India is a treasure trove of different kinds of textiles, handicrafts and garments. Every region has some unique fashions to boast off. Hitherto, many of these fashions were considered highly localized and event specific, and did not really have much of a mainstream appeal. With the revival in ethnic fashion, this is no longer the case.
Now, even the most obscure regional garments are getting substantial recognition amongst the masses. As for the garments that already had a sizable customer base, like the Marathi saree, they have become extremely popular in India and abroad. You can find them in many beautiful, modern varieties and types.
As the name suggests, a Maharashtrian saree is a saree that originates from Maharashtra, a vast state located in the west of India. The state is known for its rich and ancient history extending back to thousands of years, and for the presence of a thriving coastal community. In fact, one of the main types of saree from this region, called the Nauvari saree is actually the staple saree of the Koli or fishermen community.
Women are often confused when considering how to wear a Nauvari saree as the lower part of the drape is very unique in its look. It closely resembles the Maharashtrian style of draping a dhoti. The first step for those wondering how to drape Nauvari saree, is to get the traditional nine yard saree.
The excessive length of the fabric is essential as the saree is draped around each leg and tucked in from the middle to achieve a similar look and feel of a dhoti. It is then draped across the torso and tucked into the waist from behind, ensuring that as a whole; the outfit is a cohesive whole and stays in place. This Maharashtrian saree draping, also called Kasta drape, is actually very comfortable and allows the wearer full freedom of movement. People appreciate this style because of its unique look and flexibility.
Types of Maharashtrian sarees
However, that is not the only answer to the question of how to wear Marathi saree and blouses. There are many Maharashtrian saree types, which are draped in the traditional Nivi style of the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarati front pleated style from Gujarat. The most opulent and magnificent Marathi style saree is the Paithani saree, which was the traditional bridal attire of upper class brides from this region.
Today, it is widely appreciated across the country for its colorful, lustrous look and richly woven designs displayed prominently on the pallu. The intricate designs are often inspired by mythological junctures and divine inferences, though they may entail delicate, nature inspired motifs as well. Since they are made from hand look woven silk of the finest quality combined with dazzling gold threads, they exude a very fine and luxurious look.
Cotton and silk are the two most popular materials used to make different types of the Marathi saree. Cotton is preferred owing to its light and absorbent nature, which makes it perfect for the humid coastal weather. On the other hand, silk is preferred because of its fine, luxurious look, which syncs well with special events.
The sarees from this region are often hand spun or hand woven using traditional techniques and come in a wide array of bright and beautiful colors such as yellow, green, pink and purple. The use of metallic threads, either of gold or silver, in embellishments and weaves is also quite common amongst the more fancy and high class sarees. You will find that more affordable garments come with bright and beautiful prints of floral and mythological designs.
Marathi style draping, though very comfortable and unique in its look, continues to be a predominant choice during traditional ceremonies or events within the Maharashtrian community. Until recently, it was considered a type of regional costume and didn’t have much of fashion significance.
Now, however, many celebrities and models on the runways have been seen wearing beautiful and elaborate Maharashtrian saree types with the traditional drape. Modern versions of this drape and modern versions of these sarees have become quite popular with women, who wear them to festival and ceremonial occasions.
Style it right
For those wondering how to wear Maharashtrian saree in a way that looks traditional and appropriate, the answer is simple. Maharashtrian style accessories like the traditional hoop shaped and pearl studded nose ring, called the nath is an indispensable part of this look.
It also includes typical gold jewelry such as gold bangles, gold earrings and/or gold necklaces. Women can also go for a minimalistic, modern look by wearing a large and ornate nose ring and avoiding all other accessories. Paired with a traditionally draped Maharashtrian saree, it creates a very classic look.