Radha In The Moonlight by Raja Ravi Varma in Origin of Saree Blog By Chakor

Origin Of Saree

Women draped in different styles of sarees

The Origin of Saree

The origin of draped garment can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization around 2800-1800 BC in north western region of India. The sari's journey began with cotton, which was first cultivated in the Indian subcontinent around 5th millennium BC. The saree evolved from a three-piece ensemble comprising the Antarīya, the lower garment; the Uttarīya, a veil worn over the shoulder or the head; and the Stanapatta, a chestband.

Meaning & Symbolism

The name evolved from 'Saadi' meaning a strip of cloth in Sanskrit, also from word 'sattika' which means women's attire, finds its mention in early Jain and Buddhist scripts.

What started as India's first seamless garment, went onto become the symbol of Indian femininity. The saree is considered a symbol of modesty and femininity, and it helps women to feel confident and empowered. In Indian culture, wearing a saree is a sign of respect for elders and family values. 

Sari - An Expression of art

Saree became a form of expression of art and a canvas for weavers and printers to create artistic prints, weaves and silver golden embellishments & have made it the most glamorous and sensuous all-time wear for women.

These timeless traditions of weaving and dyeing with use of natural ingredients like indigo, lac and turmeric, have been is widely use by all the classes of the societies. From royals and riches who probably introduced the use of zari threads for weaving and embroideries and the use of prints and other methods of tie dye creating interesting patterns on the fine cottons for the others. With such rich heritage and ancient history, the saree has a lot to be reversed for its travel withstanding cultural, economic and technical transformations.

For an Indian woman, saree is not a just an attire but an extension of her personality and embracing a piece of garment that has lived for centuries! 

The Evolution of Sarees

The saree is a stylish and modest yet traditional and classy garment worn by women across the Indian subcontinent. It has been worn for millennia and is an integral part of culture and tradition. The versatile design and elegant draping make the saree a timeless classic that remains connected to its roots. With the abundance of sarees available in India, from handwoven to modern designer pieces, the saree has thrived in every way.

The evolution of the saree has been influenced by regional cultures, climate, and social practices. Various regions in India have their own distinct styles of weaving, designs, and methods of draping the saree. Different fabrics, such as silk, cotton, and others, are used to make sarees, and they often feature intricate embroidery, patterns, and embellishments.

The saree has transcended its cultural and regional boundaries and is now appreciated globally for its elegance and versatility. While its roots are deeply embedded in South Asian traditions, the saree has become a symbol of grace and timeless beauty, worn by women on various occasions, from everyday life to special ceremonies and events.

Sarees in Indian Mythology

Paintings by Raja Ravi Varma in Origin Of Saree Blog by Chakor
Image referrence : Collage of paintings by legendary Raja Ravi Varma

Saree, being an integral part of Indian culture, has often found its way into mythology, literature, and religious narratives. In Hindu mythology and religious iconography, many goddesses are depicted wearing sarees, symbolising grace, femininity, and cultural traditions. The choice of attire for these goddesses often holds symbolic significance, reflecting their roles and characteristics.

Lakshmi: As the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and fortune, Lakshmi is depicted wearing rich and opulent sarees. She is often adorned with jewelry, symbolising abundance and prosperity. The choice of clothing emphasises her association with material and spiritual wealth.

Saraswati: The goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom, and learning, Saraswati is typically depicted wearing a white saree. White symbolises purity and knowledge, and Saraswati is often portrayed playing the veena (a musical instrument) and holding a book or scriptures.

Radha: Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna, is often depicted in vibrant and colourful sarees. The choice of colourful attire symbolises the joy and love associated with her divine relationship with Krishna.

Sita: Sita, the wife of Lord Rama in the Ramayana, is often depicted in traditional sarees, symbolising her virtue, purity, and devotion. Her attire reflects the idealised qualities of a devoted wife in Hindu mythology.

Durga: Durga, a warrior goddess, is depicted wearing a red saree, symbolising her fierce and powerful nature. Durga is often shown riding a lion or tiger, and her attire reflects her strength and ability to combat evil forces.

Parvati: The consort of Lord Shiva, Parvati is portrayed wearing sarees in various forms. As a symbol of marital bliss and motherhood, her attire is often modest and traditional. In her more ferocious forms, such as Kali, she is depicted wearing a skirt made of severed demon heads, emphasising her warrior aspect.

Ganga: The personification of the Ganges River, Ganga is often depicted wearing a flowing saree, symbolising the rivers' purity and grace. The depiction of Ganga in human form emphasises the sacredness of the river.

These depictions of goddesses in sarees not only reflect cultural norms and aesthetics but also convey deeper symbolic meanings associated with each goddess's attributes and roles in Hindu mythology. The attire becomes a visual representation of the qualities and characteristics attributed to the divine feminine in Hindu traditions.

In the enchanting narrative of India's rich cultural heritage, the saree emerges as a deeply personal and expressive form of art. From its roots in the ancient Indus Valley to the vibrant hues of today's contemporary designs, the saree is not just a garment but a woven expression of stories, emotions, and traditions. Chakor, driven by a passion for preserving these timeless tales, invites you to be a part of this journey. With every Chakor saree, you're not just embracing a piece of fabric; you're wrapping yourself in the warmth of heritage, the craftsmanship of artisans, and the enduring elegance of a cultural legacy. Step into the embrace of Chakor's saree collection and let each drape whisper the tales of tradition and beauty unique to you.

Explore Chakor's Scintillating Sarees - collection that captivate with their brilliant colours, traditional designs & exquisite embellishments.

Scintillating Sarees from Chakor - Lady in Tri Coloured Patola Saree


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