began adopting items of European style clothing as the fitted blouse and slim petticoat. Adopted due to the fashion of transparent chiffon Sarees during the 20 th century. Sarees plays an important role in the culture and arts of India.

3 The History of a Sari Origin obscure –Thought to be more than 5,000 years old, when cotton was first woven into pieces of fabric Idea of beauty in Ancient India was that of a small waist, large bust and hips –The Sari seemed to be the perfect dress to accentuate those proportions Clothing patterns have changed throughout the world, the Sari has survived –is the main piece of clothing women in rural India wear

4 Samples of Sarees

5 The Art of Draping Most common style of draping a sari is when the fabric is wrapped around the waist and the bust then one end is draped over the shoulder. Kaccha Nivi style - pleats are passed through the legs and tucked into the waist at the back. Allows free movement while covering the legs North Indian/Gujarati style - the loose end is draped over the right shoulder rather than the left and is draped back-to-front rather than front-to-back. Maharashtrian/Kache style - center of a sari (held lengthwise) is placed at the center back, the ends are brought forward and tied securely, the two ends are wrapped around the legs.

6 The Art of Draping Dravidian style – features a pinkosu or a pleated rosette at the waist. Kodagu style - pleats are created in the rear, loose end draped back-to-front over the right shoulder and is pinned to the rest of the sari. Gond style – fabric is first draped over the left shoulder then arranged to cover the body. Tribal style – secured by tying firmly around the chest. Mundum neryathum style – a two piece sari usually made from unbleached cotton and decorated with gold or colored stripes and/or borders.

7 Importance of Draping Majority of the arts in India have been studied –art of draping fabric to dress the body is the most unique, least studied cultural treasure of India An ephemeral art form – once the piece of fabric has been taken off of the body the particular style is lost and the fabric reverts back to a flat rectangular form

8 Types of Sarees Each region of the Indian subcontinent over the centuries have developed their own unique sari style. Listed below by regions are the well known varieties based on fabric, weaving style or motif: –Northern Styles: Bandhani involves tying and dyeing pieces of cotton or silk fabric (colors are: yellow, red, green and black). Banarsi is considered to be the finest sari of India. They are made from finely woven silk and decorated with elaborate engravings. –Eastern Styles: Kantha is known for its embroidery which forms or outlines decorative motifs with a running stitch. –Central Styles: Paithani is characterized by an oblique design and a pallu with a peacock design. –Southern Styles: Kasuti an intricate traditional form of embroidery.

9 Significance of Motifs Various designs used in sarees with their own meaning, which vary depending on the region. Conch a symbol of the gods in the form of sound. Paisly a symbol that resembles the shape of a mango and is a symbol of fertility. Elephant traditionally associated with water, fertility, royalty and regal power. Also is the god of learning. Rudraksha a seed from a tree that grows in the Himalayas. Parrot is the symbol of courtship and passion. Fish indicate the abundance of food, wealth and children.

10 The Meaning of Color The colors of sarees hold special meaning for special occasions. White: worn during ritual occasions. Associated with mourning, widows are associated with this color. Red: sarees in this color are commonly worn by brides of various castes. This color has several emotional, sexual, fertility-related qualities. Green: merchant class was once associated by this color. Today this color has Islamic connotations. Blue: associated with farmers, artisans, weavers, and manual laborers. Black: not many sarees made in this color it reflected sorrow and ill omen. Yellow: represents religion and asceticism. Women also wore this color for 7 days after having a child.

11 How to wear a Sari 1. At least part of the secret of the sari are the "underneath" garments a waist to-floor length petticoat, tied tightly at the waist by a drawstring. (No elastic, please!) And a tight fitting blouse that ends just below the bust - short sleeved or sleeveless, with a variety of necklines. 2. Starting at the navel, tuck the plain end of the sari into the petticoat for one complete turn from right to left. Make sure that the lower end of the sari touches the floor. 3. & 4. Beginning from the tucked-in end start making pleats in the sari, about 5 inches deep. Make about 7 to 10 pleats and hold them up together so that they fall straight and even.

12 How to wear a Sari 5. Tuck the pleats into the waist slightly to the left of the navel and make sure that they are turned towards the left. 6. Drape the remaining fabric around yourself once more left to right, and bring it up under the right arm and over the left shoulder so that it falls to about the level of the knees. 7. The end portion thus draped is the pallav and can be prevented from slipping off by fixing it at the shoulder to the blouse with a small

13 Lesson Ideas Elementary (K-4): Classification of Fabrics –Visual Art Standard: 2.c use the elements of art and principles of design to communicate ideas 3.b select and use subject matter, symbols and ideas to communicate meaning –Mathematics: 1.1 Understand and describe patterns and functional relationships Upper Elementary (5-6): Story Cloth Activity (drawings) –Visual Art Standard: 2.b recognize and reflect on the effects of arranging visual characteristics in their own and others work 3.a consider, select from and apply a variety of sources for art content to communicate intended meaning –Mathematics: 2.2 Use numbers and their properties to compute flexibly and fluently, and to reasonably estimate measures and quantities.

14 Lesson Ideas Middle and High School (7-12) : Story Cloth Activity (sewing) –Visual Arts Standard: 2.b apply comprehension and skill in incorporating the elements of art and principles of design to generate multiple solutions and effectively solve a variety of visual art problems 3.b use subject matter, symbols, ideas and themes that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, and cultural and aesthetic values to communicate intended meaning –Mathematics: 3.1 Use properties and characteristics of two- and three-dimensional shapes and geometric theorems to describe relationships, communicate ideas and solve problems.

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