I went to the Sari School on Airbnb and learned how to tie a sari in four unique ways

The Indian Sari is one of the few garments that is internationally recognizable for its compelling regional style.

As a metro-dwelling Indian girl, I believe that wearing a Sari is too far-fetched for most occasions. The whole six-yards of fabric is hard to maneuver for a working woman and the grace the sari commands requires complicated footwear like heels and the right tucks that can unravel easily.

The everyday Indian sari has seen a revival of sorts with movements like 100SareePact, which encourage women to wear saris at least 100 days a year and document it on social media.


Still, most working women find the garment tedious to carry off and wear on a daily basis especially when stitched pieces can be so comfortable in form of kurtas, dresses or simply the typical pair of jeans and a shirt.

To satiate my curiosity and I decided to sign up for the Sari School experience on a Sunday.

Hosted by the popular Rita Kapoor who is known for her work reviving the ancient Indian craft of hand spinning and weaving since 1998, I reached Jangpura in South Delhi to be greeted by a beautiful building and sprawling gardens.


Rita Kapoor Chrishti, who started the Sari School to help celebrate and educate others about the unstitched garment, started the afternoon with an interactive presentation. We learned about the craftspeople that create different kinds of hand-loom, all over the country. Handskilling capabilities on the traditional Charkha combined with Handloom weaving are the few unique resources that India holds in the international market.

We also went back in time to when Mahatma Gandhi's support of the handloom industry popularized the indigenous methods of production during the Swaraj movement before industrialization took over.

The highlight of the class was when we learnt how to drape the sari in four different regional styles, and understood the difference of quality between a range of handspun cotton and silks on display by touch & feel.


Rita has been involved in educating the world about saris through her work with artisans and she has also authored a book titled ‘ Saris: Tradition and beyond.’

Sari, all Sari

Traveling district-by-district, village-by-village, and city-by-city this extensive book explores the spectrum of traditional weaver and printer settlements in fourteen sari-producing states of India. Chrishti, who regularly takes up a group of four-five people for the Airbnb experience every other Sunday in her studio, believes that a hands-on experience can really transform the way people perceive traditional saris.

Rita also propagates that the nine yards don't have to be limited to a particular style and is familiar with 108 ways of draping the Sari.

She demonstrated four regional styles of draping the Sari starting from Kerala’s Mohiniattam, Bengal’s Dhokna Jalpaiguri, Odissi Dance Style to Andra Pradesh’s Venukagundaram.

My personal favorite was Mohiniattam style from Kerala that constructed a fabric flower on the hip and it didn't require a petticoat under.

An afternoon in her studio and an introduction to her ethnic brand- Taanbaan, made me revel in the past of the sari and the story it tells as it folds itself into the Indian traditions.