How to wear a lungi

Lungis are very popular form of casual wear in South India. They are worn by all classes of people; Men use lungi as a casual home-wear in daytime as well as bedtime clothing. Cotton lungis are extremely comfortable to wear in the hot and humid climate mostly prevalent in south India. Many labourers and artisans wear it as the main waist cloth and a regular daily dress.

Lungis (also known as Kailis in Tamil Nadu, India) are quite popular across Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra states in South India. Lungis are popular in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Srilanka too. The standard cotton lungi is available in a variety of colors with stripes, checks or plain and also in white. They are mostly produced in hand looms and power-looms. The standard lungi is 1.15m in height and 2.0 m in length, when open.

While standard lungies are produced “open” only, they however become a confortable wear only when the open ends are joined and stitched to form a “tube” (like a skirt). However people in Kerala mostly wear lungi in open condition, similar to wearing a “dhoti”, “Veshti” or “Mundu”. In Tamil Nadu, lungis are worn mostly after stitching the ends.

The typical way of wearing a lungi in Tamil Nadu ensures a firm grip of the lungi around the waist and it does not get loosened like a “Veshti”.

Here is the step-by-step guide for wearing a lungi

Step:1 Insert your lower body into the tubular lungi as shown.

Step:2 Stretch and flatten the tube so that the lungi touches your navel and back.

Step:3 Not allowing the lungi to fall from your front, swing your hand to one side and grip the lungi as shown to get the first fold.

Step:4 With this grip on one side ensured, swing the hand to the other side to grip. This is to get you ready for the second fold.

Step:5 Now the lungi is firmly held with the two-folds at the waist level around the navel.

Step:6 Now do the first roll by folding the edge downwards over your tummy.

Step: 7 Do the second roll and fold. You can do two (or three) more rolls, too to, adjust the overall height and also to increase the grip at your waist.

Step:8 Now using your palms, roll the edge of the lungi downwards against your back. This will increase the grip all around the waist.

That’s it! You have done it! When worn correctly, the lungi should give a nice inverted “V” shape at the front.

The correctly worn lungi will not get loosened even if you pull it like this.