The nivi style is the most common saree draping style. In fact it has become one of the standard ways to drape a saree. The nivi style saree is also known as the ‘ulta pallu sare’ in some regions of India. Specifically the northern part. Following is a step by step process to drape a saree in nivi style.
- Get ready to wear the saree. A petticoat which is a waist-to-floor garment, tied tightly at the waist by a drawstring. The petticoat color should match the base sari color as closely as possible. No part of the petticoat, of course, is visible outside the Saree, after having worn it. A blouse which needs to be tight-fitting and whose color needs to be chosen keeping the look of the saree in mind, can be short sleeved or sleeveless, with a variety of necklines. The blouse ends just below the bust.
- Around your body. Starting at the navel, tuck the plain end of the saree into the petticoat and continue tucking till you take a complete turn from right to left. Adjust the lower end of the saree to the height required. Ideally wear your footwear so that you drape the saree to the right length.
- Measuring the pallu. Hold the top edge of the saree where the pallu is and bring it around your hips to the front and over your left shoulder, thus measuring the length of the pallav or pallu. The pallav should hang down the back to the knee. You may pin your pallu to your sari blouse provisionally.
- Now begin from the tucked end and make pleats (Moving the saree back and forward) about 4 – 5 inches broad.
- Making pleats. Create pleats with the saree. Make about 7 to 10 pleats and hold them up together so that they fall straight and even. Tuck the pleats into the waist petticoat slightly to the left of the navel, taking care to see that the pleats are turned towards the left.
- The pallu. The remaining portion of the saree must be turned once around the body and then draped over the left shoulder. Arrange the pleats on this part of the saree and then pin them up on the left shoulder to prevent the pallu from falling off.