Banarasi Saree: The Finest Sarees in India
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts
Hindustan University, Chennai, India
A Banarasi saree is made in Varanasi, a city which is also called Benares or Banaras located in India. The sarees are among the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and prosperous embroidery. The sarees are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with sophisticated design, and, because of these engravings, are relatively heavy when comparing with other silk sarees made in India. The sarees are often part of an Indian brides’ collection.
History of Banarasi saree in Bangladesh is also old. In Bangladesh the migrated Muslim from Benaras, started making Benarasi saree at Mohammadpur and Mirpur in Dhaka since 1950 (according to the source of Bangladesh Handloom board). The tradition is still going on from generation to generation. Mirpur Banarasi Palli is a market place well known for different kinds of traditional Banarasi Sarees in Bangladesh.
There are four main varieties of Banarasi saree, which includes pure silk (Katan), Organza (Kora) with Zari and silk; Georgette, and Shattir, and according to design process, they are divided into categories like, Jangla, Tanchoi, Vaskat, Cutwork, Tissue and Butidar.
An Indian woman, attired in a Banarasi silk saree, complete with her solahsringar (16 makeup items), is the dream girl of every Indian man. There is scarcely any woman in India whose wardrobe does not include Banarsi sarees. Even the bridal goods of a bride is incomplete without this much-coveted possession.
Banarasi Sari offers such grace to a woman that can barely be matched by any other dress. However, behind all this grace is a weaver, whose skill and mastermind goes into the making of such a fabulous outfit. Usually, it takes around 15 days to one month to complete a Banarasi saree. Still, the time may vary depending upon the difficulty of designs and patterns of the sari, even more than 3 months to 6.months.
The Mughal era was the time when the fame and recognition of Banarsi silk sarees of India reached its high point. Even the themes experienced a change and the saree saw new designs, resulting from the combination of Indian and Persian patterns.
Today, Indian craftsman are exporting Banarsi sarees, the specialty of Benaras/Varanasi, to the out most corners of the world. Numerous weavers, in and around the city of Benaras, are engaged in this ever-expanding industry. The silk used in the making of Indian Banarasi silk sarees is being sourced from the southern parts of the country, mainly Bangalore.
There are following four basic varieties of Banarasi silk sarees:
- Pure Silk Saree (Katan)
- Organza Saree (Kora), with Zari And Silk
- Georgette Saree
- Shattir Saree
An ultimate Banarasi Sarees embraces of somewhere around 5600 thread wires, all of them 45-inch wide. The base of the sari is woven on the power loom. In case of weaving the warp, the craftsmen make the base, which is around 24 to 26 m long. One of the most vital features of weaving Banarsi silk sarees of India is the teamwork involved. Characteristically, three weavers are involved in the creation of the saree. One of them weaves the saree, while the second one is engaged at the revolving ring, where bundles are made.
At the phase of bundling a new process of designing the motifs begins. For creating design boards, the first thing that is done by an artist comprises of sketching the design on a graph paper, along with color concepts.
Before choosing the final design, punch cards are created. A single design of an Indian Banaras saree requires hundreds of perforated cards for the operation of the idea. Different threads and colors are used on the loom to knit the prepared perforated cards. The knit perforated cards are then paddled in a systematic manner. This is done to safeguard that the main weaving picks up the right colors and pattern.
Most of the Indian women’s are eager to buy these sarees and to wear as their costume during the festival seasons and attending all types of functions. Especially wedding collection these Banaras sarees are mostly preferred by the Indian women of all ages. Though these are costlier due to show their high income group Banaras silk sarees are being purchased by most of the customers.
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.