From the holy lands of Varanasi comes a history of clothing that has stood the test of time. The tradional banarasi saree is just as popular among today’s fashionistas as it was among the royal families of the Mughal times. They are world renowned for their superior quality of silk and the exquisite gold and silver zari work inspired by the Mughal and pre-Mughal era. Characteristically, these sarees stand out because of the sheer weight as well as the intricate details of the borders and pallu. Bootis or small motifs inspired by flowers and leaves are woven throughout the saree,concluding in grand pallus also made of gold and silver thread. It takes 15 days to six months to complete a saree depending on design.
The design of these motifs and pallus is no easy task. These traditional designs are first drawn on wax papers. For that pattern, another craftsman designs punch cards which are placed into the machine to guide the thread to obtain a specific pattern. Each card corresponds to a single line of weaving. Multitudes of these punch cards are placed in a series to obtain the desired motif or pattern. Thread making is also an elaborate process. Pure silver is first melted and machined to fine threads as thin as a strand of hair. This is further flattened and wrapped around a silk thread which is passed through an electroplating solution to obtain gold yarns.
Over the last few years, the weaving community of Varanasi has diversified its product line to include salwar kameez material, lehengas, scarves, tunics, dresses, jackets and kurtas. Several designers are now using banarasi silk in their work making it possible for even the modern men and women to own a piece of this ancient tradition.
Since the banarasi fabrics are so popular, several communities have started replicating their work to such precision that it is impossible to identify the authentic piece from the cheap quality replicas. Next time you pick up a banarasi saree, do not forget to look for the Geographical Indication. GI is an intellectual property right issued to vouch for the authenticity of the banaras silk. According to the GI right, only sarees made in 6 districts of Uttar Pradesh – Varanasi, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Bhadohi, Jaunpur and Azamgarh – can be termed as a Banarasi fabric.
Hi. Your article is so convincing that I cannot stop myself to say something about this. It’s really nice to see the best information about Banaras sarees. Thanks for your efforts and work.
a pristine combination of art and culture at its finest is what makes a saree exquisite and stand out of any other outfits. a great post showing a glimpse of the history of the saree. great content, keep up the work
Nice blog!!!!Nothing makes a women look most beautiful like a saree does and one goes speechless when it comes to Banarasi silk saree.
Nice article, Thanks for sharing. All women dreamed about there marriage, Banarasi Silk saree make marriage memorable.