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Draping … what do you think of when you think of draping? Well, I think of loosely wound clothing, casually on or around something. It is about wrapping superficially with folds of cloth that give the impression of a relaxed look, effortlessly chic and ready to wear. Fashion draping is an important part of fashion design. Draping for fashion design is the process of positioning and pinning fabric on a dress form to develop the structure of a garment design. A garment can be draped using a design sketch as a basis, or a fashion designer can play with the way fabric falls on a form or body in order to create new designs at the start of the apparel design process. Draping to make ready to wear outfits is a new-age concept where the clothes are pinned together with safety pins in order to produce a garment that can be worn immediately.

Drape is not only a form of design; it is also one of the most important properties of fabric. It has played a tremendously significant role in providing a graceful aesthetic effect in the look of a garment. Study of historic costumes of India, Egypt and Rome reveals that when stitch craft was not even known to man, the drape of fabric was used as device of special adornment in the garment. This article discusses factors affecting draping quality of fabric as well as its measurement.

Drape aspect of fabric has been focus of research in fabric engineering for many years. Although drape is a subjective quality as it pertains to appearance, attempts have been made to objectively define and measure drape in fabric form. Drape is the ability of a fabric to fall under its own weight into wavy folds of different nature. Fabric drape can be evaluated objectively as well as subjectively.

Drape of fabric can be studied by objective assessment and this is done with the help of an instrument. Mono-planar test and multi-planar test are used to measure fabric drape quantitatively.

 

Mono-planar test

Mono-planar test is based on measurement of fabric stiffness. Stiffness is the key factor in the study of drape. Quantitatively stiffness of fabric is measured in terms of the bending length or flexural rigidity. Stiffness tester based on cantilever principle is used to measure bending length. A strip of fabric is pushed forward until gravity causes the strip to bend to a prescribed length. This approach is still used today in analyzing drape properties for strip geometries.

Multi-planar test

Stiffness values are measured only in one direction (either warp or weft) at a time where as Drapability is the result of interaction between warp way and weft way characteristics of fabric.
An instrument known as drape-o-meter, which is capable of distorting the fabric in all three directions is used to evaluate drape quantitatively. Drape-o-meter measures three-dimensional fabric drapes due to gravity. Circular drape-o-meter has been most widely used to study fabric drape and factors affecting it.
The experimental method generally involves hanging fabric specimen of 15 cm. radius over supporting disc of 9 cm. radius. Unsupported area drapes down under its own weight. Drape is measured as drape ratio or drape coefficient which theoretically varies from 0 to 100.

Subjective Assessment of Drape

Drape can be assessed subjectively. Fabric assessment is often done by handling the fabric and verifying how it falls into folds and how regular these folds are. Subjective evaluation of garment drape is done by evaluating the garment for its appearance and aesthetic value by judges.

Factors Affecting Drape Of Fabric

Drapability of a fabric is combined effect of several factors such as stiffness, flexural rigidity, weight, thickness etc. Stiffness, an attribute of fabric hand is one of the most important factors determining draping quality of fabric e.g. soft fabric drapes closer to the body forming ripples whereas stiff fabric drapes away from the body. Stiffness of fabric itself depends upon geometrical parameters of the fabric.
Draping continues to be a recurring fashion trend with designers continuously creating beautiful draped garments that can be added to wardrobes in many different ways.

The Draped Evening Dress

A draped cocktail dress which has the loose folds of fabric that shows the femininity of a women’s body is a must have in every wardrobe. A chic example is this Draped Asymmetric Gown which is trendy and accentuates the body in a soft and subtle way.

Bridal Drape

Who says brides shouldn’t set fashion trends on their wedding day? An ultra-feminine draped wedding dress like is definitely a welcome non-conventional way of walking down the aisle.

Draped Dress

Everybody needs a dress in their closet. With their beautiful light, breathable fabric dresses are very versatile and brilliant for the hot summer days. A draped dress like this maxi number is perfect for running errands, sightseeing and everything in between.
A lovely dress is a staple wardrobe item that comes in all kinds of styles and fabrics. Draping on a angelic dress creates an aura of sensuality and soft beauty that is essential for the wardrobe.

