The woman is the most stunning creation of the God, and when it comes to Indian women, words fall short to describe their charm, poise, and beauty. From the ancient times, our traditional attire saree has been adding more to the good looks of Indian women. Saree is that unstitched six yards material that lends elegance and style and makes one get noticed without actually speaking a single word. Indian women from all walks of life opt to flaunt saree during celebrations, festivals, and auspicious occasions. In the ever-changing world of fashion, saree has still maintained the place. There are many time-honored styles of sarees which every woman long to have in her wardrobe and in this article, we are going to have a look at Banarasi saree.
Can you find any Indian women who don’t have a single Banarasi saree in her closet? Originated from the holy city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India, this traditional attire is a symbol of joy, celebration, and pride for Indian women. It is considered one of the premium sarees in India. It boasts of heavy work of gold and silver brocade or zari and embroidery and it has given a special place to Varanasi on the world map.
A must-have for North Indian brides, it offers beauty and elegance to a woman. This unmatched majestic saree is an integral part of bridal trousseau of Indian brides, thanks to the opulence and oomph it embodies. It makes women look and feel feminine, well-dressed and delicate altogether. Today the Bollywood movies and NRIs have made it famous and wide-reaching and every Indian bride long to wear this royal drape on her D-day. It is popular among celebrities and common women alike. And you can see many Indian actresses flaunting this fabulous ethnic drape from time to time. With their intricate designs and eye-catching Mughal motifs, they have taken the world by storm!
Are you planning to invest in one? Have you ever wondered about the history of this ethnic wear, what makes it such priceless much-coveted possession and why it is so well-known among all? Then this article is definitely for you. On our way, we will also have a look at different types of Banarasi sarees, how you can select one for you and how to maintain it.
History of Banarasi sari
If we look at our rich heritage, we find the roots of this awesome saree in the ancient Indian culture of Mahabharata. Loved by royal families, this saree used to be specially crafted for them using pure gold and silver threads. You can even find the mention of this gorgeous drape in the olden Buddhist scriptures.
It is well-known that it was Moughals who first gifted this outstanding craftsmanship to our country. During this period, the fame of Banarasi silk sarees achieved a new height. The reason behind the glory of this artistry expertise was Moughals’ interest, efforts and inspiration to praise the art of weaving. They encouraged some workers to learn this intrinsic art. During this time, there were few talented Muslim craftsmen who were skilled in this complicated art of weaving and designing. Soon, the craftsmen started to experiment with their creativity and brought Persian motifs along the traditional Indian wear, weaving a unique blend of Indian and Persian patterns. We all know how these sarees created a history of their own. Today India exports Banarasi sarees to even the farthest places of the world and it’s not a small achievement.
How is a single Banarasi saree created?
Did you know that one Banarasi saree can take anywhere from two weeks to a year to be completed depending on the level of intricacy of design? Yes, it is true. And you can even custom made it with royal designs according to your wish. Such a saree can cost you anywhere from few thousands to Rs. 2 lakhs.
A normal Banarasi saree is made using 5600 thread wires of 45-inch width. The process of weaving is quite complicated. Usually, three workers are required to weave a single Banarasi saree. One worker is needed to weave the cloth, another revolves the power ring for creating bundles and the third one, the motif artisan dyes the silk. This just creates the basic structure. The designing part comes later. First of all, the motif artist draws colorful sketches on a graph paper. Once approved, the design is printed on punch cards. Can you imagine that just for a single design, several perforated cards are created which are knitted collectively? These cards are then used as a guide to weaving threads.
The expensive silk for this grand saree comes from the southern India, especially Bangalore. Today Banaras cottage industries have become a hub of saree weaving trade. This ancient tradition of weaving gets passed from one generation to another and hence it has become a kind of family tradition where a good number of family members are skilled motif designers.
Banarasi silk sarees are one of the most excellent sarees which are popular for their ethnic design and ‘Zari’ or brocade work. Many times you will also see them adorned with delicate floral and foliate patterns. Also, one more design called ‘Jhallar’ is famous, which has a sequence of vertical leaves. Mostly Banarasi silk sarees offer small figurines, rich gold work and distinctive kind of weaving. A special kind of a Banarasi saree that is decorated with the elaborate design is called Zardosi and is quite loved by women of all ages.
How many types of Banarasi sarees are available in the market?
Any Banarasi saree flaunts diverse designs of brocade and intricate weaving on a plain establishment. These sarees are quite in vogue due to the varieties of designs it offers. Let’s have a look at some glamorous versions of Banarasi sarees. Depending on the material used, mainly they are divided into four types. Each of these sarees has inimitable characteristics.
