Banarasi sarees are famour for its gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery, saree got its name from the city Varanasi, a city which is also called Benares or Banaras. The sarees are among the finest sarees made in India and are made of finely woven silk decorated with intricate design.
The Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border is a characteristic of these sarees. Other features are gold work, compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like pattern), and mina work.
The banarasi sari is 100% hand-woven and depending on the intricacy of its designs and patterns, a saree can take from 15 days to a month and sometimes up to six months to complete.
Banarasi sarees are mostly worn by Indian women on important occasions such as when attending a wedding and are expected to be complemented by the woman's best jewelry.
History Of Banarasi sari
Between 1583 and 1591 Mr Ralph Fitch (1583–91) described Banaras as a thriving sector of the cotton textile industry in India. The earliest mention of the brocade and zari extiles of Banaras is found in the 19th century. With the migration of silk weavers from Gujarat during the famine of 1603, it is likely that silk brocade weaving started in Banaras in the seventeenth century and developed in excellence during the 18th and 19th century. During the Mughal period, around 14th century, weaving of brocades with intricate designs using gold and silver threads became the specialty of Banaras.
The traditional Banarasi saree is done with lot of hard work and skillful work using the silk. The saree making is a cottage industry for about 1.2 million people associated directly or indirectly with the hand loom silk industry of the region around Varanasi.