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The techniques and traditions behind Banarasi saree


The techniques and traditions behind Banarasi Saree 



Banarasi sarees are a symbol of India’s rich heritage and culture and are known for their intricate weaving pattern and opulent designs. These sarees have been a part of the history of India and culture for centuries and are still popular among women of all ages. The Banarasi sarees weaving pattern is a fine art, passed down through generations of weavers who are skilled in Varanasi, India. 

The use of fine silk and cotton threads makes Banarasi saree special, these threads are woven together for creating intricate designs. The weaving process of the Banarasi saree is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, with each saree taking several days to complete. The traditional handlooms are used by the weavers for creating intricate patterns that are the hallmark of these sarees. The patterns on these sarees are often inspired by Mughals and Persian motifs are embellished with golden/silver or zari thread for giving them a rich and luxurious look.

One of the most unique features of a Banarasi saree is the “pallu” or decorative border that is usually woven separately and then attached to the saree. The pallu is often adorned with intricate designs and is an important part of the overall aesthetic appeal of the saree. Banarasi sarees are mostly worn during wedding functions and other special occasions, and they are also an important source of income for the weavers, they have been weaving these sarees for generations.

In recent times, a growing trend has been rising towards sustainable and eco-friendly Banarasi sarees, which use natural dyes and organic materials. Despite the changing trends and modernization, the Banarasi saree’s magic of weaving remains alive and is a testament to the enduring legacy of the craftsmanship and creativity of India.

Banarasi sarees are one of the finest and most famous sarees in India. These sarees are made in Varanasi, traditionally. As told, the technique of weaving of Banarasi saree is centuries old and has been passed down through generations.

Here are the techniques that are traditional behind Banarasi saree making:

  • Designing of the saree: The process of making a Banarasi saree starts with designing. The designs are generally inspired by Mughal and Persian motifs and are usually created on paper first. Once the design is finalized, it is transferred to a graph paper known as “naksha.


  • Dyeing: After designing, the dyeing process begins. The silk or cotton yarn is first boiled in a mixture of soda and water for removing impurities. The yarn is then washed and dyed in the desired color. The dyeing is done using dyes that are naturally extracted from plants, flowers, and minerals.


  • Weaving: The actual weaving of a Banarasi saree is a labor-intensive process. The saree is woven on a handloom, it requires a lot of skill and patience. The process of weaving involves the interlacing of silk or cotton threads, these are then embellished with zari or golden/silver thread. The zari is usually made of fine gold or silver wire and is wound around a silk thread for giving it strength.


  • Finishing: Once the process of weaving is complete, the saree is sent for finishing touches. The finishing process involves washing, ironing, and cutting. The saree’s edges are finished with a decorative border known as “pallu”. The pallu is usually woven separately and then attached to the saree.


  • Traditions: Banarasi sarees are an important part of the culture of India and are traditionally worn during weddings and other special occasions. They are mostly handed down from generation to generation as heirlooms of a family. The Banarasi saree is also an important source of income for the weavers and has helped for keeping alive the traditional art of weaving. In recent times, there has been a growing trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly Banarasi sarees, in which the use of natural dyes and organic materials takes place.

Banarasi sarees are not just any other sarees that can be found in the market, they are the epitome of Indian traditional weaving art and culture that is passed from one generation to another. The traditions and techniques behind the making of a Banarasi saree are complex, unique, and beautiful, and they are worth understanding.

The weaving process of a Banarasi saree starts with the selection of the right yarn. The yarn is carefully chosen and hand-spun for getting the desired texture and strength. The weaving process is done on the handloom, and several weeks are taken for each saree to get completed. The designs on the saree are usually inspired by nature, and they are handwoven by skilled artisans. The whole process is a labor of love, and it requires precision, skill, and patience.

One of the important techniques used in Banarasi saree making is the use of brocade weaving. It is a technique of weaving in which the designs are created by weaving in extra weft yarns, which create a raised or embossed effect on the fabric. This technique of weaving is used for creating beautiful, intricate designs that are characteristic of Banarasi sarees.

The traditions behind the making of Banarasi sarees are deeply rooted in Indian heritage and culture. These sarees have been worn by women for generations, and they are an important part of Indian fashion and tradition. This process has helped to preserve the rich weaving art and culture of India. The techniques and traditions behind Banarasi saree making are complex unique and beautiful. 

Overall, the making of a Banarasi saree is a complex process and is also time-consuming. It takes a lot of skill and dedication. The result that comes into the picture is a beautiful piece of art that is admired and cherished by people all over the world.

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