It takes my mother less than 10 minutes to drape a sari to perfection, be it crisp cottons, flowing silks, or pristine pattus. I, on the other hand, have never succeeded in the endeavour, even after watching YouTube tutorials for hours on end.
Younger generations, though eager to indulge in traditional wear on festivals and special occasions, often struggle to perfect the art of draping and carrying a sari as gracefully as our mothers and grandmothers did. However, help is here in the form of ‘instant’ or ‘ready-to-wear’ sari, which you might have seen trending online. These saris are pre-draped and eliminate the need for numerous safety pins and help avoid potential wardrobe malfunctions.
One Minute Saree is one such unique brand based in Mumbai which ison a mission to provide its customers with the ability to effortlessly don both traditional and contemporary weaves in under a minute. Their process involves sourcing saris from diverse regions across the country and converting them into ready-to-wear pieces. Founder Sasha Revankar, an NRI, started with the idea to introduce saris to a global audience but found that Indians were equally captivated by this innovation.
“I came across the concept of a one-minute sari when I was in India in 2019, and my cousin told me that she had a tailor who could stitch the sari’s pleats in place. It completely blew me away, even though the concept was not completely polished or developed yet. I did not have that option in the US, and I wanted to make it available to a wider audience,” says Sasha, who founded the brand in 2019 and offers a range of instant saris priced between₹2,500 and ₹14,000.
Another label that is making saris accessible is Aseemshakti founded in 2019. During the lockdown, the Mumbai-based brand encountered difficulties in managing a large inventory due to lack of space. To tackle this, they provided the service of transforming their customers’ existing saris into ready-to-wear versions. Now, even though they have their own range of instant saris, with pockets, in various styles like mul cotton, hand block print, , they continue to provide this service of breathing new life into your old drapes.
“Our products are loved by younger and older generations alike. We have a 72-year-old client who has gone through two knee replacement surgeries and was no longer able to wear her old saris, so we transformed her saris. We also catered to a college going student who bought a piece for a college event where she had to be on the move a lot,” says customer relations and marketing head, Shikha Singh.
Ready-to-wear saris require planning as they take five–10 days to get delivered. They do not come to your rescue when you need a solution in a pinch. This is where the Madras Ironing Company in Chennai steps in. They are an ironing and dry cleaning service that offers the unique option of pre-pleating your saris for you. For a fraction of the price and time consumed, you can get a nearly perfect solution. They pre-pleat your saris, iron them down to hold shape and pin them in place.
“Seventy percent of our clients are aged between 20-35. The pre-pleating lets you drape your sari in under five minutes because we have done the majority of the work for you,” says founder Kanaka Durga.
The Madras Ironing company pre-pleats around 200 saris a month during the peak festive and wedding season and charges around ₹250-300 for each sari.
The wedding season is upon us, and having a nifty solution like this will make the event much more enjoyable, so you can focus on the festivities and not have to adjust your sari every minute.