The Bengali saree tradition flourishes with luxurious handlooms like Tant, Deccai, Jamdani, Baluchari, and Garad. However, what truly complements these exquisite fabrics is the age-old art of Bengali-style saree draping. Iconic movies such as Devdas and Gunday have played a significant role in cultivating a timeless admiration for the uniquely charming Bengali saree draping. The enduring allure of this draping style is truly unmatched.
Undoubtedly, the Divi-style saree, with its straightforward steps, has earned a place in the hearts of people across the country. Nevertheless, investing some extra effort to experiment with sophisticated forms of traditional styles, such as Bengali saree draping, can elevate your ethnic look to a whole new level. While the bridal drape, known as ‘nature’ (eightfold), is widely recognized, we recommend mastering the classic form of Bengali saree draping first. Despite its sophisticated appearance, the draping process is surprisingly easy to execute and carry off with grace.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Mastering Timeless Bengali Saree Draping:
Are you ready to learn the art of Bengali saree draping? Follow the steps below to become proficient in this timeless technique.
Step 1: Establishing a Solid and Uniform Base
The key to achieving perfect Bengali-style saree draping lies in creating a solid and uniform base. Start by tucking at the navel and move around the waist towards the right hip. The saree should complete a full circle at your navel, covering your feet or gently grazing the top of your feet if worn with heels.
Step 2: Tucking The Saree
Once the initial round of Bengali saree draping is in place, take a section of the saree and tuck it around the left hip, revealing the reverse side in the front. Now, take the saree towards the right hip and tuck it there. Repeat this process to create two broad pleats covering the front, a hallmark of the modern Bengali saree draping style.
Step 3: Pleating The Saree – The Bengali Way!
This step can be tricky for those unfamiliar with Bengali-style saree draping. Leave the rest of the saree and start making pleats on the pallu side. Check your box pleats to eliminate wrinkles and smoothen the fabric. You can seek assistance to align and stiffen your pleats’ creases to the bottom.
Step 4: Completing the Drape
Move on to the next step of Bengali saree draping. Take the pallu across the left shoulder, ensuring the entire length wraps around. Feel free to use extra pins to secure the saree on the shoulder, especially when opting for Bengali bridal saree draping styles.
Step 5: Finalizing the Look
Bring the rest of the saree from the back and bring the pallu to the front from the right-hand side, under the arm. Optionally, tie a keyring (chabhi guccha) on the right shoulder or let it drape over the shoulder for a more free-flowing appearance. You can also place it over the left shoulder. Voila! You are now ready to give the nivi-style saree draping a run for its money.
Step 6: The Finishing Touch
If you’re committing to the Bengali style saree draping, enhance your look with characteristic accessories. Consider attaching a bunch of keys using an engraved keychain on the pallu’s fringes, letting them chime over your shoulders. Opt for long sleeves or puffy elbow-length blouses instead of short-sleeved ones. Choose Bengali sarees with intricate and broad borders to bring the entire look to life. Complete the ensemble with traditional bangles like Pola (coral bangles) or Shankha (Conch bangles).
By this point, you’re likely eager to find the perfect occasion to showcase your skills in Bengali-style saree draping. However, you don’t necessarily need one. Grab one of your finest heavily bordered silk sarees and give it a try now. Nothing exudes traditional softness combined with urbanity and confidence quite like a precisely executed Bengali saree draping.