The earliest mention of a saree was in 100 BC. From Murals, Aryans, Indus Valley to royal courts sarees have a history of its own. From being unstitched to being styled, stitched and counted as world couture sarees have become a fashion statement since shooting into prominence in the early twentieth century.
The rectangular saree is an Indian ethnic dressing legend. Suitable for all body shapes, ages and bridging the gap between tradition and contemporary lifestyles are the ‘Chiffons.’ From dreamy Bollywood movies to demure royal dressing, the light weight, woven, mesh like, the well-balanced and translucent fabric is the first choice for many women who want to look good without layers of sweaty fabric. Sarees in chiffon speak of the drape of unparalleled elegance and class with a very strong personality of its own. The wearer whatever the shape, age, and background feel empowered as the snugly fabric supports the Indian love for curves and lends it an inescapable practicality in its beauty.
Do chiffons mean only sarees? Absolutely Not, it is an extremely popular saree fabric but is used in dresses too. The versatility and compatibility factor allows chiffon to be combined with other fabrics helping you to experiment with looks and styles and to carry a different look and drape each time you wear a saree. The fabric is ‘flowy’ and falls well and gives a finished look to the most amateur attempt at wearing a saree. A saree wearing person will find managing easier. They need not be starched, controlled, pleated and styled and does not tire the wearer as it is light hence it is preferred material for a designer saree or a dupatta. With every region in India having its own draping style, chiffon becomes a popular choice since it can support most of the styles making the marriage of perennial Indian wear to chiffon a huge success.
Any chiffon saree wearer will have a list of reasons why chiffon is the go to fabric for sarees.
- Chiffon is perfect for as a formal work wear or an event wear. This is one of the most comfortable fabrics around. It does not crumple and does not have to be starched and maintained exclusively. The fabric does not tear easily and remains durable, dulls depending on the usage and is extremely good value for money.
- The fabric is widely available, and prices range depending on the quality, print and the brand. It is available offline and online. Made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers like nylon, rayon, and polyester, graceful chiffons can cover the price range from the expensive silk to the economic polyester chiffon blend or faux chiffons. There is one chiffon for everyone who wants a chiffon saree or a dress.
- It allows for simple printed or embroidered varieties and since it suits the curvy Indian women, party wear selection becomes very easy. Chiffons come in all colors from stark whites to pastels and multi colored, ones with flowers and motifs on them. Pastels and light colors go well in the day time and in the night and parties shine with some metal, some shimmer, and softly muted sequins.
- The options range from daily to formal to festive wear. From the classy plain chiffon saree worn with embellished blouses to designer chiffons, the list is endless. Nowadays, brocades, gotta-Patti borders, leheriya, tie and dye, mirror, embroidery, can be found on chiffon sarees. Play with the blouses and go from traditional long sleeved to halters to strappy and simple ones.
- Wear accessories according to the embellishments on the saree and never wear a lot of accessories with a heavily embroidered saree. From clutches, for an event to sling bags at work chiffons can manage anything.
- It is a precious summer wear and dries fast during rains. Cleaning and washing are easier. It can be easily hand washed or slow machine washed and ironed at home. Do not wash chiffons with any other clothes to avoid color Avoid soaking to ensure long life and reduce dulling.
Chiffon sarees are ethnic couture as proven by its evolution, transformation, and testimony to this devotion of the women towards her saree. From simple school teachers, our mothers, to home makers to career women to divas, all have one chiffon saree tucked away in their wardrobe. If silk reminds you of the wedding then a chiffon saree will remind you of the power of being a woman cocooned in the most delicately beautiful fabric around known to humankind.
Photo by vijay_chennupati