An Indian bride is deemed incomplete if she doesn’t own a single Banarasi sari. These traditional Indian attires are known for their royal intricate patterns which compliments the beauty and grace of a woman. From poor to rich, every Indian woman covets these fine silk saris known for their heavy gold brocade designs.
Banarasi craftsmen who are skilled in this traditional trade of saree weaving and motif designing prepare these drapes within a fortnight or a month depending upon the designs because each Banarasi sari type has a unique characterstic about it.
Basically the four different types of Banarasi saris are- katan (pure silk), (kora) organza with silk and zari, georgette, shattir.
The Banarasi Brocade based on the design and patterning and the type of material used can be divided into following
Opaque zari brocade
Kincab Banarasi saris can be recognized as heavy gilt brocades. They make use of at most 50% or less zari in fabric surface. As a result more zari is visible than the silk these type of saris were quite famous in the 18tgh and 19th centuries especially amongst the royal members of the societies. The designs were also called as bafta or bafthana at that time. Kincab Banarasi saris have evolved over the years with changing fashion trends
1950s- Light weight opaque silks with heavy zari borders
Early 1990s- More dense, heavy silks with thin borders
Opaque Banarasi saris come with different variations which is easily identifiable through the difference in supplementary weft zari used.
Tanchoi Brocade saris found their basis in China. They border on the lines of ‘figured silk’. This type of sari features a complex weave just like the lampas. You will find more heavy, dense patterns in Tanchoi saris with absence of floats or reverse!
Amni Brocade Banarasi saris are counted amongst one of the most traditional Indian saris. These saris make use of silk and not zari in their supplementary weft patterns. Normally, one can revel in the beauty of theses saris available in both thick designs (untwisted thread) and more fine, dense pattern (twisted yarns).
Zari Brocade Banarasi saris are also known as amru. The sari is made up of transparent silk muslin or organza with fine colored silk and zari. Perhaps the light prints of this sari can be owed to the use of contrasting color supplementary weft patterning. These weft designs are done up in silk, zari, synthetic fibers and sometimes even wool!
Benaras saris especially the butidar saris are famous for their gold, silver and silk brocades. The Ganga-Jamuna design is especially preferred for its use of dark gold and light silver shade with row of arches at the end! Some popular motif designs in butidar Banarasi saris are Angoor Bail, Gojar Bail, Mehrab Bail, Khalma Butti, Patti Butti, Lichhi Butti, Mehrab Anchal and many more.
Jamdani silk Banarasi saris are a variety of figured of muslin. They are created by passing the pattern thread through varying warp threads while keeping the proportion of design in mind. Traditional motifs used in this type of intricately patterned Jamdani sari are Chameli ( Jasmine), Panna Hazar ( Thousands Emeralds), Pan Butti( Leaf form) etc.
Tarbana saris also known as abarwan saris are perhaps the most expensive of the lot. Because of their high gold brocade designs they are preferred by Indian brides. The transparent tissue materials of this saris when woven with finest of silks give it an impression of flowing water, hence the name abarwan. Tarbana Banarasi saris meaning woven water boasts of a silk wrap with a zeri weft. Border of these types of saris reflect a diamond pattern with paisley motifs. The more traditional tissue saris encompass designs like Jungla Butidaars, Shikargah Menadar etc.
It is not surprising that Indian women of all ages like to posses this fine piece of clothing. Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan too bought 11 of the finest Banarasi saris for his daughter in law Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai when she got married to his son actor Abhishek Bachchan!
Add a slice of Banarasi sari to your wardrobe!