Traditional Textiles - INDIA

The Mystery Of Banarasi Silk Sarees: Disentangling

Published: March 15, 2023

From being a drape that was exclusively adorned by the members of the royal families and the ultra-rich gentry to becoming an integral part of the modern fashion industry, Banarasi sarees have evolved significantly. Considered to be the most loved ethnic attire of Indian women, these silk sarees are preferred for their exquisite beauty, great splendor, and impressive elegance.

How is Banarasi silk different from other silk sarees?

Given the above facts, it is not surprising that sarees in India are mostly divided into two main categories, namely Banarsi silk and other silk sarees. To better understand the reasons behind this categorization, it is important to learn how the two types of sarees differ. The most important distinguishing aspects of Banarasi sarees are explained below.

Place Of Origin: As the name suggests, Banarasi silk sarees originate in Banaras or Varanasi, which was once the most famous center of handmade fabrics across the globe. Even though the exact time of origin of Banarasi silk is not known, it is a well-established fact that the evolution of the fabric into its current form has happened over centuries and across countless generations.

Time Required For Making: The silk used for making Banarasi sarees is expertly prepared and finely woven into fabric on traditional handlooms. Pure Banarasi silk sarees can take anywhere between 15 days and six months to get completed. The exact duration depends on the type of design, detailing, and decoration that goes into making the saree. The whole process requires the involvement of 3 to 5 highly skilled artisans.

Colors And Patterns: Most Banarasi silk sarees have light colors and hues and often feature beautiful motifs on both sides of the border. Various floral patterns, intricate designs, and motifs are beautifully woven into the fabric with the help of gold, silver, and silken threads of distinct colors. A majority of prints and patterns are heavily inspired by the Mughal era when the popularity of the fabric was at its peak.

Versatility Of Style: The unique features and versatility of Banarasi sarees ensure a great versatility of style. The most popular styles of silk Banarasi sarees include Shattir, Tanchoi, Tussar, Jamdhani, Shikargarh, and Georgette. The sheer elegance of the fabric and the majesty of the designs makes Banarasi sarees a perfect choice for a bridal trousseau. The sarees also feature prominently in the party wear collections of the most famous Indian designers.

Price Of The Sarees: Original Banarasi silk sarees are made from high-quality silk threads and feature delicate zari and silver work. In addition, the making process of the sarees is also quite time-consuming and requires the skills of expert craftsmen. All these factors result in ensuring that these sarees come with a hefty price tag. However, despite their high price, a Banarasi saree is one of the most prized possession for most Indian women.

How do I know if the Banarasi saree I ordered is handwoven?-Tips To Assess The Authenticity Of Banarasi Silk Sarees

These days, it has become quite easy for people from across the globe to buy Banarasi silk sarees through various online portals. However, not all websites claiming to provide Banarasi silk sarees online might be offering authentic products. Given below are some tips that can help determine the authenticity of the sarees while purchasing them online.

Shop Only With Reliable Brands: To avoid getting duped into purchasing cheap imitations of Banarasi silk sarees at their original price, it is advisable to shop only with brands known for offering authentic products. Most such brands provide a certificate of authenticity with the products to guarantee their originality.

Check The Motifs: One of the key features of original Banarasi sarees is their unique motifs and patterns. The sarees have Mughal-inspired designs of leaves, buttis, ambis, and various floral patterns woven intricately into the fabric to ensure a great finish. A cheap imitation rarely features such fine work as it requires extreme skill which increases the cost of the saree. 

Pay Attention To The Pallu: Almost every original Banarasi silk saree features a long patch of plain silk measuring around six to eight inches, on the pallu. While this might require the users to scrutinize the available images of the saree very closely, it is an assured way of verifying whether or not the saree they are buying is authentic Banarasi silk.

Product Description Of The Saree: When shopping for a Banarasi silk saree online, reading the product description completely and carefully is extremely important. It can help verify the originality of the saree by offering information about its composition. The product description generally provides details about the fabric and workmanship of the saree as well as its care instructions. All these details can help in verifying the authenticity of the saree.

Wrapping Up

Buying a Banarasi saree creates a moment of pride and joy for most Indian women. It marks the beginning of a royal love affair with the rich luxurious drape that is known for its timeless appeal and unmatched elegance. Providing a perfect balance between traditional and modern styles, the mesmerizing beauty of Banarasi sarees leaves everyone amazed. 

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