What Are the Different Indian Dhoti Draping Styles?

India is a country that boasts of a unique culture and tradition that has prevailed from eons past. Ethnic clothing plays a vital part in preserving the heritage of any country. In India, Dhoti has always been a part of the traditional attire. Usage of dhotis dates back to as early as the 14th century. Though the habit of adorning dhoti has diminished to a greater extent from the lifestyle of Indians, it still finds its prestigious place during traditional occasions like weddings and other festivities.

In the state of Punjab dhoti is called Chaadra. In the state of Gujarat they call it Dhotiyu. In the state of Andhra they call it Pancha. In the Tamil Nadu they call it Vesti and in Kerala it is called Mundu. Dhoti draping styles are called as Sattvik Style, Vrindhavan Style, Kshathriya style and Dravidian style. Indians like to wear dhotis in different styles. Various states across India embrace their own styles. Northern states and Eastern states wear it across their legs. In Southern parts of India such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala, they wear it around the waist with simplicity.

Sattvik Style:

This type of draping has its name as it was considered divine when the deities were believed to have adorned this style. Hold a dhoti from behind your waist. Leave 3/4th part to your right side and 1/4th part of your left side. Overlap the right over the left part. Fold the portion with your fingers and tuck it once. Now bring the border of the left side under your legs, pleat it and tuck it behind your waist. Likewise, pleat the right side and tuck it in front. Now again pleat the right side border along the breadth and tuck it once again in the front over your navel. This is called the traditional Sattvik style of draping a dhoti. This style is familiar among the temple priests in the northern parts of India.

Vrindhavan Style:

This is almost similar to Sattvik style, but with little differences. Hold the dhoti from behind your waist and tie a knot in the middle just above your naval. Then take the left side under your legs, pleat it and tuck it behind. Take the right side border along the breadth and pleat it and tuck it in front, then take the first pleat alone and tuck it once again in the front in order to achieve a wavy pattern in the front.

Kshathriya Style:

Bring the dhoti from around the waist. Tie a knot in the middle above your naval. Take the left side under your legs and pleat and tuck it at the back. Similarly repeat this with the right side. Now excess cloth will be left behind on both sides like wings. Bring those wings on either side to the front and tuck in. This style was followed by warriors in ancient India as it is very comfortable and allows free movement. Even today this style is followed by people in martial arts such as kalaripayittu in Kerala.

Dravidian Style:

This is a very common and the simplest form of draping a dhoti. Bring the dhoti from around the waist and overlap right side over the left side and tuck in. This is very common and predominant in Southern parts of India in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

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