The saree in India is as ancient as the country’s culture. Even the Mahabharata, the Hindu holy book, describes an event involving Draupadi’s saree and how it altered the course of history. Returning to the present, the saree is now an integral part of our history.
Madison saree is the traditional wear of Brahmin women in Tamil Nadu. A saree is called a pudavai in Tamil, so a madisar saree becomes a madisar pudavai. It is worn by married Gurukkal, Iyer and Iyengar Brahmin ladies, especially on important occasions like marriage, poojas and death ceremonies.
It is a long saree (usually 9 yards) that is draped in an unusual way around the body and thighs. It consists of a pallu over your shoulders, a knee-length top, and multi-pleated trousers that reach your ankles.
I know it sounds complicated, so just wait until I explain how to drape it around your body. It’s not a tough job. Follow these steps to wear it-
Step 1 –
Since the saree would be wrapped in a trouser pattern, wear a blouse but not a petticoat. If you choose, you can wear stretchy three-quarters or denim inside.
Step 2 –
The pallu can be identified as the side with a heavy pattern or a different colour. Then make 8-10 tiny pleats with the non-pallu end. (Pleats are simply folded.) Pleats take a lot of practise so they keep sliding between your fingertips. To hold the pleats in place, use your thumb.
Step 3 –
Place these tiny pleats (or folds) on the left side of your back and secure them in place.
Step 4 –
Spin the saree around your body, then run it over the pleats an inch below the fold-tips, bringing the running end to your navel.
Step 5 –
Wear a double knot at your navel with an inch of the saree on the right (it will borrow some length from the pleats in your back) and an inch on the left. The knot should not be overly tight, but it should keep the saree in place during the day.
Step 6 –
We were wrapping the saree in a clockwise direction till now (from left to right). Now take a foot-long length of the untied saree and change the direction of the wrap. Take this foot-long length back to your left side and tuck it.
Step 7 –
Change the wrapping path to clockwise, run the saree over your abdomen, and tuck to the right once more. Allow the remainder of the untied saree to slip down the front.
Step 8 –
Place your feet apart and pull the saree from between your legs to the back of your neck. The saree length that stretches between your legs and tucks behind your back is known as kaccham.
Step 9 –
Tuck the kaccha in at the back of your waist. The pleated trousers will take on the form of the legs as a result.
Step 10 –
Take a foot-long stretch of the untied saree from your back and tuck it in anti-clockwise from kaccham to your right.
Step 11 –
Change the way back to clockwise and run the saree down your back from right to left, bringing it to the front (one clockwise spin).
Step 12 –
Since the left knee is not wrapped in this wrap, extend the width of the saree over the right knee to create an oblique border.
Step 13 –
Spin the saree around you one more time, this time pulling the width of the wrap over your left leg. (The saree’s final two wraps should now form an inverted V.)
Step 14 –
Make pleats down the length of the saree that will be draped over your right shoulder. (The pallu is the part of the saree that protects the chest and shoulders and hangs in the back.)
Step 15 –
At the shoulder, pin the pallu to your blouse.
Step 16 –
Take one of the pallu’s back edges and spin it clockwise around your body before tucking it to your right at the waistline.