There’s so much understated elegance when it comes to draping the 6-yard fabric. Be it for the regular work show or the occasional flaunt at an event, people are spoilt for choices.
But what splits the distinction from the rest of the crop is a subtle inclination towards effortless luxury. It is an explicit message to the onlookers that there is no shortage of class with a minimalist approach.
Now, circling back to the choices the general public has, there are so many options to zone in on. They range from cotton sarees to plain silk saree and everything in between, such as polyester textiles to natural jute fabrics.
It is not mandated that the more expensive, the better. After all, the more expensive the wardrobe gets, seldom does one get an opportunity to showcase an outfit. With that being said, silk still reigns supreme to all other strands of natural and human-made fabrics, solely because it falls squarely in between the two classes.
Making it more clear, though it is naturally available, it requires skilled expertise to extract the fibers with care. Also, there’s no doubt about how beautifully the fabric falls on the wearer complimenting their body.
But let’s not forget what an “ordinary” cotton saree can do with a simplistic design. It comes into an element of its own, especially when there’s scorching summer sun involved in an outdoorsy activity kind of a day.
But a saree cannot just be whittled down to its occasion, fabric, labor-intensive design, or cost. It is more about the wearer than it is about the saree itself. It gives an additional dimension to express oneself in a public forum, and the scope is vast depending on how one manages to pull off the drapery.
Done right, it has the potential to turn the wow factor to an eleven on the dial into awe. So there’s a lot up for grabs in terms of respect and adoration simply with how one chooses to wear a not-so-simple piece of fabric!
All this is a lot to consider when it’s time for the next splurge as these factors will influence one’s choice. But that selection is a direct reflection of one’s persona. A persona that the wearer wants to exhibit to the world when in that saree.
We’re all very conscious of what the world has to think about us and are trying hard to keep that image in line with the best of our interests. Indeed, the clothing one dons is at the forefront of that representational image.
Herein lies the magic of the saree. It cannot be sidelined to just traditional wear alone, as the versatility is immense. Be it a handcrafted artisan textile or a loom-milled piece of clothing; it has evolved along with humanity and the progress we’ve made.
The curated nature of the saree today is significant proof that it is not fading away into history books anytime soon. It has only seen a resurgence among the millennials and reinforces the idea of back to basics clothing.
Not only does this simple stretch of the fabric provide vital support to the dwindling weaver communities, but it also takes a modern twist to our global problem of sustainability.
As ready-made clothing became the norm with the Industrial Revolution, mills were overrun into issues relating to energy consumption and waste disposal of artificial dyes. It is a massive cause for concern as the mills tend to pollute water bodies.
Restoring the traditional practices of fabric manufacture gives a fighting chance to both humanity and the planet. There has never been a better time for this push indeed.
So now, it begs the question, is the saree an old piece of tradition or our way into a sustainable future for how clothing is made?
It is not just a matter of the wearer feeling good but rather everyone else around feeling good too! It reduces our ecological impact and provides an economic boost to a now distressed sect of the population, all while being a simple, graceful fabric.
Win-win to all problems highlighted above. All this began with a simple cotton saree that chose to evolve into plain silk saree to express grandeur which eventually trickled down to the everyday wear of georgette and chiffon textiles.
At this juncture, it is not our production techniques that need rework but rather the demand to wear the magical piece of clothing more often.