Grecian Goddess Draping

We have channeled a Greek Goddess with this beautifully draped gown which is absolutely perfect for glamorous events. Evidently, a draped garment is a must have for all wardrobes which makes draping an essential skill for all designers to have. Designers can therefore learn to master draping techniques and get a chance to see your designs fill the wardrobes of fashionistas worldwide.
All these drapes were made with by the students of INIFD Deccan under the guidance and mentorship of Veteran Bollywood Designer Kawaljit Singh.
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Draped One Shoulder Dress

A draped, one shoulder dress in a bright hue like this is a what is needed to make a wardrobe pop! This dress is both stylish and breathable making it perfect for summer.

A Belted Drape Number

A perfect example of a belted drape dress is this creation Not only does the belt add a touch of color to the maxi dress, it accentuates the waist thereby magnificently highlighting the curves.

Draped Two Piece

A draped creation like this is eccentric and fun. Paired with heels and statement jewelry, it is the perfect outfit for a day out.

Floral Power

One of his amazing pieces is this draped choker dress that is a stylish must have for those long sunny days.

Desi Draping Fashion

Enough of runway ramp styles! Lets talk Desi now ! Traditional and elegant, sarees are a must have when you’re attending weddings, family functions, and soirees. Whether you choose to wear a saree with minimal motifs or one with heavy work, you can choose to drape it in different styles to give you a fashionable look. If you’re not confident about draping your saree well, head to a salon and get an expert to dress you in these trendy styles.

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Nivi Style

A classic, quick, and easy way of draping a saree, the Nivi style is also known as “ulta pallu”. As it lends you a professional look, this style is perfect for office functions, poojas, and other formal functions. Tuck one end of the saree in front of your matching petticoat, drape it around your waist, and then cover your left shoulder. Make six or seven pleats and tuck them in well at the front of your petticoat, and do the same for the pallu.

Front Pallu Style

Also known as seedha pallu, this style puts the pallu in the limelight, so you need to pick a saree with pretty, intricate work or one with a heavy border. To perfect this look, drape the saree around your waist as usual and tuck in pleats at the centre of your petticoat. Next, take one end of the pallu and turn it around your body under your arms. You can either pleat the pallu or leave it open, and bring it around to your front for a traditional yet chic look.

Open Pallu Style

If your saree has a gorgeous pallu that is bedecked with sequins or other work, then it is better to leave it open. This look is easy, as all you have to do is drape your saree the standard way and toss the pallu over your left shoulder without pleating it. Secure the pallu to your blouse using a pin to make sure it stays in place.

Dhoti Style

If you’re looking to make a strong fashion statement, then dhoti style is the way to go! Choose a solid colour saree, a modern blouse, and a pair of lycra tights. First, drape the saree around your lower waist, leave about 1.5 m at the non-pallu end, overlap the two ends and pin them at the centre. Fold the pallu into pleats and throw it over your shoulder. For the dhoti part, you need to take the 1.5 m part that you left aside, pleat it, take it between your legs, and tuck it at the back.

Pant Style

Look glamorous at any party by draping your saree in this trendy Indo-Western style. Instead of a petticoat, wear a pair of leggings under your saree. Pleat the pallu end and throw it over your left shoulder, and then drape the other end around your waist and tuck it in. Now all you have to do is to pleat the saree at front and tuck it into your leggings.

Mumtaz Style

Inspired by Mumtaz, the iconic heroine of the 80s who wore her saree this way in the hit song “Aaj kal tere mere pyaar ke charche”, this style never goes out of fashion! Get this retro look by snugly wrapping the saree several times around the lower part of your body to create lovely layers. The tightly layered look is sure to flatter your figure and give you a more slender silhouette.

Lehenga Style

If you are torn between wearing a lehenga and a saree for a function, then get the best of both worlds by draping a saree in this style! Rather than purchasing a pre-stitched lehenga saree, you can drape a regular saree this way. Just create several pleats using the pallu and then tuck them around your waist for an appealing look.

Mermaid Style

Similar to the Mumtaz and lehenga style, this lovely Mermaid look shows off your curves. The difference is that in a Mermaid look, you do not need to pleat the saree at the front. Moreover, leave the pallu hanging in a way that it falls 4 inches short of the ground. As this draping style highlights the pallu, choose a saree with a broad pallu that is adorned with heavy work.