The World of Sarees
The saree, traditional attire for women in most Indian households, aging 5,000 years ago, forms an integral part of every women’s life. Sari begins to influence lives as a symbol of culture and tradition - From a mother to a daughter, becomes a wardrobe favourite. In modern India, the sari may have been limited to occasions and ceremonies, but it takes minimal practice levels to make one look elegant in the six yards. Based on where the sari comes from, what goes into making the sari, there is a wide array of options available. One of the most iconic types of sari worn by Indian women is a Banarasi sari. Finely woven silk and intricate design patterns dominate the Banarasi sari’s making. Even though the Banarasi silk has been present since ancient Vedic times, it boosted during the Mughal rule IN 14TH -15TH century, coming back into fashion.
An ancient city Benares, popularly known as Varanasi in modern India, is where the Banarasi sari originates. Known for the rich embroidery in gold, silver, and Zari, the saris are considered one of India's finest saris, making it the ideal pick for extravagant parties and weddings.
The sarees are commonly made using traditional techniques of the Powerloom, combining the art of human-made and machinery, processing beautiful cloth pieces. Using power loom, the extensive weaving is established with no Kadwa technique used in it, which is commonly used to incorporate motifs. Instead, there is a focus on hand-woven embroidery and printing.
The sarees are traditionally made in different varieties, based on the techniques and raw materials used. The top picks include Jangla, Tanchoi, Tissue, Cutwork, and Vaskat. Intriguing designs of animals, birds, flora, and fauna and fun geometric patterns make the Banarasi sari so special. Persian motifs on the cloth also create distinct flower patterns, adding color to the soft touch. Initially, the Banarasi saris were popularly made with real gold and silver embellishments for the royal family. However, with changing times, the real gold and Zari work is commonly replaced with coloured gold and Zari to make it more reachable and affordable.
It usually takes around 15 days to 30 days to ultimately make the pure Banarasi sari. However, if there is a wide variety of embroidery and patterns involved, it might take a couple of days more. To create such an elaborate art piece, there is a need for a dedicated team and the right leadership. From creating an introductory sketch by the artist, transforming the drawing to a graph paper with the appropriate color concepts, the saree construction comes a long way.
With heavy embroidery and distinct prints, the Banarasi saree continues to be a favourite.