The saree today is the most important element in an Indian woman’s wardrobe. But even the most perfect ones, need a hidden accessory. The petticoat is the underskirt worn under the saree into which the folds of this drape are tucked in.
In the earliest design variant of the saree, it was worn like a loin cloth or lungi with the pleats in front being tucked at the back. With advent in trade, ideas from the stylish Persians and Greeks were borrowed. Women would leave the pleats in front loose to create a soft wave like texture when they walked. This created the need of a firmer under structure which could support the more flowy saree. Hence was born the petticoat or the underskirt.
Petticoats are usually loose cotton skirts which are drawn by a string at the waist. The pleats can then be tucked into the gap between the skirt and the boy when pulled away. This forms mechanical lock, preventing the saree from opening up. In a modern context, petticoats are found to be made more fitted to complement the body structure. They can either to cut into an A-line or a fish tail. Though cotton is commonly used, many people make it out of silk or satin too for wear with translucent net sarees.
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