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Bengal cotton sarees online provider 2023: Sari might be a fashionable garment now, but it started from being a humble drape used by women thousands of years ago. The origin of the drape or a garment similar to the sari can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which came into being during 2800–1800 BC in north west India. The journey of sari began with cotton, which was first cultivated in the Indian subcontinent around the 5th millennium BC. The cultivation was followed by weaving of cotton which became big during the era, as weavers started using prevalent dyes like indigo, lac, red madder and turmeric to produce the drape used by women to hide their modesty. Read extra info on shop Indian sarees online.

The style was popularised in the 1870s by a Bengali lady – Jnanadanandini Devi … She adopted the front pleat style of wearing the sari from the Parsee women she had seen in Bombay, and wore it with a blouse and petticoat, as they did, which was different from the traditional Bengali style of wearing the sari, says Chishti, who started a Sari School in 2009 in Delhi, and conducts workshops on the sari and the different methods of tying them. The blouse is also an adaptation by the Parsees, from the Western puffed sleeve blouse they wore over the long skirt. Though they had come from Persia 700 years earlier, they adopted the sari as they sought asylum in India on the condition that they would wear the local dress, adopt the local food habits and the local language of the western state of Gujarat. The sari shows the rich diversity of Indian dyeing, printing and silk weaving.

Some women, particularly in rural areas, still wrap and fold themselves into lengths of cotton, linen, or other fabrics for everyday work. “You’re more likely to see saris on older women, the aunties and grandmas in some regions. They might wear one all the time,” says Cristin McKnight Sethi, a South Asian textile expert and professor of art history at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Younger women and city dwellers, she says, might opt for Western clothing or a salwar (tunic and pants suit) most days but a vibrant sari for a wedding or other party. The textile is a symbolic rite of passage for young Hindu girls, who wear a sari or half-length sari for a Ritu Kala Samskara coming-of-age ceremony. The garment has even been wielded as a political prop.

History shows one such incident involving Jnanadanandini Debi, the wife of Satyendranath Tagore, brother of the famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, who was denied access to a club because of her “untamed” ways of dressing. What strikes here is an opposite scenario in Victorian Britain where women fought to liberalize themselves from the rigidity of Victorian corsets, both literally and metaphorically. The recent phenomenon of “free the nips” or “no bra club” shows how women in liberal democracies are still fighting the battle for the desexualisation of breasts. What the global north is still fighting to achieve was found inherently in the ways Indian society, especially women, used to express themselves.

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The popularity of the sari has a great deal to do with its versatility. The sari can be draped in nearly a hundred ways, allowing the wearer to style it so as to look formal or casual. Most of the drape styles are specific to different regions of India and, just like the food and regional languages, are a result of context, geography and function, explains 39-year-old Malika Verma, co-creator with Rta Kapur Chishti, 72, a sari historian, textile scholar and co-author of Saris: Tradition and Beyond, of the The Sari Series, a series of 84 short films documenting India’s regional sari drapes.