1.knot or tuck:

This sari is draped counterclockwise. Start by making a knot on the right side of the abdomen with the upper corner of the end and the upper border once it has been passed around the waistline. (right)

(Left). Nowadays it is more common to use a petticoat for the closing. In this case, tuck the upper corner of the mundi in the petticoat on the right side of the abdomen. Take the upper border, pass it and tuck it around the waistline counterclockwise, making a small pleat first on the left hip and then on the right hip. Finally tuck the upper border over the middle or the left side of the abdomen (depending on whether you want the front pleats to fall straight or in a fan-like shape).

When the sari has been passed around the body once, let it fall in front and take the pallav (the end you throw over the shoulder) to drape the upper part of the sari. It is essential not to follow our instinct to drape the sari from one end to the other, since the front pleats - the most characteristic part of nivi saris - are made with the cloth left between the drape of the sari's closing (around the waist) and its upper part.

(Left). Take the pallav, either pleated in the height or by its upper corner, pass it it under the left arm (at the waistline level), across the back and just under the right arm (in the armpit). Throw it from under the right arm to over the left shoulder, pulling it long enough to be able to come again across the back, under the right arm and to the left side of the abdomen.

The length of the upper part is determined by the way each woman likes to drape it. Some let the pallav fall from the shoulder only to the waistline in the back. Others leave it down to their feet. (Right)

(Right). Once the upper part is draped around the upper part of the body, a length of sari should be falling in front, between the closing (or the last tucking) and the drape of the upper part at its tightest. Take the upper border of this part and pleat it towards the inside, starting from that which is closest to the closing. Once the whole length is pleated, tuck it over the abdomen, pleats towards the left.

Here again, most women tuck the pleats over the right side of the abdomen, so that they fall in the middle, but others tuck them in the middle, their fall being over the left side.

The way the pleats are tucked differ from woman to woman. If the pleats are to fall really straight, the first and the last ones should be larger, and a small pleat should be made on the right hip before the main pleats, towards the right.

What I have described here is the way most ordinary women wear it on usual days, when they tuck the pallav back in the closing over the left side of the abdomen. There is no absolute rule for the drape of the pallav; it is only a question of personal taste.

CHANTAL BOULANGER PRESENTS:

AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE

TO THE INDIAN ART OF

DRAPING 

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