The Banarasis from Varanasi

by WeaveinIndia Admin on August 07, 2019  in banaras silkBanarasisaris

The traditional Banarasi Silk has its origin from the holy land of Varanasi, UP, India. This traditional weave is been practised since the Mughal era. Over a period of time, the Mughals have established a strong threshold of this fine craftsmanship and glorified this art of weaving in India. A fine banarasi sari woven in pure silk has its own popularity around the world. They are well known for their gold and silver zari and brocade work. Majority of these saris have floral and foliate gold/silver zari design on them. Adding to their intricate floral detailing, these saris also have strings of leaves, popularly known as the “jhallar” to add richness to its beauty. 

From saris to lehengas, dupattas to salwar suits, this versatile fabric can be worn in different styles. Apart from women, modern designers have also used this fabric to create men’s traditional outfits.

A banarasi silk saris are much adored by an Indian bride and is often seen as a part of their bridal trousseau. You may always find one in every women’s wardrobe in India and these saris are mostly draped during traditional and important occasions. Their eye-catching details on the border and pallu make them one of a kind.

The weaving process is a tedious task. Right from the process of thread-making to getting the pattern woven on the fabric, a group of skilled craftsman are engaged in making a single piece of this intricate weave. The process of thread-making involves melting of pure silver which is later made into fine threads which are further refined and wrapped along the silk threads. These threads later undergo electroplating to finally get the streaks of golden yarn. These skilled craftsmen then use a series of designed punch cards to weave a particular design or motifs. Some of the popular motifs include peacock, parrot, Hansa, lotus, mogra and many others. The completion process of these weaves takes a period of two to twenty-four weeks depending on the pattern and design. 

Initially, the silk yarns of these fabrics were imported from China but now its widely supplied by the Southern part of India. These sarees come in a different form of fabric varieties. These include:

  1. Pure Silk (Katan), 
  2. Organza (Kora),
  3. Georgette
  4. Shattir 

Katan is a plain silk fabric with silk thread weaves on them. Kora, on the other hand, has beautiful and rich brocades, majorly popular for evening and partywear. Georgette is a finely woven light fabric with a simple weave whereas Shattir has contemporary and exclusive design.

These saris are also classified according to their design patterns into 

  1. Jangla,
  2. Tanchoi,
  3. Tissue,
  4. Cutwork,
  5. Banarasi Silk
  6. Jamdani and many others

Due to the rise in demand and influence of banarasi fabric, there are many replications of a cheaper synthetic version of these fabrics. The modern weavers weave them with such precision that it is impossible to identify the authentic ones. In order to overcome these hindrances, the Weaver’s Association of UP has granted a GI certification, an intellectual property right to the weavers for the authenticity of the fabric.

Do find your authentic piece only at Their fabric, craft, weave match the GI standards for authenticity, quality and texture.


by Deepika on January 28, 2020

Thanks for sharing such useful information. It will be beneficial to me for knowing more about banarasi silk Sarees.

by Studio Resha on August 17, 2019

Banarasi Saree is a must to have for all occasions and festivals. Unique and fabulous design. Its truly one of a kind.
Handloom Silk Sarees

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