TALES 》 Banarasi Sarees
The heart and soul of very weaver lies the intricacies
On the banks of holy river Ganga in Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh state of North India,
a spiritual city called Varanasi, this city is also called by the name Kashi, Benares
and Banaras. Its a major religious hub, Hindus believe that death in the city will
bring salvation, making it a major centre for pilgrimage. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is Among the twelve Jyotirlingas.
A Banarasi saree is a saree made in Varanasi, these Banarasi sarees became more popular during the Mughal era. Its not a simple and easy tasks to weave these sarees, much of unity, team work is involved, atleast three craftsmen work together to make up one saree, ha that's passion. One of the basic Banarasi saree would take around 15 days to a month and sometimes more time to finish and more intricate ones sometimes up to six months to complete. Banaras Brocades and sarees gets GI tag, the language of communication for people here is Hindi and Urdu.
These exquisitely crafted beauties are available in varieties in Banarasi saree can be found in mediums such as
- Banarasi (Katan)pure silk sarees
- Banarasi silk chiffon saree
- Banarasi Tussar silk saree
- Banarasi cotton sarees
- Banarasi Georgette sarees
- Banarasi Shattir
- Banarasi Organza(Kora) silk saree with zari
Based on the design process, they are divided into categories
- Tanchoi brocades
- Zari/Amni brocades
- Tissue brocades
The harmony of Motifs
The mind blowing creepers, buties, border, anchal(pallu) gives a saree glamourous look but original classic Banarasi sarees were embellished with authentic gold and silver threads for the 'Royal families', but in recent years the newer versions of Banarasi sarees are made affordable to everyone and are replaced by gold and silver colored threads. Few motifs which are seen in these sarees are Kamal known as Lotus motifs, gulab known as rose motifs, Daffodil motifs, Nilambari motifs, Genda buti known as Marigold motifs, Peacock motifs, paisley Motifs, Angoor means grapes motifs, Chameli known as Jasmine motif, tircha means diagonally striped motif, Panna hazar means thousand emeralds motifs, tara known as star motif, ashrafi known as circular coin-shaped motif, paan buti means betel nut leaves motif, these are mostly seen in gold and silver motifs and many more to add to this endless list.
Shopping in Banarasi
Few known best Banarasi products which one can shop when you visit this place are Banarasi silk Sarees, Banarasi stoles, Banarasi dupattas, Banarasi muffler, stone carved curios, Banarasi silk dhotis, Banarasi scarfs, Banarasi dress materials, Banarasi lehenga, Ganga Jal or the Holy water of Ganga, home furnishing, wall hanging, gulabi minakari, cushion covers and runners, perfumes, ivory works, copperware, wooden toys as Varanasi souvenirs, glass bangles, napkins, table covers, mats, Bhadohi carpets, Rudraksha mala(Indian rosary), brassware, curtains, Shivalinga made out of stone or crystal, exquisite gold jewellery, clay toys and last a dessert called Lal pedha.
Embroidery being a needle craft, with colorful yarns to make varies design and patterns and to enhance the beauty fabric, this beautiful ancient handmade embroidery called Phulkari, is from Punjab, which is regarded as very auspicious for brides during marriage ceremonies and newborns.
One of the most traditional sarees which I had seen apart from Ilkal saree is Hubli cotton sarees, due extreme humidity generally localities adore this saree for daily bases. This is one of the simple weaves but I totally in love with this saree, the texture of the saree is so soft due to the high count of cotton yarn used.
In India, Elephants motifs are richly used in Indian textiles Industry, Elephants were used by kings during wars in India. It is considered as auspicious animal and called by varies names such as Yanai, Hathi, Āne and so on. Elephant symbolizes royalty, prosperity, fertility, strength and wisdom. Our traditional motifs are deeply influenced by religious belief, culture, religious beliefs, environment, architecture, history, day to day activities which are carried out in life and so on and thus motifs represent over poetic expressions, and devotional characters, which can be interpretation of expression as well in the form of motifs.
What reminds everyone when I says Bengali is mouth watering and luscious dessert 'Rasgulla' and 'Mishti doi' to name the most popular ones in the list and of course Bengali cotton sarees. The medium of communication here is Bengali. The traditional attire of Bengali women is simple forms of these Tant sarees takes around two days to weave and more intricate designs could even take five to six days to complete a saree. Generally Tant saree comes in pastel shades with beautiful thick borders.
