Monday, April 20, 2009

Wrapped in Fabric!

We quilters dream of being wrapped in fabric. And quilters are used to handling fabric...lots of it! But to wrap 6 yards of fabric around your body in a graceful manner and then be able to walk, sit, dance, and tackle all manner of chores, as well, is truly an art. Due to my long time friendship with Tehruna Patel and her generosity, my closet has quite a selection of ethnic saris and shalwar khemis. So of course whenever I attend an Indian celebration, I am appropriately attired.

Tehruna is a member of the Parsi community in India and her sari reflects her heritage. Her sari, which shimmers in the light as she moves, is a Tanchoi sari which is a silk twill weave and is the sari she first wore for her wedding reception, when she married.

I am wearing a plain black silk sari and my choli or blouse is hand embroidered with Parsi designs.

Underneath the sari is a long petticoat, with a drawstring waist which is tied very tightly. One end of the sari is pleated and tucked inside the waist of the petticoat, the balance is wrapped around and the pallu, or end of the sari, is then either draped over your arm (as Tehruna is wearing hers) or brought over the shoulder and allowed to drape down the back (as I am wearing mine) to show off any design on the pallu. The trick to walking gracefully in a sari is to kick the pleats ahead of you as you glide forward.

In the second picture, Tehruna is wearing an antique, traditional red Garo which is heavily hand embroidered with Parsi designs of Chinese influence which include birds, flowers, and figurines. This time her pallu is brought from the back over her shoulder and the corner tucked into her petticoat to show off the fabulous embroidery on the pallu.

Thrity, second from left, is wearing a silk sari with a hand embroidered Parsi border or kor.

Never will you feel more elegant or more like royalty than when you are dressed and glide in a sari!

Like quilts, these traditional saris are an investment and an art form that are used and handed down from generation to generation.

1 comment:

mgreen said...

I have always thought it would be fabulous to be wrapped in a sari. Cynthia, you look stunning! Thanks for the lesson in Indian culture. Very interesting!