This style of draping is peculiar to the ladies of the Kodagu district of Karnataka. This style defies conventional style by placing the pleats at the back instead of the front. The free end of the sari is draped back-to-front over the right shoulder and then fastened to the sari at the front.
This is regarded as the most popular sari style. This style of draping involves a waistband and a petticoat which is mostly a plain skirt. The draping begins with one end of the sari tucked into the waistband of the petticoat. The cloth is then wrapped once around the body, the lower body that is, and then gathered just below the navel in to even pleats. The paintings of Raja Ravi Varma are accredited to being responsible for the widespread appreciation of the Nivi style of draping a sari. This style of draping presents beautifully decorated attire with a pleasant outlook.
As the attire became accepted and famous all over the world, different cultures infused their own ideas into making the sari, and over a period of time there have been fascinating outcomes from diverse cultures and social class adapting the sari to meet their own needs and purpose. However, on a general scale, these alterations often involve the way the sari is tied to the petticoat or at what point on the body the fastening is done.
The sari is also adapted to suit various situations and conditions peculiar to different individuals and professions. The sari has not only become an element of beauty, but also one that covers essential clothing needs of people. A sari worn by a hotel staff will differ from that worn by an air hostess, hence the need for professional styles of draping saris.