The Importance Of Sarongs In South Asian Fashion

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Throughout history, fashion pieces have developed and evolved in the numerous civilisations of Southeast Asia. In Malay and Indonesian, the term ‘Sarong‘ is loosely portrayed as a large cloth or piece tied at the core and means ‘to cover or ‘to wrap’.

It usually refers to skirt-like apparel sported in Southeast Asia, but its roots are in the Arabian Peninsula, Indian subcontinent, etc.

Who Wears Sarongs?

The tradition of modelling fabric to shield the body has prevailed for thousands of years in the Southern-Asia regions, predominantly in neighbourhoods where materials recreate a vital part culturally, like Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

Laotian females are known to have begun fraying the sarong, a conventional tubular petticoat, about 3,000 years ago. This attire is sported not only by most cultural gatherings in Laos but also by ladies in northern and northeastern cities of Thailand, each with their varied techniques and imprints knitted or embellished into the material.

In the past, sompots, a type of Sarong constructed of silk, were worn mainly by the wealthy and middle-class residents of princely states.

In addition to being unravelled as an ankle-length dress, it can also be enveloped and tucked into a genderless trouser-like attire called Sompot Chung Kubeng, equivalent to the Indian dhoti.

Are Sarongs Unisexual?

Impacted by Khmer culture, Thai gentlemen and ladies have modelled cotton or silk sarongs as bottom attire since the period of the Lavo Kingdom. Men usually sported a knee-length dress(pha khao ma) hooked at the abdomen, while females wore it as an ankle-length chute petticoat(pha sin).

The tubular skirt-like apparel is considered to have been illuminated by the lungi unravelled centuries ago by merchandisers from India who docked along the seaside of Java, Indonesia.

This clothing soon extended to nearby isles like Madura, Java, Sumatra, and adjoining provinces like the Philippine archipelago.

How Are They Worn?

Besides wearing them with an overcoat with sleeves, sarongs can also be fastened at the trunk, sported as a shawl or headdress, or used as a carrier for newborns.

Earlier, they were constructed of cotton entwined with a checked or plaid routine. Contemporarily, textiles can be shaded with dynamic tints, leaf, and flower-patterned patterns utilising the tie-dye approach, a wax-free dyeing process prominent in the province.

It has been prevailing in Asian civilisation for years, sported by both men and women, significantly in the Pacific isles and the southeast shore of Asia. A batik technique developed the graphic design of traditional sarongs and dyes. It is a gradual and elaborate dyeing procedure where the uncoloured spaces of the textile are shielded with liquefied wax. After uncovering the cloth to the shade, set it in simmering moisture to vacate the polish. If created employing this 2000-year-old procedure, it can endure more than a year to assemble.

How Did They Become Famous?

These were recognised in the United Nations Of America through films, primarily by famous movie star Dorothy Lamour around the mid-90s. Lamour only frayed a Sarong in a trace of her forthcoming movies, after which they became trendy, and people started wearing them more.

They return in fashion worldwide as beach cover-ups, skirts, dresses, and shawls. Its variety is getting wider and wider as more brands are coming up with new concepts of it.

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