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Sarong

From Academic Kids

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A village chief in Thailand relaxes in the early evening.

A sarong is large sheet of fabric, often wrapped around the waist and worn as a skirt by men and women in southeast Asia and Pacific islands, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia. The fabric is often brightly coloured or printed with intricate patterns, often depicting animals or plants, checkered or geometric patterns, or resembling the results of tie dying. Sarongs are also used as wall hangings and other forms of clothing, such as shawls, baby carriers, complete dresses or upper body clothing. In North America, sarongs are often used by women as a cover-up over swimwear.

Sarongs are also widespread in the South Indian state of Kerala, where they are called mundu. Unlike the brightly coloured Southeast Asian sarongs, the Keralan variety is more often plain white. Mundu are generally worn only by men in this region (women are more likely to wear a sari).

North American sarongs may have decorative fringing on two sides. They may also have ties, which are long thin strips of fabric used to assist the wearer in holding the sarong to his body so it does not fall off while moving around.

If a sarong does not have ties, a pin may be used, or the fabric may be tightly tucked under itself in layers to hold it in place. Numerous tying methods exist, in some cases customarily differing between genders of wearer. A belt may also be used to hold the sarong in place.

In North America, the fabric of the sarong is generally quite light, often rayon.

The dyeing technique of batik is associated with sarongs.

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