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Saree Draping: Learn How To Drape A Saree In 4 Easy Steps

The saree is an Indian woman’s wardrobe staple. Girls are dressed in half sarees from a young age, and then at their 10th standard graduation, they are taught how to drape a saree as they enter adulthood.

Saree draping is seen as a rite of passage for a young girl. And it continues for the rest of her life. While wearing a saree is a unique experience, tying one requires skill and know-how. Getting the pleats right. Wearing the pallu in the most flattering way. These are all mysteries that must be demystified.

If saree draping is an art form, learning to pleat is the science that makes the art look beautiful. In this article, we will unveil the mystery of how to wear sarees for beginners and seasoned wearers alike.

From where to place saree pins strategically so that you feel comfortable to pallu styles that suit different occasions, we will cover them all here. So, go ahead and grow your designer sarees collection without being anxious about how to wear them well.   

Learn The Art Of Saree Draping In 4 Easy Steps

Read on to learn how to drape a saree step by step so that even novices can get it done. If you are a beginner, the first thing you need to do is find a cotton saree or one that is not too silky that it slips through your fingers easily.

Explore How To Drape A Saree And Become An Expert In Saree Draping:

Step 1 – Prepare to drape a saree

Before you learn how to drape a saree, you must do several things. 

  • First, unpack the saree and open it out on your bed or someplace that allows you to examine the saree. 
  • Next, find the pallu—it is usually quite different from the rest of the saree and will be the grandest part. 

If you have the pallu on one end of the saree, the fall should be on the other end. Some sarees come with a saree fall, and others will need it to be attached. A fall is a thicker piece of fabric, like cotton, that is attached to the hem of the saree. It adds weight to the saree and ensures that it falls properly. 

While you don’t need to wear a saree only when it has a fall, it is better as it prevents your shoes from becoming entangled in the folds and allows the pleats to fall properly. You will need to drape the saree beginning with the end opposite the pallu, the end that has the saree fall. 

Step 2 – Learning To ‘Tuck’ Into Saree Draping 

Once you have your blouse and underskirt on, you’re ready to begin. Ensure your blouse elevates the saree, while the underskirt should be the same color as the saree. Wearing a contrasting color underskirt will change the color of your saree, especially if your saree is opaque. Ensure your underskirt drawstring is tight around your waist, so your saree remains secure. 

Begin draping your saree from the fall end. 

  • The saree fall should be at your feet while you hold the top of that part of the saree against your belly button. 
  • Begin near your right elbow and place the saree against you till it reaches your left elbow. Now adjust the height of the saree. 
  • Ensure the saree almost covers your feet. Keep in mind the height of the footwear you will wear with the saree. 
  • Now tuck the saree into your underskirt starting from your right elbow. 
  • Tuck it in securely and ensure that there are no unsightly bumps where the saree has bunched up. 
  • Tuck the saree around your waist, around your back, and back to your belly button. 

Step 3 – Draping Saree With Perfect Pleats

This detailed guide on how to wear sarees for beginners covers the basics of saree draping. 

  • Take the saree around you again without tucking it in, and place the pallu over your left shoulder. Adjust the height of the pallu till you are comfortable. 
  • Now, keeping the pallu in place, pull the part of the saree closest to your neck tight around your chest and around your back till you reach your belly button. 
  • Now tuck in a bit of the saree securely to keep the saree tight around your chest. The remaining bit of the saree is what you need to pleat. 
  • Using your thumb and forefinger on your right hand to form a span of around 5 to 6 inches, use your left hand to move the saree backward and forward to create your pleats. 

Once your pleats are done, securely tuck them at your belly button. 

Step 4 – The Perfect Saree Draping, Tying It All Together 

Now tuck in any loose bits of your saree, and your lower drape is done. Next, pull the pallu tight around your chest and over your shoulder. You can either choose to pleat the pallu or leave it to flow freely. Most women use tight pleats on the pallu for everyday wear, leaving the pallu loose for special occasions requiring more finesse and style. 

An essential aspect of learning how to tie a saree is knowing where to pin it. While you may be able to wear a saree without pins, there is a level of comfort in knowing that your saree is securely fastened and won’t come undone even if you step on it or dance the night away.

Pinning the pallu is important so that it doesn’t keep falling off your shoulder as you move around. Pinning the pleats on your lower drape is also essential to keep them in place, else they will unravel if you accidentally step on them. Those are the two main places where you need to use pins. You can choose to add more pins depending on the style of saree you are wearing and your level of comfort. 

Explore other saree draping styles: Bengali Saree Draping | Lehenga Style Saree Draping | Coorgi Saree

Saree Draping Tips

Different styles of sarees may need to be draped differently. For example, the Atpoure Shari is a Bengali saree style with the pallu on both shoulders rather than just one. The Nauvari is a Maharashtrian style that is worn like a dhoti. Depending on the style of saree you want to wear, the draping technique will need to be modified. 

For those who are wondering how to wear a saree for beginners, there’s still hope. Some saree stores offer ready-to-wear sarees that come with pleats in place. You only need to put it on like a skirt and top. Beginner-friendly saree material includes cotton, crepe, georgette, and other material that enables you to pleat it properly without it slipping out of your fingers. 

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FAQs on Saree Draping

Which saree draping is best? 

The answer to that question depends entirely on why you are asking. If you are a beginner wanting to learn how to drape a saree, the standard style is the best. It is also the most universally elegant that suits a variety of body shapes. Among the regional sarees, each has its unique characteristics. From the Atpoure Shari and Mekhela Chadar to the Coorgi style of wearing a saree, they are all unique and beautiful in their own right. 

How do you wear a saree wrap?

In addition to draping the saree in the regular fashion, you also get ready-to-wear sarees that don’t need any draping. These pre-stitched sarees come with the pleats already added. So, all you have to do is put it on, and you are saree-ready in seconds. 

How do you tie a saree for beginners?

Wearing a saree is not very difficult, even if you are a beginner. The trick is to ensure the saree underskirt drawstring is tight to keep your saree secure. Also, wrap the saree tightly around you for the best silhouette. After that, getting the pleats and the pallu perfect will be your biggest concern. Finally, securing everything quickly with safety pins is the last trick you need to be comfortable and to ensure your mind is at ease no matter how many hours you spend in the saree.