The Nine Yards Sari Draping

Madisar is the style of sari draping worn by Brahmin women of Tamil Nadu. They use nine yards of sari material for wearing this style. Madisar type of sari was worn by all married Brahmin women till the turn of 20th century and for a few decades after. But slowly, wearing this style of attire has reduced and today very few ladies prefer this drape.

This sari is mostly worn in marriage ceremony by both the bride and her immediate family members like mother and mother-in-law. It is also used by the lady in the Seemantham (Baby shower) function and other religious functions of her house.

The Madisar drape itself has many styles with distinctive Iyer and Iyengar styles. The sari itself uses 9 yards of material as against the usual 6 yards in normal saris. Another name for the Madisar is Kosavam. Kosavam are the tiny pleats that are taken at the back of the left leg before the sari is bought forward and wound around the waist and tied firmly at the waist by making a tight self-knot.

The sari drape then assumes the characteristics of an improvised pair of trousers. Therefore, the nine yard sari is a very functional and comfortable drape, even more than the six yards as it allows free movement to climb, jump and even run.

Madisar saris come in a variety of materials such as Kancheevaram Pattu (Silk), handloom cotton with a typical checked pattern across the whole body, silk cotton fabric and of course the commonly used poly cotton materials which is a combination of polyester and cotton.

Let’s find joy in draping this traditional style sari as often as possible for all occasions. Let’s celebrate Sanatana Dharma and being a Santana Dharmi.

Geeta Sridhar is a freelance journalist/ content creator and editor in the field for the last 20 years and has also found her calling as an organic farmer. She lives in Coimbatore with her husband Sridhar and son Siddharth.