Banarasi saree is one of the most classic and ornate garments you will ever drape. The sarees are known for their detailed brocade-zari work made with gold and silver, as well as their finely woven silk and intricate engravings. The skilled artisans from the city use extraordinary precision to weave the sarees using gold and silver threads. This nine-yard-long delight is loved and cherished by the majority of saree lovers and is one of the most sought-after in the country, known for its magnificence and grandeur.
The Banarasi sarees are woven on the resplendent jacquard loom, with around 5600 thread wires and all are 45 inches wide. A thread (weft) will go over and under a set of threads(warp) in a specific order in which the weft passes over and under the warp will modulate the pattern woven into the fabric. An artist develops design boards by outlining the designs on graph paper with color concepts. The punch cards come into sight before choosing the final design, then hundreds of cards are formed to attain a single pattern on a saree. The precise order in the weft passes over and under the warp threads determines the pattern on the saree.
History Of Banaras Handloom
During the Mughal period, around the fourteenth century, the artisans began to make their presence felt by creating unique and intricate silk fabrics using golden and silver zari threads. Banarasi tapestry began to gain more recognition and spread its expertise during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These sarees are one of the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold, silver, or zari motifs, fine silk, and intricate hand weaving. The silk sarees are crafted from delicately woven silk and embellished with an intricate design, and because of these engravings, the silk sarees have occupied a prominent place in the market.
Its special features are Mughal-inspired designs such as the intricate interwoven foliage floral motifs, calga, and bell; a series of vertical leaves called jahlhar, or the rim fringe is a feature of these sarees. Other features involve gold work, narrow texture, shapes with small details, metallic visual effects, jal (web-like pattern), and enamel work.
History Of Weavers
India is known globally for its diversity and rich cultural heritage. Banaras, also known as Varanasi, have been one of the cities that have laid the foundation of India’s cultural heritage. The stories of weavers and artisans, back from 5000 years and beyond, have stories that have gone untold. The tales weaved over sarees, suits, or other fabrics are inspired by real-life stories and are an amalgamation of the fabric, the weaver’s imagination, and real-life incidents from our adages. Raw cotton, khadi, silk, and linen are applied to the thread to emphasize the dynamism in the shape of the fabric.
Banaras is known for its worldwide social, economic, and religious importance. The city is equally important as it is the center for brocade weaving throughout the country. The textile industry, which developed during the Vedic period and reached its peak in the polar period, explains the act of weaving as a fundamental part of the lives of the people of Banaras. Whether it was a religious activity or a source of living for the population, weaving activity transcended all other professions. From a historical angle, the textile industry has found a place in Vedic literature to post-independence India. The sarees occupy a special place even in today’s day and age and still reign in the world of silk and sarees. The city of Varanasi has worked tirelessly to retain art and culture alive. In today’s world, for every woman, the Banarasi saree still serves as a sign of royalty. They are one of the finest traditional sarees in India and very heavy due to their rich embroidery work, which makes them perfect for parties, festivals, and weddings. There are four varieties of Banarasi saree namely organza (Kora), Shatir saree, Georgette saree, and pure silk (Katan).
Making of Banarasi Saree
Usually, it takes 15 to 30 days are required to weave a single Banarasi saree. Though, it depends on the intricacy of the design and patterns. Normally, three weavers are needed in the fabricating of this saree. One weaves the saree, the second one handles the rotating ring in making bundles, and the third one supports the border design. Making the Banarasi saree needs teamwork. Preferably, a Banarasi consists of 5600 thread wires with 45 inches wide. The artisans make a base 24-26 inches long. Designing the motifs starts at the bundling stage. An artist develops design boards by sketching the designs on graph paper along with colour concepts. Before selecting the final design, punch cards are produced, and then hundreds of prick cards are created to accommodate a single design for a saree. Different colours and threads are used to knit the prick cards on the loom. The prick cards are then paddled in a structured way to make sure the main weave picks up the right colours and patterns.