The word sari is the anglicised version of sadi which existed in Prakrit as sadia, and derives itself from the sanskrit word sati, meaning a strip of cloth. The use of sati has been mentioned in the Mahabharata and can probably be traced back even farther.
But nothing, however, is known about the garment or the way it was worn.
But it's certain that the art was highly cultivated. There are
innumerable references in ancient Indian literature to this effect. In
Buddhist literature one finds mention of pleated ends of such garments which
are hastisaundaka or resembling the
elephant's trunk, matsyavalaka or
fish-tail, talavrntaka or the
palmette and satavallika or having
innumerable fine folds.
The length of the sari, varies
depending on the culture and conjunction of use.
Andhra has the bright Venkatagiri saris which are woven with the help of a
fly-shuttle loom, thrown from side to side. Venkatagiri saris have
pleasant colours with gold dots, coins, leaves, parrots, or simple geometrical
Narayanpet saris, in cotton and silk,
come from a place with the same name. The cotton
saris woven in dark earthy colours are particularly eye-catching.
The pallav in these saris is characterised by a unique pattern of alternating red and white bands. The border is usually a flat expanse of deep maroon red or
chocolate red thinly separated by white or coloured lines. These saris
follow the Irkal style which has its roots in a place called Irkal in the state
The Gadwal cotton, and Kothakota saris from Vanaparti have rich gold borders
and heavy panels like pallavs. Siddipet and Armoor also produce
cotton saris with rich designs