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Re: [SCA_India] Lots of questions

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  • Elewyiss SCA
    Barry, what wrap are you using in the pictures? I really like it. Did you need help getting the drape in the back? Tevi. ... -- Ro ah Chatulim
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 30, 2012
      Barry, what wrap are you using in the pictures? I really like it. Did you need help getting the drape in the back?

      Tevi.

      On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:54 AM, barry hicks <barryehicks@...> wrote:
       

      Ok so I'm so confused by all the imagery and books and guides I have seen I have questions...

      1. When and where has the style of "pants" style of a sari used? I have looked at some books and it looks like they have been around into the CE. But I'm not sure where it was used? I've wrapped my sari around in various ways to re-construct the possible wraps. But I'm not sure I am right. I have used something similar to a fishtail sari, but with the tail hanging in the back.

      2. I know I've seen the lengha used. I was wondering if it could have been another sari used for this. I'm speaking of when they would wrap it around like a belt and hang it over the arms and such. And I have seen this in different time periods (which looks like it started closer to the 9th century). Any thoughts?

      3. I am using a choli that closes in the front. I've seen one or two paintings but am not sure how early this is as well.

      I uploaded a few pictures of an outfit and hope all of you will discus with me the elements I need help with. Which is probably everything... :\ *gah* :)

      And thanks ahead of time to everyone. This is real help to me.

      Barry




      --
      Ro'ah Chatulim
    • Beth
      Hi Barry! Don t be worried! It takes a while to figure it all out! So... starting with the questions 1 - pants saris are old enough that I m not sure I ve
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 30, 2012
        Hi Barry!
         
        Don't be worried!  It takes a while to figure it all out!
         
        So... starting with the questions
         
        1 - pants saris are old enough that I'm not sure I've ever managed to trace them back to a specific origin point.  Certainly I've seen them as old as the Gupta era, but a start date is utterly beyond me.  A thing I've noticed over time is that minor details can vary from painting to painting and era to era.  Some have a fishtail, some don't (probably less yardage in the wrap), some are ankle length, some are more like shorts (probably a narrower weave), some are draped very tight to the ankle, some are baggier (there are different wraps of different yardage for this). 
         
        I'd bet that I could find you a viable version of them from almost ANY time & place, but who's wearing them and how they are being worn will vary.  The one group where you see very few of them is usually Mughal paintings - you still may see them on non-Mughal people, but the ruling class wears more sewn garments (by and large... India just loves to throw up exceptions)
         
        2 - keep in mind that a "sari" and "a big square of fabric" are largely the same thing. :)  So... sure, if you have a short enough sari and a long enough example of a lengha drape, you could probably pull it off. Lengha usage can change over time, too... so there's no one answer.  But one thing to keep aware of is how sheer they are for the given time period you are researching - many eras can have very sheer lenghas, such that you may be better with a silk or cotton gauze that is a solid color or simple pattern.  A modern sari can be pretty tricky to convert to other uses because modern sari creation focuses on making them very pretty when you drape them in a nivi drape.  Figuring out saris that hang well in alternative drapes (or lenghas) means picking out saris that may not have standard decorations.
         
        3 - Cholis - OK, so there's no easy answer on these.  We really have no extant choli patterns.  We have extrapolations based on late period detailed artwork (pictures where we think we can see seam lines).  We have so few rear-view choli examples, that the few of them there are are well remembered and hard to generalize.  There is, for example, exactly one back-view of a choli in the Ajanta caves (Gupta era) and in that particular view, the back is a solid band of fabric - definitely not tie closures.  No guesses, though, on how it goes on, since other pictures do not show a front closure of any sort... at one point Vairavi (not so active these days) had a good conjecture that there was actually underarm lacing (if you have a good enough print, it looks like there's some detail to support that).  But I don't know that anyone has managed to recreate that.
         
        Certainly mileage varies on how to construct a choli.  I'll say as a seamstress that they are one of the hardest things to make that I've ever had to try to fit to numerous people, and I still end up making a custom pattern for each person - which is what tailors in India still do today.  I have heard all sorts of preferences about cholis, and I'd posit that modern women and their needs and preferences mean that we don't often go crazy about trying to be perfect on this... someone simply can't consider life without a bra, some women really don't like the front closures, etc. - usually we all manage to find a pattern that works, and freely admit that it may or may not be perfect for the era... including a few eras where we simply can't document upper body coverage at all!  and we just admit that today's norms require something and a choli is often a best alternative.
         
        -Lakshmi
         
         
         
         
         


        On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:54 AM, barry hicks <barryehicks@...> wrote:
         

        Ok so I'm so confused by all the imagery and books and guides I have seen I have questions...

        1. When and where has the style of "pants" style of a sari used? I have looked at some books and it looks like they have been around into the CE. But I'm not sure where it was used? I've wrapped my sari around in various ways to re-construct the possible wraps. But I'm not sure I am right. I have used something similar to a fishtail sari, but with the tail hanging in the back.

        2. I know I've seen the lengha used. I was wondering if it could have been another sari used for this. I'm speaking of when they would wrap it around like a belt and hang it over the arms and such. And I have seen this in different time periods (which looks like it started closer to the 9th century). Any thoughts?

        3. I am using a choli that closes in the front. I've seen one or two paintings but am not sure how early this is as well.

        I uploaded a few pictures of an outfit and hope all of you will discus with me the elements I need help with. Which is probably everything... :\ *gah* :)

        And thanks ahead of time to everyone. This is real help to me.

        Barry


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