A brief history of the Indian Sari

Indian trade saris come in a range of styles and fabrics, from cotton to chiffon and silk. The weft of the fabric is typically cotton or silk, while the warp may contain both. Another common fabric is crepe. Some have different colors, while others have a single color with design elements woven throughout. Popular colors in saris are red, turquoise, and yellow. The most notable type of sarsi includes the British style chiffon sari that has a V-shaped neckline and comes in muted colors like black, white, or gray. The sari is stitched together in a series of blocks and then folded into pleats. The process of making a sari can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the quality and complexity of the design. The sari evolved from the stol, a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. The earliest saris were made in ancient India and date back to 2000 B.C.E. The word “sari” originated in Tamil, meaning any kind of large piece of cloth. Today, we can find saris like designer net sarees, but it has evolved from variety of techniques.

Trade and Commercial Business

Trade and commerce played an important role in the dissemination of the sari as it grew in popularity across India and Southeast Asia. As the British began to colonize India, they brought their own clothing with them. These garments, including the frock coat and petticoat, became popular in India and were adapted into the sari by Indians. Silk was a status symbol in this time period; it was also highly valued for its lightness and comfortable fit.

Traditional wear-Sarees

The sari is traditionally worn by women from northern India and southern parts of Pakistan. The women of these regions often wear traditional dress for religious ceremonies, weddings, or other special occasions. In India and Pakistan, the sari is worn by women of all ages. However, in other regions or states in southern India, such as Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, some women still wear the traditional dress called a “mundu,” which is made from a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. In both India and Pakistan, wearing a sari to school or work is not uncommon. A new meaning has emerged for the sari in modern times: It has become a fashion statement that is often worn by celebrities. Actresses such as Salma Hayek, Padma Lakshmi, and Audrey Hepburn have worn the sari, which is unusual in the Western world. The public relations activity of sari-wearing has had a positive effect on India’s economy. Currently, modern saris include net sarees and chiffon saris. You can find such modern saris on Snapdeal.

Ancient India Civilization

While it is unclear when the first saris were made, historians believe they were produced in ancient India. Their earliest appearance was in 2000 B.C.E., during the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization, which occupied much of what is now northwest India and Pakistan. During the Harappan period, female figurines have been found that have saris wrapped around their waists and skirts covering their legs, suggesting they were wearing them. The Indian emperor Ashoka is said to have introduced the practice of wearing saris in 200 B.C.E. when the women of his court wore them to meet with foreign emissaries and government officials. The sari was worn by Indian women for many centuries, and it became a symbol of the region. It was usually wrapped around women’s waists and tied at the back or front. The sari was considered a symbol of modesty for Indian women. Some other current South Asian nations have adopted it as an important part of their culture: Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.

Manu Smriti – Ancient names

The earliest written evidence of the use of saris comes from the ancient Hindu epic “Mahabharata”, which dates to between 400 B.C.E. and 200 C.E. The text mentions the sari as part of a woman’s attire, describing it as “a long strip of cloth measuring 100 angulas,” which is about 6 feet in length (200 cm). The sari was also mentioned in one of the ancient law books of India, the “Manu Smriti”, which dates to between 200 B.C.E and 200 C.E. The sari evolved from the “stol”, a long piece of cloth wrapped around the body that Indians have worn for centuries. The earliest stol-like textiles were made of cotton and found in Gujarat, which dates back to 2000 B.C.E. In ancient times, different countries used a stol as a form of clothing for males, whereas females wore long strips of cloth called “saris”, which were wrapped around their waists.

Ancient weaving techniques 

The earliest saris were made out of weaving techniques such as netting and interlacing that are still used today. Weaving techniques in the Indus Valley Civilization included tying cords together to create loops on the loom, cutting and weaving pieces together to create a pattern, and adding colors by stitching or dipping threads into solutions before they are woven. These ancient saris were made of cotton and were decorated with floral and geometric designs. The colors used were bright yellow and red, which are still favored colors today.

Khandwa – Weaving techniques

The weaving technique most famous for its use in saris is “Khandwa” (also known as “Bandha” or “Bandari”). This technique is a type of weft-faced, resist-dyeing woven textile tradition associated with the merchants of Gujarat. After weaving, the cloth is dyed on both sides. The first weave is a warp-faced cloth that is then dyed in different colors with resist-dyeing techniques. The other side of the finished piece is then woven in a new technique called double warping where two distinct weaves overlap each other resulting in a striped appearance. In ancient India, the sari was not worn as often as it was in later centuries. During the Gupta period (320-550 C.E.), saris were worn more often and by everyone. The sari became a part of everyday clothes in India and was also worn by women of all social classes. Children wore saris as well, including young men. As time progressed though, the sari was associated with only upper-class women. In the Gupta period, there were different types of saris that represented different regions of India and gender roles within society. Sari names typically include the region (for example, “Paithani,” from Paithan, Maharashtra), gender (for example, “Bihu”), animal (such as elephant or wolf), and the mother of the bride.


The sari was one of the many developments in Indian textile tradition during this period, along with embroidered clothing, brocades, and silks. Sari weaving is still practiced today in India and Pakistan. As the Gupta period ended, the sari continued to be worn by upper-class Indian women. The sari was famous during this time period because of its luxurious appearance and status as a symbol of India’s richness. During this time there were no formal rules for wearing a sari, so women chose their own styles: In addition to being more expensive than most Hindu textiles, the early 20th century Sindhi silk saris have been described as the most elegant garments of all time.

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