Updated: Apr 18
Banarasi silk sarees are Indian sarees made in Varanasi, a city which is also called Benares or Banaras. The sarees are among the finest sarees in India and are known. And you'll find very few people who don't like them! There's something about a rich Banarasi saree which is classic- something you just cannot go wrong with, whether you're including them in your bridal trousseau or choosing to wear it on your big day, and trust us, while Banarasi lehengas might be a recent trend on the wedding day, Benarasi sarees have been worn for ages and ages by brides, and even when they do today, do really stand out in the crowd! Yes, there is a reason why some of the biggest designers in the countries still include Banarasi in their creations, and we have all the info and inspiration you'd need all in one post!
Banarasi sarees came into existence during the Mughal era when Muslim artisans and craftsman chose Banaras as the place that blended well with their culture and started weaving silk Banarasi sarees there. Their special characteristics are 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 Banarasi sarees are popular across the fashion world because of its intricate weaving. Banarasi sarees came into being during the Mughal era when Muslim artisans and craftsman chose Banaras as the place that blended well with their culture and started weaving silk Banarasi sarees. There are a few fabric varieties of Banarasi sarees: pure silk (Katan), Shattir, Organza (Kora) designed beautifully with zari and silk, and finally Georgette. When segregated according to the design process, Benarasi sarees can be divided into categories like Jangla, Tanchoi, Cutwork, Tissue, and Butidar.f these sarees. 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.
No second guesses on what primarily Banarasi sarees are- quite evidently they are the types of the most definitive Indian dress from the spiritual land of Varanasi. However it isn’t just the region of origin that makes Banarasi sarees well, Banarasi.
Easily among the finest of sarees you will ever come across, banarasis are characterised by designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs that hold essence in the Mughal styles from where this type originated. Other adorning motifs include kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer edge of the border that make Banarasi sarees very predominantly unique. Generally featuring extensive designs and patterns on the most exquisite variety of silk, Banarasi sarees make for the best wedding trousseau of Indian brides apart from also finding commonplace favour. Noted most for their extravagance in design, their lustre in fabric and their super glossy look, banarasi sarees make for one of the must haves in the wardrobe of every fashion fanatic.
Pure silk (Katan) Banarasi Saree
Shattir Banarasi Saree
Organza (Kora) designed with zari and silk Banarasi Saree
Georgette Banarasi Sarees
Jangla Banarasi Sarees
Tanchoi Banarasi Sarees
Cutwork Banarasi Sarees
Tissue Banarasi Saree
Butidar Banarasi Sarees
Shikargarh Banarasi Saree
Jamdani Sarees Banarasi Saree
1.Pure Silk (Katan) Banarasi Saree
Katan Banarasi Saree makes up the most extravagant Banarasi sarees and therefore makes the cut as primarily a celebratory wear. A plain fabric woven with pure silk threads twisted and then woven into pure silk sarees. Today these sarees are produced using looms, during ancient times Katan sarees were handwoven using handlooms with a beautiful creation of patterns and motifs.
2. Shattir Banarasi Saree
The fabric that makes for contemporary designs of these sarees, Shattir Banarasi Saree happen also to be cost effective, thereby making them more affordable for all. The sattir Banarasi sarees are remarkable in their lighter manifestation in both fabric and design that make them suitable for regular use. Shattir is the sole fabric used to create contemporary and exclusive designs under the name Banarasi Saree.
3. Organza (Kora) designed with zari and silk Banarasi Saree
Brocades are made with beautiful and richly woven fabric where the patterns are patterned with different designs made by warp and weft. Silver threads are coated with gold and are then woven closely around a silk yarn to create zari brocade. The kora Banarasi sarees almost always feature a prominent border irrespective of the body of work it tends to encompass.
4. Georgette Banarasi Sarees
Georgette Banarasi Saree is a finely woven light fabric with a simple and plain weave. This is more popular for contemporary Banarasi sarees. The Georgette fabric is made of crepe yarn where S twisted and Z twisted yarns are interwoven with both warp and weft.
Banarasi sarees are also segregated according to the design process, and the different categories are:
5. Jangla Banarasi Sarees
These styles of Banarasi sarees are woven in colorful silk threads. The name of this sari derives from the pattern of design that distinguishes it from other Banarasi sarees. These sarees are believed to be ancient ones among Banaras brocades. The heavy and highly intricate weaving on the luxurious fabric that generally is devoid of any gold or zari work is very characteristic of the janglas.
6. Tanchoi Banarasi Sarees
This is the beautiful ‘Jamawar’ style paisleys or Labyrinth woven by zari. Artisans from Banaras weave patterns on these sarees with colorful weft silk yarns. Tanchois also can feature not just multicolored patterns but also such motifs that incorporate a range of tone of tone colors.
7. Cutwork Banarasi Sarees
These are the sarees which are not as expensive as the ones mentioned above, basically the less expensive version of Jamdani Banarasi sarees. The most popular motifs which are featured in cut work sarees are jasmine, marigold flowers, creepers, and leaves. Unique patterns of cut work sarees are created from selvage to selvage, which resembles the design of Jamdani.
8. Tissue Banarasi Saree
Woven sarees with golden zari weft adds sheen to these tissue sarees, and therefore it is also known as the golden cloth. With zari in the weft, silk in the warp and both zari and silk in the extra weft, tissues understandably shine out pieces of elegance both in the essence as well as in their look. The border and pallu of the sari are patterned with self woven paisleys.
9. Butidar Banarasi Sarees
Butidar Banarasi sarees is a richly woven sari that is brocaded with threads of gold, silver, and silk. Gold is darker in shade as compared to silver threads. Therefore the weavers of Banaras refer to this variety of brocade patterning as Ganga-Jamuna. Among the most popular and distinctive among all the types of Banarasi sarees, Butidars are also known as the amru brocade sarees and come designed with various floral motifs which in fact lend it its Butidar name.
10. Shikargarh Banarasi Saree
Like janglas, the shikargarh types of Banarasi sarees are also those that display motifs that derive from and dwell in the many elements of nature. But while the jangla sarees come with floral and jungle patterns on them, the shikargarh ones quite aptly have hunting scenes and animal motif depictions along their body. Also distinguishing the shikangarhs is the work of zari at play especially along the border and across the pallu. In their intricate envisioning, shikargarhs are not just sarees but manifestations of art in itself.
11. Jamdani Sarees Banarasi Saree
The Jamdanis happen to be more of an interpretation of the Banarasi sarees instead of being one among the many types of it. Originally known as Dhakai Sarees, Jamdani Banarasi encompass a distinctive variety of silk that is brocaded with cotton and rarely with zari threads. Featuring pretty floral motifs that are laid down by hands by artisans who employ the non- structural weft method of weaving, these intricately patterned sarees exhibit motifs like jasmine, marigolds, leaves, emeralds etc.