Newsletter 33 - December 2003-February 2004

1. news
2. new web links
3. looking for help (1): Sudanese tobe
4. looking for help (2): Chiromani
5. looking for help (3): “Chameleon”
6. photos of saris, order saris
7. sari styles for all seasons
8. a personal note from Chantal

1. NEWS:


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


Thank to all of you who contributed to a new crop of web links.
We have a lot of sites on headdresses this month, mostly from Africa but also some from Europe.

European Head wrap:
Instructions for tying a 16th Century spanish peasant woman's linen head wrap.

Different type of head wraps (moslty European):
Each style is explained with illustrations. From the regular scarf to more elaborate wraps.

Instructions for a different “Tribal Style bellydance” turban, with 2 layers:
For something different....

Draping instructions for the Oasis Dance Company “Desert Wrap” turban:
Easy to follow and very detailed instructions on how to wrap a North-African headscarf.

Wrapping instructions for an African headdress:
This site proposes several interesting head wraps (as well as tips on hair care), illustrated by elegant drawings. Simple but efficient, African in theme.

All the variety of “hijabs”:
Displays a wide variety of styles, but instructions on how to wrap them is kept to a bare minimum and not illustrated.

African head wraps:
How to tie 2 different versions of an African head wrap.

Silk Road Project:
Interesting exhibit at USA's Smithsonian Institute, however little draping that I can see.

Web sites selling something:
Kilts and tartan:
High quality silk saris:

We received this Email from Jennifer. Can anyone help?

“i am wondering if you can assist me in finding a seller of sudanese tobes in the us. i read in one of your past newsletters and explanation of how to wear one, but i would like to know where i can purchase them as well. thank you

PLEASE REPLY TO: <> and <>

We received this Email from Donnis. Can anyone help?

“Greetings to all:

I am a member of IDC and try to keep up with all items regarding wrapped and draped clothing. Recently, I read several articles about women in Comoros and Madagascar and other Islands in the Indian Ocean wearing a Chiromani/ Chirumani.
It was difficult to tell how they were wrapped (one article said"Sari-like") because the photos were vague. One shop in Mumbai showed pictures, but the dimensions were difficult to figure. They appear squarish, so I wonder how the are wrapped "Sari-like". Could anyone give me more information? I would greatly appreciate it.
Sincerely, Donnis Ronquillo”

PLEASE REPLY TO: <> and <>

We received this emails (originally 2 emails) from Ben. Can anyone help?

“Several years back (almost 20) a Mother Earth magazine article mentioned a draped/tailored hybrid called a Chameleon. It consisted of a six sided piece of cloth, maybe 60 inches across, with a sewn tube in the center maybe 14 inches in length. (It had several rows of drawstrings, including one around its perimeter) Stepping through the tube you could pull it up to your chest and with the hexagon converging at your waist it would drape like a dress, or you could fold and pass parts of it under and through the tube and turn it into a pair of pants. The same piece of clothing could be draped over the head and worn like a poncho (the tube acting as a hood). The item could be altered by pulling drawstrings to form a shirt, with a pouch. and long or short sleeve depending on how the draw string was used.. the whole item could be folded in on itself to make a pillow no more than 12 inches in diameter or with the use of drawstrings a tote bag.

I made two or three of these items years back and honestly enjoyed wearing them in all their uses. ( I just felt a bit weird wearing them outside of a renaissance festival.) I wonder if you've heard of such a thing and if there are more advanced versions that are simpler yet. Are you aware of any sites that might list how to make such an item. (I now live in a college town where such an item might not be completely out of place)

Also, several years back after seeing one of the Star Trek movies, I was
inspired to attempt to recreate a Vulcan garment that Spock wore. It really turned out way cool, but unpredictable/imprecise. I simply took a soft blanket and by draping, gathering and cinching with a belt had a very unbelievably comfortable and warm hooded parka with sleeves and a pocket.
Except for it being easily deformed, I liked it as well as the chameleon
parka.. It was so comfortable!!! ...and great when one was in a thoughtful mood and nice and toasty in the chilly dwelling in which i was then living.

I just felt uncomfortable wearing it in public and as I mentioned it was
easily deformed. After running into your site, I've a 1/2 a mind to try to
re-create it and see if it can be designed more stable.

I am interested in your site and will try to sign up for membership. I would even be interested in hosting a workshop to demonstrate the construction of these items if you think they fit the draped clothing parameters. I think they are a good introduction to the concept.

Sincerely, Ben Brown”

PLEASE REPLY TO: <> and <>


It is that time of the year when Chantal gets ready to go to India, and will be able to buy 9-yard or special saris. If you have any requests, please first look at what is available at:
Then send an Email with what type of sari you would like to:

Chantal has also put about 500 pictures of various sari styles online:

By Rahima Ali

“ all summer i have been wearing khond 1shoulder sari. it was cool and light for summer. now for autumn and winter weather i will wear 6 yard sari. i like the eastern saris-the wide pleat in front is very attractive. i put on oriya and bengali sari style. i had only 6 yard thin pink cotton sari. i had put on pink underskirt but you could see that underneath my sari. so i discovered combo sari-combination of modern and oriya sari. after tying sari on my right side i wrap and tuck the cloth all the way around my waist as in modern sari. then i start draping oriya sari according to your instructions. it looks very nice and i don't need underskirt. however for warmth during the winter i will wear underskirt and also long underwear.”


Thank you very to all of you who contributed to our newsletter. This last 3 months have been exceptionally quiet, on the draping front. I have been very busy with other problems so I may have been very late answering some of your queries... Sorry. please be patient with me!

It is winter and I dream of hot weather, so I’ll be going to India again in January. Unfortunately, it will be a short stay but I should be able to get some 9-yard saris. Happily, it is getting easier to purchase odd-size saris as more and more shops offer saris online, with personalised service.

I wish you all the best for this holiday season, and don’t forget that draped clothes make incredibly elegant dresses for all those parties! If you ever do and want to share your experiences, you know what to do...

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 <>.

Newsletter publication dates and deadlines for contributions:
- 1st of June (June-August): deadline for contributions: 15th of May
- 1st of September (September-November): deadline for contributions: 15th of August
- 1st of December (December-February): deadline for contributions: 15th of November
- 1st of March (March-May): deadline for contributions: 15th of February

Institute of Draped Clothes


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London W6 9DB
Great Britain

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