The saree is one of the world’s oldest unstitched garments that have stood the test of time. Over the ages, it has not only become a wardrobe staple for Indian women, but also the canvas for artisans to weave magic in the form of exquisite embroidery, innovative prints and jewelled or gold-silver embellishments!
Interestingly, the origins of a saree can be traced back to the Mesopotamian civilisation. Since India was introduced to the art of weaving cotton into fabric by the Mesopotamian civilisation, the men and women of the Indus Valley Civilisation were familiar with the fabric as well. They wore a garment that resembled the loin cloth. These garments were draped around the waist and the rest of the cloth was pleated and passed between the legs and tucked safely in the back to enable easy movement of legs. This style can still be seen in the Maharashtrian Navari saree today. Historical records show that this style of clothing was not only restricted to Mesopotamia or the Indus Valley, but was also well known in Egypt, Sumer, and Assyria.
Despite all these influences, the garment actually started taking shape with the advent of the Aryans. The Aryan women wore a cloth around their waist, which was known as neevi. Much after the Indus Valley period, many Indian epics were found to mention a garment known as kanchuki. It was a piece of cloth worn by women to cover the breasts. It can easily qualify as the earliest form of choli or blouse. With time, refined tastes among the wealthier classes led to experiments with clothing, and the art of dyeing the fabric was born. Though a few basic stitched garments had made their way into the society by this time, the neevi and the kanchuki remained the most widely-worn garments for women. By the end of the epic era, women’s clothing had evolved by leaps and bounds. Women were wearing beautiful garments embellished with delicate embroidery and precious and semi-precious stones.
Despite all these developments, it was only in the Mughal era that the sari took its final form as a three-piece garment. The rich influence of the Mughal era introduced the finest of fabrics for sarees. These fabrics were then embellished with gold and silver wires and gems to match the grandeur of the era. Along came the master weavers and the many styles of weaving and the dye-and-tie method of dyeing these fabrics. Bandhani and leheriya sarees of Gujarat are two of the most famous examples of the dye-and-tie method.
Saree designs in India truly evolved when floral patterns, paisleys, figurines from traditional weaves and bird and animal motifs used in brocades slowly came to be recognised as traditional sari motifs.
Today, however, is a different story altogether. The versatility of this ancient Indian garment has turned it into a global sensation. Designers are experimenting with fabrics, colours, styles and patterns like never before. A vast treasure trove of sarees available online offers plenty of choices like embroidered, beaded, zari work, half sarees and more. Designers are constantly reinventing this classic Indian attire without compromising on its timelessness. This monsoons, sarees are definitely stealing the show at not just national platforms but at international stages too. The modern interpretation of the saree falls right in line with the season of romance. Sarees are the perfect accompaniment to the rains with its romantic vibe and feel. Fall in love with sarees again this monsoon with our monsoon collection.
Gone are the days of going from shop to shop to buy that perfect saree for your special moment. Online shopping sites have opened a world of possibilities for saree lovers. Latest trends and innovations in the market bring something new to the table every day. With its amazing reach and timeless appeal, saree seems like a potential contender for a spot in the closets of women world over. So, the next time you go sari shopping, visit craftsvilla.com for an amazing collection of this six-yard wonder.