HOW DID BANARASI SAREES EVOLVE OVER THE YEARS

Enchanting Tale of Banarasi Sarees   Pink Kadhwa Weave Banarasi Silk Saree with zari buta

Banarasi silk sarees have come a long way from their appearance during the Mughal empire to the twenty-first century. Sarees have become the national attire of Indian women, and they play an essential part in their daily lives.

There are many different sarees on the market, ranging from Chanderi silk sarees to pure cotton sarees. However, because of their grandeur and elegance, Banarasi sarees have always been able to make the distinction themselves.

The Banarasi saree is popular, not only as a bridal dress in Bengali weddings but also among ladies of all religions. This Banarasi saree is causing sensations not only in the Indian fashion industry but also around the world.  Purple kadhwa weave banarasi silk saree with floral motifs

Many elaborate and sophisticated designs are weaved into the six yards of this ethnic apparel, making it gorgeous. Varanasi still uses hand-weaving techniques despite advances in technology. The weavers weave exquisite designs with gold and silver threads to make this Banarasi saree.

History of Banarasi Sarees

This illustrious legacy of banarasi sarees can be traced back to mentions in the Mahabarata. It has a history that is intertwined with Indian culture. It began to gain traction in literature in the nineteenth century.

Silk weaving work can be linked back to Vedic times, according to historians. Hiranya – literally translated as gold fabric – is mentioned as Gods’ apparel in the famous Rig Vedas. Some experts believe that this description is similar to the ornate zari work associated with Banarasi silk sarees. 

The evidence of the thriving textile industry on the banks of the holy Ganga at Kashi is supported by the timeless Jataka Tales and Pali scriptures.

The origin of Banarasi sarees dates back to the Mughal era, which introduced the fine skill of weaving to India along with the Banarasi silk. This resulted in the birth of many weavers who specialized in silk. 

Tale of Weavers

It wasn’t until the sarees were finished that they realized they weren’t just weavers, but artists. The Mughal empire’s impact may be observed in the Banarasi silk we wear today, as well as the Persian designs that were frequently incorporated in. 

The art of weaving has flourished since the Mughal era making its way into the modern world. Banarasi silk sarees have long been regarded as a symbol of royalty and elegance. It is still a popular choice among ladies for ethnic attire at weddings and celebrations.A man weaving a banarasi silk saree

Weaving is primarily done in the home, and the majority of weavers in Varanasi are Momin Ansari Muslims. Many Muslims in Varanasi are members of the Ansari weaving community, which means “helper” in Arabic.

 Hand-weaving silk on room-sized foot-powered looms has been passed down from father to son for generations. 

They are made into Sarees that are exclusively worn on special occasions; many Indian ladies dream of wearing a Varanasi silk Saree on their wedding day.

Characteristics of a Banarasi saree

Banarasi sarees are produced in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. They are one of the finest traditional sarees in India and are rather heavy due to the intricate needlework, making them suitable for celebrations, festivals, and weddings. 

This saree is generally produced in four different fabrics: Organza (Kora), Georgette, Shatir, and pure silk (Katan). 

Organza, satin borders, jangla, Brocades, Tanchoi, cutwork, and Resham butidar are some of the various variations of Banarasi silk sarees that contain intriguing motifs of animals, birds, flowers, vegetation, stick figures, and geometric shapes.

Persian themes are also incorporated in Indian designs to produce distinct flower patterns of the saree, which are still used today. For the royal family, Banarasi sarees were formerly adorned with threads woven of genuine gold and silver. 

       A crimson pink striped pure tussar silk saree with gold zari work

The threads have been changed with colored gold and silver threads to make them more affordable for everyone today. This well-known saree features eye-catching patterns and colors that are produced on a handloom and shipped all over the world.

Varieties of Banarasi Fabric

In the beginning, only pure banarasi silk was available to drape the regal silhouettes. As time passed, different sorts of silk emerged, making it more accessible for everyone and providing more options. Chinaya Banaras offers a wide collection of exclusive sarees in varieties of fabric such as Organza Silk, Georgette Silk, Banarasi Silk, etc.

Organza Silk Fabric

Organza silk sarees are thin, light-weight, sheer sarees with a plain-weave design that looks like a checkerboard. 

         Mint green pichwai printed organza silk saree

These sarees are beautifully woven using silk, nylon, polyester, or a combination of these fibers, giving them a matte look. The term “Organza” is supposed to be derived from the Organzine fabric, which was created by twisting silk fibers.

 The six yards of enticing fabric known as Organza are true hits, with sarees available in enticing colors, designer pallus, and fashionable borders. They are ideal for weddings, family gatherings, celebrations, college functions, and business events.

Georgette Silk Fabric

Georgette is a light, delicately woven fabric consisting of crepe yarn interwoven with both warp and weft. It is often used in the creation of salwar kameez outfits, Bollywood sarees, and designer sarees.

        Rose pink woven georgette silk saree

 

(Alt text: Rose pink woven georgette silk saree)

The feel of these materials makes walking around very relaxing. And they are appropriate for any occasion, whether it is a huge wedding, a casual day out, or even your regular office.

Because the texture of this fabric is of the falling variety, it is simple to drape it all about the body, giving it an excellent shape. It has a polished and attractive appearance. We’ve discovered that many women adore the airy style of the georgette fabric. 

They are available in a variety of color combinations and fabric designs. Georgette sarees, which date back to the twentieth century, were only worn by royalty. They are now so popular that practically every woman can be seen wearing them.

Katan Silk Fabric

Katan is a plain fabric with woven pure silk threads used to create pure silk sarees. The gorgeous themes and patterns on Katan sarees\ were woven using handlooms in the past, but they are now produced using rapid looms and power looms.    Yellow handwoven Katan silk saree with kadhwa weave

Chinaya Banaras tends to preserve the quality of banarasi sarees delicately handwoven by our artists over time. The Banarasi saree was created before the digital age, before many of our ancestors were born, and even before our country gained freedom. Nonetheless, the saree and silk have flourished, prospered, and excelled in the centuries since their invention. Silk reigns supreme, and the historic city continues to perform its historic purpose.