Woven out of fine silk and bearing elaborate golden embroidery either along the border or all over, the famous Varanasi sari made in the holy city of Banaras in Uttar Pradesh state since the ancient times is ranked among the finest traditional sarees of India. These saris are quite heavy due to its rich embroidery and are donned by Indian women only during special occasions like wedding, parties and festivities. A normal sari takes around 15 days to one month and sometimes six months to complete. However, it all depends on the intricacy of designs and patterns to be created on the sari. Weaving Varanasi saris is a functional art of India, which has been going on for centuries within a great fabric of Indian traditional weavers. Big cities have exclusive banarasi saree stores. Almost all the saree manufacturers in Varanasi are good suppliers of Varanasi sarees. Traditional designs remain the base appeal for Varanasi sari. For saree shopping Bharatplaza is the best shop where you can find more then 500 latest Varanasi saree saris, sarees for Varanasi, learn more about Varanasi handloom and sari manufactured here. History of Banarasi Sari The tradition of making Varanasi or Banarasi sarees in Varanasi or Banaras is very ancient. But it has continued to be passed down from one generation to another and continues to flourish. One will find thousands of weavers making the Varanasi silk saree in this sc
ared city even today. The training usually begins when one is as young as 10 years. It is believed that the making of Varanasi saree gained prominence during the Mughal rule. Persian motifs were fudged with Indian designs on silk to create the distinct flowery patterns so typical of Varanasi saris today. Types of Banarsi Saris Created in eye-catching shades and pattern, the Banarasi sarees of India are so famous today that they are exported all over the world. They usually fall into four categories – pure silk (katan), organza (kora) with zari and silk, georgette and shattir. Weaved on the power loom, normally three people are required to make one Varanasi sari. Each Banarasi silk sari can take 15 days to six months to complete depending upon the intricacy of the designs. Banarasi sari manufacturing supports strong cottage industry in areas like Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Azamgarh. Making of the Varanasi Sari Earlier the silk for Banarasi sari used to be imported from China, but nowadays they come
mainly from Bangalore in South India. Banarasi sarees earlier used to bear designs made out of original gold and silver threads and thus, used to cost several lakhs of rupees. They were worn by the people from royal families only. If the designs were too elaborate, manufacturers then even took a year’s time to make create a single saree. Since the use of simple threads came into prominence, even those Indians with average income came to afford Varanasi’s. Varanasi Saris Honeymoon of Indian Heritage In the most ancient and sacred city of Varanasi, there thrives an equally ancient tradition. Thousands of weavers are engaged in weaving Varanasi saris. The Varanasi saris gained popularity during the Mughal era. During this period, all art was amalgamated to create a fusion of aesthetics. Persian motifs and Indian designs on silk studded with gold and silver remained the cue of Mughal patronage. Today these saris are being exported worldwide. There are mainly four varieties of Varanasi sari available today. They are pure silk (kaftans); organza (kora) with zari and silk; georgette, and shatter. The sari making is more of a cottage industry for several million people around Varanasi encompassing Gorakhpur and Azamgarh as well. MAKING Of THE SARI: Most of the silk for the saris comes from south mainly Bangalore where sericulture is a unique industry. The weavers weave the basic texture of the sari on the power loom. In weaving the warp, they create the base, which runs into 24 to 26 meters. There are around 5600 thread wires with 45-inch width. At the weaving loom, three people work. One weaves, the other works at the revolving ring to create leaches (rolled bundles). At this juncture, another important process is initiated. This is designing the motifs. There are several traditional artists in Varanasi who, though not formally trained in designing, create wonderful designs for saris. To create naksha patta (design boards) the artist first draws on graph paper with color concepts. Once the design in selected then small punch cards are created. These serve as guides for which color thread has to pass through which cards and at what stage. For one design, one requires hundreds of perforated cards to implement the concept. The prepared perforated cards are knitted with different threads and colors on the loom. Then, according to the design, they are paddled in a systematic manner so that the main weaving picks up the right colors and pattern.