Photo courtesy of Anwar Huq, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Today’s blog is about how the sari can help reduce cholera. So if you are thinking about throwing your straggly sari away, think again.


Cholera, a deadly diarrheal disease transmitted through water, continues to plague the developing world where it is difficult to access clean drinking water. Most people die from cholera because of dehydration and not from the bacteria itself, given it is treatable through antibiotics.


In 2010, researchers from Bangladesh and University of Maryland teamed up and experimented with developing an effective and cheap water filter: a sari folded 4 times. From 1999 to 2000, they went to three villages with high rates of cholera and asked villagers to fold their saris 4 to 8 times and place the sari on brass and aluminum pots, known as “kalash” in Bangladesh. The pots are dipped in the pond, canal or river, and enters the pot through the sari cloth. The villagers were told to decontaminate the sari filters after each use.


They found that old saris made of cotton were the most effective in removing the cholera bacteria. The rate of cholera dropped by half and the sari filters removed other germs that caused diarrhea and other digestive problems.


The researchers came back to the villages 5 years later and found that nearly one-third of women were still using saris filter for household water.


So instead of throwing your used cotton saris away, why not donate them to help families get drinkable water and help reduce cholera in the world.


For organizations: If you send or donate saris to South Asia or elsewhere, please contact us at We want to partner with you on donating saris from women in the U.S.A.


If you like reading medical journal articles, you can find the original research article at the National Institutes of Health or the American Society for Microbiology.


If you prefer reading it the less scientific way you can read it on several news sites including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Scientific American, and CNN, as well as others. 


The saree is an incredibly versatile garment. It’s a one size fits all that can enhance and shape all women’s figures, not matter their height or size. Below are some ideas on how to drape your sari in different styles to get completely different looks.


Looking online, you can find countless tutorials on how to drape the saree. We like some of the excellent youtube tutorials provided by Geetanjali’s YouTube Channel– Learn Music and Arts and you should look her up.


We also like the blog post by Shruti Goenka on 7 Different Ways to Wear a Saree with Tutorials for Trendy Newly Brides.

Below you will find some video tutorials, but feel free to check out these resources.

1. Wear a sari like a lehenga

Wear a sari in the Gujarati style

Wear the sari in Maharashtrian style


Wear the sari in Kerala style

Wear the sari in a mermaid style


Wear it Rajasthani style.

Check out our selection of sarees/saris.


Visiting India (or other South Asian countries), you notice women everywhere are wearing gorgeous, colorful outfits draped elegantly over their bodies. These pieces of clothing, known as the saree, have been worn from ancient times in India since as early as the 7th and 8th century.

Image Credit: Old Ind Photos

The saree is usually a 6 or 9-yard piece of unstitched cloth, with decorations across the border and the body, and comes in a variety of fabrics. In fact, specific regions of India are known for different saree cloths and saree drapery styles.
Saree Fabrics, Dharavi
Photo courtesy of Adam Cohn

Sculptures from about 300 BC show men and women wore rectangular pieces of fabric on the lower part of the body and one on the upper part. During the 7th and 8th century, sculptures and other images showed stitched garments along the breast band and a lower part of the body. In southern Indian, some women did not cover the upper part of their body.

With the Mughal empire influence in the 15th century, Muslim and Hindu women covered themselves more and these outfits created the salwar kameez.

It wasn’t until the 19th century, under British domination, women were encouraged to wear skirts underneath their sarees (petticoats), and tops to more tightly cover their chests (blouses). Before the Victorian Era, Bengali women did not wear blouses under their saris and went bare-breasted, which was not well looked upon by Victorian society. Under the British influence, blouses varied in sleeve structures and necklines.

Fashion comes, goes, adapts, changes, and is modified over time and South Asian dresses have had their fair share of transformations, adjusted to the decorum policy at that time. The question is: what will the South Asian dress look like in the future?

Wedding India Traditional Clothing Saree Women

BBC shared a history of the saree in their magazine, BBC’s magazine.