Silk for the little princess

Pure silk with fine golden zari will always have its special place in the hearts of South Indian women. Be it a festival or a function, a typical south Indian woman will first reach out for a silk sari. No other fabric epitomizes luxury and elegance - both at the same time, as silk does.

While women get beautifully draped in their rich silk sari, little girls dress up in ‘Pattu Pavadai’.

‘Pattu Pavadai’ meaning silk skirt in Tamil is the traditional dress in south India for small girls. The ‘Pavadai’ is tied on the waist and flares out till the ankle. Usually, the golden zari patch borders the flare of the bell-shaped skirt. Teamed up with a contrasting silk blouse it, pavadais make an ideal traditional outfit for little girls.
Slightly older girls in their teen years, wear ‘Davani’ which is often called as half-sari. This is draped over the pavadai like a saree.

In recent times, ‘Pattu pavadai’ comes in myriad colors and designs that is exclusive for little girls. With the designs of fairy tale characters such as Cinderella and Snow White intricately woven in silk, the ‘pavadai’ not only looks attractive but also adds an element of fun for the kids to wear.

Another trend in ‘Pattu Pavadai’ is having the skirt made in Kanchivaram silk and the blouse stitched in contrasting silk colours. Gleaming golden embroidery punctuated with lavish gem stonework in the silk skirt and blouse makes the little ones look like princesses.

The first pattu pavadai a girl receives is from her maternal grandparents’ usually on the occasion of her naming ceremony or in some families, the first birthday. The one she receives when she is on the threshold of womanhood is probably her last one. From here she moves on to wearing sarees.

The ‘Davani’, makes an easier transition to saree as she reaches womanhood.

The long forgotten traditional pavadais and ‘davanis’ is now gaining a lot of popularity. With some western twists to the blouses, pavadais even make great party wear for little girls.

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