The 9 yards saree is a traditional saree type from India, mainly worn in western states like Maharashtra and Goa and southern states like Tamil Nadu. Also called Nauvari or Lugade saree, this garment is distinguished by the length of the fabric, which extends to nine yards long as compared to the conventional 6 yard length. A nine yards saree tends to be broader and thicker than other saree types. They are very religiously and culturally significance, especially in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. At the same time, the 9 yard saree is also coming back into fashion as a stylish piece of vintage clothing that young girls and modern women love to wear, especially for festivals and ceremonies.
Traditionally, the nine yard saree was an all-inclusive garment worn without a petticoat or upper garment (blouse) in south India, while in Maharashtra a blouse was sometimes worn. The centre of the saree is tucked in securely at the back, with the ends tied in the front, and then the saree is wrapped around each leg trouser style. The decorative end pieces were thrown over each shoulder and ticked in securely. Thus, the saree completely covered the woman in a modest manner but at the same time offered an unprecedented level of comfort because of the distinctive trouser style. When draped in the traditional way, the 9 yard sari allows a lot of flexibility of movement while still looking very traditional and beautiful. However to achieve this effect it is important to know how to tie nine yards saree in the traditional way, which can be complicated for those unfamiliar with it. The solution to this problem is to purchase ready-made or pre-stitched nine yard sarees which can be easily slipped on and off. To wear this garment, one does not need to know how to tie 9 yards saree to get the unique Nauvari look.
The drape of the 9 yard saree can also vary from region to region. For instance, in Goa, this style is donned by fisherwomen who prefer a tight and well-structured drape. Amongst the Koli tribe, a two piece garment similar in looks and structure is worn.
This length of saree is also widely used in south India, especially for ceremonial occasions and weddings. These are considered the most traditional sarees and since they are reserved for special occasions, they usually come with more elaborate designs and are made of luxurious fabrics. Kanchivaram silk and Mysore silk are the favored fabrics for 9 yards’ sarees from this region. These fine fabrics are favored not just for the gold tint and lustrous appearance; their thickness makes them appropriate for garments worn without any inner pieces like blouses. The 9 yards silk saree is considered a very important status symbol in the south. The most traditional kinds come with temple borders, bright colors and eye-catching zari borders.
Today, of course, a 9 yards saree collection will boast a lot more varieties in terms of colors, fabrics and designs than traditionally seen. Though the classic palette of red, yellow, green and blue remains the most popular, you’ll also find fun variations of red, orange and pink. Fabric options have diversified beyond the classic cotton and heavy silks to include cost-effective varieties of art silk and crepe.
Trending 9 Yards Saree Styles
This saree style is considered very traditional and is still widely worn by older women in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. However, it is also becoming very trendy amongst the younger generation who love to explore and experiment with vintage styles. One of the reasons for the popularity of the nine yards silk sarees is their frequent appearance in Bollywood movies. Actresses have also worn these sarees for events where a traditional look is required.
One of the misconceptions about this style is that it is very sexy and revealing, because of the lack of a blouse and petticoat. If draped correctly, the saree is in fact very modest, though women may choose to drape it in a more daring way depending on their personal style and comfort level. Many trendy modern women appreciate this style for its contemporary trouser style drape which allows greater freedom of movement.
When accessorizing the 9 yards saree one can take inspiration from the classic styles. In Maharashtra, the preferred accessories would be comfortable Kolhapuri chappals, simple gold pendants and a pearl nath or circular nose-ring. Hair is typically tied back in a bun, with a circle of fresh flowers to adorn it. Earrings and glass bangles may also be added, to achieve the complete traditional look.
In Tamil Nadu, the nine yards saree is typically worn by the bride and hence is accessorized using multiple heavy gold necklace sets, mang tikkas, anklets, rings and earrings. For weddings, as well as for any formal occasion, the long cuff-like earrings from this region with a dangling bell are a must.