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If you know saree, you would know of the Banarasi saree. Such is the amazing and statuesque presence of the royal Banarasi sarees in the saree universe! Saree.com, in its bid to make you acquainted with the rich saree legacy of India, takes you through a detailed tour of the Banarsi Saree world. And, in case you are interested, you can also buy yourself some splendid Benarasi Sarees from Saree.com.
The Name Banarasi…
Banarasi, also known as Benarasi, gets its name from the iconic city of Banaras or Varansai, where these splendid beauties have been made since ages.
The City of Salvation - Banaras
The north Indian city of Banaras, situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh is said to be one of the oldest cities, in the history of human civilization. Given its supreme spiritual significance, the city of Banaras is hailed as the place where one gets salvation or moksha. Owing to its popularity, Benaras attracts tourists from all over the world. But, the ancient city is not just famous, because of this reason/ association.
The Wedding Saree
The majestic grandeur of Banarasi Saris is another potent reason this city made a mark on the world map. Across the country, there is unlikely to be a single woman who loves her saris, and doesn’t own a rich, hand-woven Benarasi. Most north Indian weddings and festivities are incomplete without the females of the household adorning themselves in Banarasi Sari.
In fact, before the Bridal Designer Lehenga Cholis took over, the rich hand-crafted sari from Banaras used to be the traditional Bridal Sareeamong many north Indian communities, including Kashmiri, Punjabi, Jaat, Baniya and Kayastha communities. Many women still prefer Banarasi Sari as their Reception Saree.
Woven in Gold
These awe-inspiring sarees, which were earlier made in real gold and siver yarn for the royalty, are woven using rich silk or georgette yarn, inter-woven with fine Zari (metallic) yarn. These sarees, thus, have ornate and glistening patterns and borders, and are usually worn for weddings and major festivals and functions.
Mughal and Persian influences on the Indian culture brought this rich textiles art to India. Many of these stunning sarees, thus, have an interesting inter-play of Persian and Indian designs. Earlier, in the Mughal era, these saris were crafted in precious metals’ yarns, using time-consuming, labour intensive hand processes, and the resultant fabric was known as Kinkhaab/Khimkhaab. It was a heavy fabric, and had to be often woven in simpler, lighter patterns, if it had to be used for clothing. Sarees made in such fabrics were sold in weight, and were also re-saleable. This is one of the reasons that you may still find some traditional shops selling Banarasis by weight. Today, you will find only a far and few mentions of this magnificent and rare art, but thankfully, Banarasi Sarees survive.
Making of a Banarasi Saree
With time and technology, the handlooms have been substituted by power-looms, yet creation of a regal Banarasi still remains a labour-intensive, time consuming, intricate process that begins with dyeing of silk/ georgette yarns, followed by designing of motifs by traditional artisans, and then weaving of Zari and fibers. Each authentic Benarasi may take anywhere between a few days to a fortnight or even more to be made. The richest of the Benarasis may even take 3-5 months to be made!
These days copper threads or silver threads are used, wherever ‘real’ zari is used. However, many cheaper variants also use plastic yarns.
Banarasi Brocade is quite popular, and refers to the slightly raised, woven patterns of silk (fabric yarn) and Zari yarn. A Banarsai sari may or may not have all over brocade, but generally the rich borders and pallus of these sarees are brocaded.
Types of Banarasi Sarees
A variety of Benrasis are made, basis the differences in base yarns, weaving techniques, patterns etc. Tanchoi and Jamdani are popular variations in Banarasi sarees. Tissue, Organza, Georgette are fabrics used, other than silks, for crafting Banarasi saris. Jangla, Cut-work and Butti work are quite famous in Banarasi sarees.
Buy Banarasi Saree Online
The lovely craft of Banarasi faces threats from various sources, including reduced demand, owing to western influences, dwindling artisans’ population and fake products. Chinese Banarasis have recently flooded the market, and, as they are cheaper, they have been gaining mass momentum. However, these cheap fakes do not hold the profundity and beauty of an authentic Banarasi – each of which is unique to the core.
The fakes are the reason, people are scared to buy these expensive and artsy sarees online. However, with Saree.com, you can be assured of getting genuine and authentic products –each time, every time. Banarasi sarees can be very expensive, and it is also difficult to get good, contemporary designs in them. With Saree.com, you can rest assured in that aspect as well. You will get hand-picked, exclusive designs at competitive pricing, which will make your buying Banarasi Saree Online experience flawless.
You may be anywhere in the world, we will ship your favourite Banarasi saree to your chosen location. Saree.com offers worldwide shipping facility, at a nominal cost. You can also send these beautiful sarees as gifts to the special ladies in your life, including your mum, mum-in-law, teachers or anyone else, who loves and treasures these sarees. Through Saree.com, you can buy these sarees from anywhere in the world, and get them delivered to just about anywhere too – be it, USA, UK, Cananda, Australia, Europe, Middle East, Dubai etc.