1. Katan: Here two or more silk threads are combined and twisted at once to create a plain woven fabric of pure silk which serves as a firm base. This kind of fabric is usually light weight. Previously the artisans used to weave Katan sarees on handlooms but nowadays power looms are used to produce these sarees. They boast stunning patterns and designs. Such sarees can range anywhere from few hundreds to thousands, depending on the style and pattern.
2. Organza: Here is another fascinating variety of Banarasi saree that exhibits elite fabric and exquisite texture that is light to carry and yet extremely sophisticated. In this gorgeous drape, the artisan coats silver threads with pure gold and then weaves it expertly with a silk thread to craft lovely zari brocade. This kind of saree has a distinguished sheer and understated shine, lending it a soft and dreamy look. It is also strong and long-lasting and has a natural stiffness. Most of the designs have vibrant and attractive colors. They usually depict floral and foliate motifs. However, nowadays, they are also made using digital weaving technique with the help of computers to create vivid abstract patterns. Kora Banarasi saree has a large range to choose from. You can select a simple pattern for your casual wear or a stunning rich saree for those special joyous occasions. Such sarees lend you grace and poise and turn heads wherever you go wearing them. One Kora Banarasi sari can cost you few hundreds to thousands, based on the variant you choose.
3.Georgette: This type of Banarasi saree is most popular with designers as the finely woven light fabric gives them a chance to create modern types of designs and patterns. Flaunting a simple and plain weave, such saree uses twisted yarns to inter-weave warp and weft. Depending on the style and work, you can get a georgette Banarasi saree from thousand to few thousands.
4. Shattir: An important part of any Indian bride’s trousseau, Shattir Banarasi saree has modern designs and classy look, making it well-liked in the new generation.
How can you select a Banarasi saree according to your body type?
As we know a typical saree is nothing but an unstitched six yards fabric with tasteful designs and hence it becomes difficult to choose one that suits your persona. These days market is full of different variants of these opulent sarees and as you step in the store, you might get confused about what to buy. Yes, we know how difficult it is to not fall in love with these kinds of sarees which are a perfect example of rich texture, colors, threads and motifs. That’s why we have created a short guide that will help you out if you are planning to buy one for you or for your loved ones. It will give you few handy tips about what to keep in mind while selecting a Banarasi saree. At Craftghar, we have a large variety of Banarasi sarees to choose from. We are sure that with these guidelines, you will be able to find a match that would add more to your charisma and make you the cynosure of all eyes. Depending on your height, body frame, and skin color, you can select a sari of certain print, material, color and pattern that would complement you.
For broad shoulder frame
You should stay away from stiff materials or heavy fabric that may make you look bulky. Instead, opt for light weight sarees like georgette or chiffon that would complement your curves.
For Slim or thin body frame
If you have a slim frame, you need to add some volume to your body. Hence you should go for Banarasi organza sarees. You should avoid wearing georgette or chiffon. They might make you look slimmer. Also, try to avoid big prints as they don’t go well with thin body frames.
For short frame
Do you feel that your saree makes you look shorter than you actually are? Then check your saree at once. Big borders tend to make women look short. Hence select a Banarasi saree with a narrow border. You can also go for lightly printed saree or sarees with no border.
For tall body frame
If you have a good height, you can carry heavy fabric and stiff sarees very well. Opt for huge prints. You can choose Organza or Katan Banarasi sarees.
For hourglass figure
If you are blessed with this ideal kind of body frame, then you can select from a wide range of options as any type of Banarasi saree will complement your figure.
After getting yourself a fabulous saree, if you are wondering how to maintain it, we are here to help you. Maintaining certain kinds of Indian clothes are tricky and especially when it comes to Banarasi sarees. However, you don’t need to worry. It is easy to preserve your precious saree if you adhere to the few guidelines mentioned below.
• Always store this elegant garment separately from other clothes.
• It is advisable to wrap it in a soft muslin or cotton cloth and store in a dark place to stop discoloration.
• If you are using a hanger, make sure it is not made of metal. It can rust and ruin your beloved piece.
• It is good to change folds of saree from time to time.
• You should opt for dry-cleaning. But in case, if you are washing it at home, always use cold water and gentle detergent.
• Always wash it separately and don’t use a brush. Also, any kind of rubbing, twisting or wringing can damage the saree.
• It is good to wash the border first.
• Never dry the saree under direct sunlight. Use of dryer is strictly a no-no. Dry the saree separately in a shade to avoid wrinkles and color fading.
With such a rich history, it is hardly a wonder that these sarees are any bride’s pride possession. Of course, they come with a price tag but when a bride wears it on her wedding day, many sentiments are attached to it and hence it becomes more precious. Today several well-known designers are trying their best to keep the art and charisma of these sarees alive in a new era. We hope that after reading this article, you would like to have a look at our fabulous Banarasi saree collection at Craftghar and take a pick according to your style and budget. Happy shopping!