Sarees have always been draped in a myriad ways in India – long, short, dhoti style and even like a ballroom gown. There are more than 60 to 80 regional drapes from about 15 states. In Karnataka alone which is known to be the fulcrum of silk and hence one of the largest producers of silk sarees, there are more than 9 to 10 varieties of documented drapes showcasing the versatility of the garment and the resourcefulness of the user to adapt it to changing needs.
An incredibly powerful garment, saree has thrived through adaptation from the very beginning. However, it stopped evolving in the last 100 years with the entry of blouse and petticoat in the scene. In all most all states and regions, the local draping styles have vanished and everybody has embraced the urban style of saree draping popularly known as the Nivi style.
The good news is that saree is on a revival mode and is being reinvented for those who want to make a personal statement. Thanks to recent researchers who are keen on digging out the vast repository of draping styles in the past and have recorded more than 80 regional drapes already. Today we bring you some myriad regional styles of Karnataka in which silk sarees are worn:
IyengariKachhe Drape: The drape inspired from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, IyengariKachhe Drape is a nine-yard drape that when worn well not only looks elegant but also gives optimum comfort to the wearer.
Mysore Shaili Drape: A style worn in Mysore and nearby regions, in this style, the pleats in the front are not tucked unlike the Nivi style, instead they are rolled outwards.
Bhootheyara Drape: Worn by nomadic ceremonial performers in and around Bidar and Kalaburagi, this drape is rather unique where one-half of the sari is turned into an elegant trouser with the other half covering the torso!
Coorgi Drape: Coorgi drape is the most famous drape style from Karnataka. Also known as Kodagu, the kovada women have the front palluneatly tucked over the shoulder and pleats are pushed backwards to get an elegant silhouette. This style of drape was mainly adapted by the women of coorg to be able to easily traverse the hilly slopes of Kodagu.
YakshaganaKase Drape: Part of Karnataka’s draping tradition, YakshaganaKasestyle of draping was in olden days worn by men.
HalakiVokkaliga Drape: This nine-yard drape from Karnataka’s indigenous tribe has pleats spread across the body like a skirt. The top portion of the saree is tied as in the Coorgi style.
In all these regional draping styles of Karnataka, one thing that comes out bold and clear is that the accent of the drape is on comfort. While getting rid of the cumbersome blouses and petticoats, they in no way look outrageous and vulgar but look dignified and graceful.