Newsletter 20- August 2001

1. news
2. more on turbans, headdresses and cholis (sari blouses)
3. a new member of IDC in Trinidad
4. 9-yard saris for sale
5. draping classes
6. a personal note from Chantal

1. News:

*** There is a symposium on wrapping and draping as a generic way of clothing the body:
Wrapped & Draped: Alternative Fashions
University of Minnesota - September 14-16, 2001
See § 5 for details, or look at:

*** From IDC member Marsha McLean: she is giving a class on draping. It is called Tribal Sari Wraps and will be taught at noon, Monday through Friday of the second week of the SCA's annual Pennsic War event. She will teach a different wrap each day, either demonstrating or working together. For more info please contact: <>

*** If you know or participate in an event, web site, etc. connected with draping, please let us know. This “news” feature is yours!

2. More on turbans, headdresses and cholis (sari blouses)
By: Karen A. Nooruddin <>

The last newsletter about the German fellow who is wearing the turban he learned to wrap in Morocco reminded me of a beautiful book I have, called "Focus on Scarf Styling". This is a beautiful book of instructions and photos on how to wrap and pin scarves in a multitude of ways. The styles may be found all around the world. Mostly, these are styles for the Muslim woman (only some are what westerners might call the "traditional" method stereotypically found in the western presses - others would surprise most westerners since they are not the styles most often associated with Middle Eastern countries).

The styles in this book even include various and elegant ways to incorporate scarves with hats, such as a section on styles for athletes and the outdoors type woman. The wrapping, or twisting of fabrics can even be used with baseball caps to create a beautiful and colorful look!

I can obtain copies, if anyone is interested. Write to me if interested at The retail price right now is $12.00. I think I might be able to get a discount price if between us we can purchase at least 20 books.

My daughter has found she likes to wear a head scarf so as not to have to deal with her particularly troublesome hair (which I cannot convince her to cut). She has been finding a variety of new ways to wrap and wear headscarves for all those "bad hair days" and she expects to continue to wear them anyway for other reasons. It has inspired her to start designing new fashions.

On another note...
I would like to hear from the group if anyone knows of a variety of ways to make and wear blouses or under-garments with sarees. I have acquired quite a lot of sarees, but most do not have blouses with them. Where can I buy patterns? Are there internet sites particularly good for purchasing sarees and blouses, especially the more ornately designed blouses? I have worn a type of spandex fabric shirt without a collar under the saree in winter. This was the only long-sleeved shirt I could find to wear with it, but it worked great. What do others use when they want to wear long sleeves? If covering for the purpose of staying warm while wearing a saree, what methods were traditionally used? I wear a front button-up sweater or jacket.

I have also worn a pullover type sweater that is long in length, coming just below the "saddlebags" area of my thighs when the temperature is cold and foggy. At these times, I like to pull the extra bit of fabric that normally is thrown over the shoulder out from under the sweater and then wrap it around my head as well. This has been very elegant and comfortable at the same time.

3. A new member of IDC in Trinidad
By: Roxanne Persad

I am 25 years old and love saris. An old lady from Bombay that I met two years ago taught me how to wrap my first sari, and I have been in love ever since.
In Trinidad they are worn mostly at Indian weddings and prayers or on other special occasions associated with Indian heritage.
I am involved in a lot of voluntary work, I teach dress design, to many of the communities in Trinidad.
The Iere Village Women's Group is an organization under the Ministry of Community Development. It seeks to teach skills to the Women in the area who are not educated. Recently they have been taught the art of making Indian wear, saris, shalwars etc, and they love it. I think that this book (Saris: An Illustrated Guide to the Indian Art of Draping) can be of interest to them, especially as this is a predominantly Hindu / Moslem community.
I was born in this area, and was fortunate enough to win a scholarship and attend university. I have not forgotten where I come from, and once a week I help at the classes, teaching how to paint borders on saris, and drawing the designs for the women to paint. We also have exhibitions where other communities can see what the ladies have produced.
I think the sari is a beautiful garment, and I would love for the ladies to learn the different ways of tying them.
I would like to be a part of IDC, to help it grow to the Caribbean. I think that there will be a lot of support in Trinidad, and I am willing to work and help the organisation grow.

4. 9-yard saris for sale

Getting saris can be a problem for some of our members. For this reason, there are some links to web sites selling saris in our “web library”. But it is even harder to get saris of 7, 8 or 9 yards.
To fulfil this small demand I have offered a few of my “surplus” saris for sale. At present, only 2 are left, but I will go to India in September and bring more.
IMPORTANT: If you wish me to bring some for yourself, please tell me which type, length and color you want. I need this information before the end of August. Send me an email at:
To see those still available, look at:
If you have some saris for sale, please let me know and if possible send a picture of the sari with the asking price. I will put your offer on this page.

Here is what Marsha McLean wrote about this subject:
“I did find some 9 yd. cotton saris!!! There is one store in Toronto's Little India (well, one of the three Little Indias) that carries south Indian products, and they had them. Very reasonable prices, tho' the price he quoted for silk nearly floored me - $900cdn! I usually pay less that $200 for very high quality banarasi and kashmiri saris. I will be sure to see what you bring back from your next trip, though.”

5. Draping classes

As we have seen in the news, there are now some classes of draping techniques. IDC member Marsha McLean is giving one, and she mentioned another person who is. But most important, there is the symposium “Wrapped & Draped: Alternative Fashions” - September 14-16, 2001 at the University of Minnesota (where was created the exhibition: “The Indian Sari: Draping Bodies, Revealing Lives” which can be seen at: )

Theme of the symposium:
In America and Europe, we commonly wear cut and sewn garments. In "Wrapped and Draped: Alternative Fashions," presenters will focus on alternative ways of dressing the body. Accordingly, this symposium will feature speakers from all over the world, presenting a wide range of topics: gang headties, Jakarta sarongs, folded and pleated dress, Greek and Roman dress, Southeast Asian wrappers, Akwete cloths, Kalabari wrappers, cut-thread textiles, and wax printed textiles.
"Wrapped and Draped: Alternative Fashions" is a symposium paralleling an exhibit, "Cloth is the Center of the World: Nigerian Textiles, Global Perspectives" in The Goldstein: A Museum of Design. The exhibit will include textiles from the private collection of Joanne B. Eicher.

You can find much more from the symposium’s web site:

If you hear of any other class, or are giving some yourself, PLEASE LET US KNOW. We are only too happy to advertise those classes.

6. A personal note from Chantal:

Things seem to be slowly improving... I have been contacted by some publications for articles or for publishing our release. I got many interesting contributions this month, and have kept some for next month (including a piece on an Indian loincloth). Still, please keep on contributing!
“Alternative Fashions”, indeed, are beginning to get the attention they deserve... There is still A LOT of work to do. The campaign for free books for educational is still on.

Without your help, I cannot do much. If you can contact your local art school/university and inform them of our offer, if would really help. Also, if you know of a magazine editor or journalist who might be interested by our press release, either give it to them (they can be downloaded from our web site) or send us their email. Here are the relevant links:

Thank you for your help and support.

Best wishes!

Please do not hesitate to send any question, suggestion, criticism.
If you have some links to suggest, please let us know!
If you wish to write something for the newsletter, please do so and Email it to <>.

Institute of Draped Clothes


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