How to Tie On an African Wrapper

Modern Traditional

Modern Traditional's instructions on how to tie on a simple African wrap dress.
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Tie a Wrapper or African Saree

A "wrapper" is a popular dress in hot climates especially in Africa.  Called a saree or sarong in some places, it helps to keep the body cool, the breasts supported and away from the skin underneath, and soak up sweat.  This is a lesson in the most basic way of tying on a wrapper.  There are many other styles, such as over the shoulder or completely under the breasts.  Some even make a cute bustle around the hips area.

You'll need a 6 to 9 yard or metre piece of fabric of a width that reaches the approximate distance between your breasts and ankles.  A little short by a few centimeters is not a problem, but if it is too long, then you may have to do a bit more folding and tucking.
 
First, take one corner of the fabric in your hand or teeth, and then toss the rest behind you.
Bring the fabric around and wrap it around your belly just under your breasts.
Bring it around again, and bunch up some of the fabric so that you have a sort of an incomplete loop to use to tie.  Then tie the corner of fabric you started with to this loop so that it's securely above your breasts.  Not too tight though or it may rub your armpits too much over the course of the day.
Bring the rest of the fabric around, and then tie the end top corners together.  If you have any excess, make another bunch in the fabric that will include the last corner.
Tuck the loops and ends between your breasts.
...and that's it.  You've tied your wrapper.  Experiment with variations with tying and pinning.  Wear it with a headwrap.

 
More African Style:
Headwrap How-to
African Clothing
Mchana: African Lunch
Color Illustrated Guide to Makeup for Darker Complexions
African Braiding How-to:
Cornrows.co.uk
More African Culture:
Roots and Rooted a website focussing on non colonial African culture and faith.


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© 2006 Nicole Lasher