It is known as the “Indian Sun” in the world of fashion. Yes, Banarasi Silk Saree is undoubtedly the desired fabric all around the world. Handwoven from luxurious silk yarns, it’s renowned for its intricate patterns, zari embroidery, and gold or silver motifs. A Banarasi silk saree is a traditional type of garment from India that is crafted from fine, high-quality silk yarns. They are characterized by intricate patterns, hand embroidery, detailed motifs and delicate metalwork. These luxurious sarees are often passed down through generations, owing to their incredible craftsmanship and timeless beauty.
The origin of the Banarasi saree dates back to the 16th century when Mughal emperor Akbar introduced zari (metallic thread) embroidery. This sparked a new type of weaving, in which gold and silver threads were combined with natural dyes to create vibrant and intricate designs. Today, many artisans continue to hand-weave these exquisite sarees, using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations.
Variety of fabrics in Banarasi Sarees
The classic Banarasi sarees are often woven with glimmering fabrics in different styles, and come in four main varieties namely;
1. Pure Silk (Katan)
The elegant and luxuriant weaving on the fine lustrous silk with rich gold and silver Zari has an ethereal appeal. Katan Sarees often have traditional adorning designs such as paisley motifs, peacocks, bel, and a string of upright leaves called Jhallar. The extravagant twisting of the pure silk threads is handwoven by the talented artisans of Varanasi with a lot of care, and therefore, these sarees maintain their durability for a long time. Made out of pure silk, Katan Banarasi sarees exhibit an exquisite sheen throughout that makes them look glamorous.
2. Organza (Kora) with Zari and Silk
Organza, a thin and lightweight fabric, features exquisite Zari work and shimmers with shades of silver and gold. The smooth and silky touch of Banarasi Organza sarees makes them a must have in every woman’s wardrobe to get a royal yet charming glance. The soothing shine of Zari and Silk work brings in an exotic simplicity, and when it is infused with the elegance of the Organza fabric, the combination renders a prominent look in the best possible way.
Georgette is one of the lightest fabrics that make the pleats of sarees look graceful and structured. These Banarasi sarees often feature beautiful floral and foliate designs on the base or borders. Made with highly twisted yarns finely woven in both warp and weft, this simple and plain fabric dazzles all eyes. Adorn yourself with a Georgette Banarasi saree to get that contemporary yet comfortable appeal.
The Shattir fabric is comparatively lighter and more simplistic than the Katan fabric (pure silk), thus making Shattir Banarasi sarees more affordable. Simpler and contemporary designs make them suitable for everyday wear. Available in lighter as well as vibrant shades of color, these Banarasi sarees are known to win the hearts of the masses.
What colors you might choose for your Banarasi Saree?
Although Banarasi sarees come in each color, here are the most common and attractive colors to choose from that will always be in trend:
Red - Red is the most common picked-up color in bridal attire and certainly outshines all the other colors- be it the minimal Blush Red or as bold as Maroon Red, it certainly turns all heads your way.
Mustard - Mustard is indeed the most popular shade of yellow, which is pleasing to the eyes. When it comes to Banarasi Sarees, the Mustard color makes a splendid combination with the extensive gold brocade on the border and heavy embroidery of traditional motifs adorning the base.
Royal Blue - The royalty of royal blue is real. Even without many add-ons, the grace that comes with this color of Banarasi saree is completely matchless. The glossy work of silver brocade over the royal blue base carries women off to perfection.
Green - Both the lighter and darker shades of Green look amazing when it comes to Banarasi sarees, especially having a heavy brocade work.
Maintenance of Banarasi Sarees
Since Banarasi sarees are made of pure silk and are quite expensive, they require a lot of maintenance. Here are some tips to take care of them:
1. Always keep your Banarasi saree wrapped in a muslin cloth, and do not ever keep them with other sarees.
2. To maintain the shine of the Zari embroidery of Banarasi sarees, always make sure to fold that part inwards.
3. Never store them in a metal hanger. Choose some other material such as plastic hangers.
4. Do not wash your Banarasi sarees at home. Always opt for dry cleaning at regular intervals.
5. As a best practice, always steam-iron your Banarasi sarees.
6. Change the folding of your Banarasi saree at regular intervals to avoid getting permanent creases.