Friday, December 4, 2009

The Art of the Sari

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. My mother has a collection of saris that are heirlooms and will be inherited by my sister and myself. For those who are unfamiliar, a sari is basically unstitched cloth that is usually 8 meters in length and is draped around the body using very specific (and time consuming) techniques. A petticoat is worn underneath and a blouse that matches the sari is worn on top. Some of the saris are heavily beaded and embroidered silks while others are chiffon and printed silks. As I get older, it is becoming more important that I pick out saris that are of heirloom quality. My mother gave me some tips that I’m sure are applicable to both sari and non-sari wearing individuals when choosing quality clothing and cloth.

Make sure that the silks are heavy and thick so that the sari has some weight and is able to fall nicely. This orange sari pictured here is pure silk, which has incredible weight. My mom got this sari when she was 15 years old from silk bought from Japan by my grandfather. It still looks brand new to this day.

sari

sari

The embroidery and the beading should be incredibly sturdy. You know when you go to forever 21 or even H&M and if a piece has sequences or beading which is kind of falling apart, or is poorly done? This would never be acceptable on a sari. Even on this polyester one that I bought as a teenager, the beading is all hand done and reinforced so that not even one piece can fall out. These garments are meant to be worn for a long time, so the quality of the beading is incredibly important to the people purchasing them. Even if the sari is inexpensive, make sure that the beading is firmly attached, and it should last for a long time.

sari

sari

Taking care of a sari is incredibly important. This silk-chiffon number is heavily beaded and was given to my mother when she got married 28 years ago. It still looks brand new because she only washes it by hand and with incredibly mild soap. Dry cleaning is not necessary or recommended with any sari. Using harsh detergents is not recommended either. And when you’re storing them, make sure to put in lavender sachets to keep moths and bugs away, and to fold them so the embroidery is on the inside, and the outside is the back of the sari. Many of the saris are going to show signs of staining after 20 plus years, so that is why it is better that the stains be on the inside so the sari is still wearable.

sari

sari

sari


This sari was bought for me seven years ago from my mother, which started off my own sari collection. I still love it, and because it is unstitched, I can be sure that I can still fit in it after all these years!

sari

sari

sari

These dark brown and orange saris have been in my mom’s wardrobe for almost forty years. They are showing no signs of wear and are still in impeccable shape.

sari

sari

sari

sari

So if you're ever interested in getting a sari, or in any special occasion dress in general, make sure that you take special care of it, and buy for quality, not quantity. Special items can last a lifetime, and the memories and stories associated with them are priceless!

22 comments:

  1. WoW thats some hot stuff yo!

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  2. I love sarees. I think they are the most elegant and yet sensuous piece of clothing. love the white one with gold border.

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  3. I love all the saris you have- I think they look so classy and anyone can look good in them! I just need to perfect getting one on- I'm not that good at that part! :)

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  4. Oh, I absolutely love the history in this post - the stories about each sari in your collection. They are so stunning - as are your words! :)

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  5. Your saris are so beautiful! I love the baby blue the most because the bead work is exquisite! You write very well, your post is informative and entertaining..=)thanks for your comment, BTW..=)

    Click here to POP YOUR FASHION PILL

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  6. these are absolutely gorgeous - London has an incredibly large Asian community so I am insanely familiar with them and what always stands out to me is the stunning colours and intricate patterns. They are such a beautiful way to express yourself, so full of culture and history. Your collection is great.

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment, I hope you'll become a regular =]

    English Rose x
    http://iamanenglishrose.blogspot.com

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  7. These are gorgeous. I know - I've worn them all, especially your cream/gold one. And I rocked the SHIT out of it. You should know that.

    Keep up the blogging... or else.... 0_o

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  8. i love saris, they are so beautiful, both in shape and color. The ones you shared have really gorgeous embroidery.
    -indigo

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  9. Hey girl!
    Saris are absolutely gorgeous! They're so incredibly detailed and unique, love them! Thank you so much for your comment love, I really appreciate it :) xx

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  10. You're so lucky to have such a beautiful collection! I've always admired the intricate detail and vibrant colors of Indian clothing. Thanks for all these tips, I actually do have to buy one soon for a party and I'd like to get one that will last!

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  11. Wow...the saris are all so lovely...and you are so right about caring for the saris. They sure are pretty high maintainence. But then again, its all so worth it!


    www.callmestylista.blogspot.com

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  12. Your saris and your Mom's are so beautiful. I love the intricate beading and the vibrant colors. You're right about hand washing them with mild detergent. These things are considered as heirlooms which can be passed from one generation to another and so they should be handled with lots of TLC.:)

    Have a lovely week ahead!

    PS: Thanks for passing by my blog. :)

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  13. So beautiful.. I think that when it comes to clothes material and cut are the most important features :)

    xo,Marta
    www.withlovegabrielle.com
    www.livbyaulit.com/blog

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  14. The materials and fabrics that women use for Saris is unbelievable. They're always so beautiful, and I love going to fabric store in NYC because the fabrics they sell remind so much of Saris, so gorgeous!

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  15. such beautiful material and colours!!!:)

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  16. These are stunning. Thanks for sharing... a friend of mine spent a long time in India and came back with a few pieces, but nothing too expensive. I believe really high-end saris will cost as much (if not more) than a couture gown? In any case, even the less-pricier pieces she got were impeccably made and were beautiful to look at. I definitely agree this is something you'd want to invest in and pass on to your children.

    P.S. Thanks for your lovely comment. This is a fabulous blog... I"ll be adding you to my blogroll as well!

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  17. What gorgeous fabrics, darling!
    Loved this post ~ beautiful and informative!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  18. absolutely fabulous. they are just stunning. the mixture of colors and sparkle are just so beautiful. indian weddings fill my heart with joy. they are so vibrant.

    http://laurenlanzaosias.blogspot.com

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  19. Beautiful! I love that you have one from your mom's teen years.

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  20. Sari fabric is so divinely gorgeous!

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