What is a Saree?
Imagine that you’re going somewhere special and you want to look your best. You want to wear something that’s colorful and stands out, and that’s the Bengali saree. This lovely wrap comes in gold, red, and white for that Bengal look. Just eyeing it has anyone thinking of royal Bengal tigers stalking India‘s vast forests.
Sarees are worn according to one’s social standing. It’s not uncommon to see women from upper castes wearing them with silver keys. The keys add beauty while holding each pleat in place. There are several steps that ensure proper wear of the Bengali style. But before we go too deep, let’s first explore a brief history of the saree.
Origin of the Bengali Saree
Otherwise known as the classic tant saree, the Bengali saree was first made in Shantipur during the 15th century when it was weaved for fashion purposes. Strands of yarn were woven from raw cotton through a loom and pulled together to produce the saree. Vibrant colors begat several themes, from the bumblebee to the amulet and royal palace decors. The practice of saree weaving continued to thrive through the centuries and was popular at the height of the Mughal dynasty.
Then, around the 18th century, it became a hit among India’s elite. From there, the Bengali version was crafted in different states in India from Bengal. Weavers from around the country brought a different variation of the saree, and soon there were different styles and colors. Sarees were made from two different kinds of cotton: combed and regular. Combed cotton sarees were much softer in texture than the regular type and were deemed more comfortable.
The Modern Saree
The tradition of the Bengali saree continues today. Weavers and textile producers carry on this delightful legacy using a vast array of design techniques, from floral to the abstract. What matters more is the use of color, which has had centuries of cultural significance throughout India.
Most sarees are cut and made from 6 yards of finely made cotton. Each piece comes in a brilliant color tapestry of its own, complete with fancy trimmings. But it’s not just the radiance that should excite you. The saree is light, airy, and practical for combating the rabid heat of those sweltering Bengal summers. But throwing a saree on just isn’t enough. There are several ways to wear a tant saree that produce a look that’s smooth and flowing.
How To Wear a Tant Bengali Saree
A good saree should hang in a way that’s elegant, attractive, and comfortable. It’s important to look at the saree as being a lot like an overcoat without buttons or zippers. The idea is to form several pleats for a look that’s practical yet aesthetic.
1. Draping the Saree
In draping your saree, your goal should be elegance. The idea is to wear the saree in such a way that it flows poetically. But in order to do so, you’ll need to tuck the saree at the right side of your waist. From there, you work the decorative cloth into a cascading spiral towards your feet. The aim is to create the desired smoothness that makes it flow well.
2. Make the Pleats Pleasing
Now let’s discuss those pleats. They should be formed in a way such that they emphasize the elegance of the drape. They should remind you of what a spiral staircase looks like in a Victorian home. In this case, you switch from going left to right then right to left to form smooth, even pleats. Then you repeat the process until done. Creating frontal pleats requires securing the saree into your waist firmly for a strong fit.
3. Keep Those Pleats Flowing
Now that you’ve created that spiral, it’s time to do the easy and fun part. At this point, your job is to make sure every fold remains in place. Your saree should resemble a liquid state, and the best way to achieve this is to form a loose segment known as the pallu, which is the part that slides over your head or left shoulder with relative ease. You can then fasten it with something antiquated. The most common relics used are silver keys. They complete the Bengali style with firm dexterity. Once finished, repeat the same process for the right side. Make sure the bottom parts are touching your feet. By then, you will have achieved that statuesque Bengali look you’ve always wanted.
The Bengali style saree remains the most prominent style. Because it’s timeless, it’s a favorite for many. Women in India continue to wear it for all occasions. The drape is a basic pattern that’s achieved in a few simple steps.
The most fascinating aspect of the Bengali style saree is how popular it is today. Red appears to be the dominant color for several reasons. Indian tradition sees red as a color of passion and fertility. It is also a color of strength and love, and that’s why it’s worn at weddings. The Bengali style saree combines both red and white to balance fertility and purity. These elements form the backbone of the style to create something timeless and lasting.