Located on the banks of mighty river Brahmaputra, from few years back Sualkuchi Handloom industry is center for weaving and labor intensive industry for weaving and encompasses cotton textile, silk textile and Khadi fabrics as well and known as the Manchester of the East, Kamrup district of Assam. Sualkuchi is heavenly kingdom for weaving and the looms are found in almost very home in the villages of Assam and depending on the design, patterns and complexity it would take around six or more days to weave one beautiful masterpiece saree. The economy of this place is mainly dependent of handlooms, not only Tanti community of Tantipara are weaving this craft but also other communities like Garo community of Assam, fishermen and Brahmin communities also are engaged in weaving, the official languages are Assamese, Bodo and Bengali and renowned for Assam tea and Assam silk.
Graceful Mysore silk, traditional Ilkal sarees and one of the intricate hand embroidery called Kasuti embroidery hails from Karnataka, the word Kasuti is split across two words Kai which means hand and Suti meaning cotton, the activity which is done through cotton and hands. It was used on everyday apparels. Kasuti Embroidery is been given Geographical Indications, Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation(KHDC) holds a Geographical Indications(GI) protection for Kasuti embroidery.
In Indian textiles, the heirloom weaves were much given influential value, the deep understanding was to appreciate inherent skill which was passed several generations.
Here is a sample of a traditional Handloom Bangalore silk saree which adds the loop for its artistically woven checks, fine mulberry silk which is a featherweight. Royal purple with a blend of Manjal shot adds the traditional lookbook, the aged designs and motifs are been inspired from nature and from ancient temples Hindu architecture. Experience this magnificent saree.
Chanderi town is a highly renowned for its rich heritage, surrounded by hills southwest of the Betwa River in Ashoknagar district, Madhya Pradesh state, India Well known for the handwoven traditional sarees, these are mostly popular for the elite class and favorable choice of Queens in India as they are a bit expensive and one can see major center of Jain culture. Artisan community involved in the production of Chanderi silk, a diverse mix of various communities namely Kohlis and the Muslim Julaha community. Traditional weaving culture was available during 13th century, Initially, the weavers were Muslims, later in 1350 the Koshti weavers from Jhansi migrated to Chanderi and settled here, during the Mughal period, Chanderi fabric business been recognize and started booming. The production of Chanderi has been protected by India as a Geographic Indication (GI).
Bandhani is derived from Sanskrit word, bandh known as to-tie and patterns, colours are limitless. Wondering what are the varies names to Bandhani? called and known by varies names such as Bandhej, Piliya, Ghar Chola, Patori, Bandhni and in Tamil Nadu its known as Sungudi. Khatri of Kutch and Saurashtra community involved in making this colorful art since ages. Places in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Sikar, Bhilwara, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Tamil Nadu and Jamnagar in Gujarat are the well known centers producing odhnis, sarees and turbans in Bandhani.
High tea or any festive occasion, not always one prefer's a saree which are too bright and jazzy, many times I appreciate simple plain weaves, one such elegant weave is Dupion! It has its own corporate rustic look what more one just want to express? Dupion is also called by Douppioni or Dupioni. One of the oldest city in India is Varanasi(Banaras), this city is located on the banks of the Ganges in the Uttar Pradesh state and it is one of the Major centers of manufacturing these Dupion silks.
Colorfully yarns woven on a handloom by the weavers of Tamil Nadu, this sarees hails from the temple city 'Kanchipuram', well Known and called by many names Kanchi, Kanjivaram, Kanjeevaram and Conjevaram. Kancheepuram district is situated on the north east coast of Tamil Nadu. Kanchi cottons are distinguished by beautiful motifs woven, handwoven sarees are soft, airy and yet comfortable. Silk and cotton sarees of Kanchipuram are inspired by the temple designs.
Indian textiles are rich in artifacts, Begampur is a small town in Hooghly district in West Bengal, the sarees woven here carries deep and bright colours. The economy of this place depends on textiles and also famous for dhotis. What reminds everyone when you say Bengal is handwoven cotton sarees and is the center for fine cotton weaving and these Begampuri cotton sarees are known for loosely woven light-weight and translucent and are extremely comfortable to drape. These cotton beauties would take one to two days to weave which are very simple ones and more intricate designs could even take five to six days to complete, although the saree fabric named after the city, the subtle madness look after wearing them is absolutely sophisticated.