When I thought of writing about costumes of India for this blog, Banarasi saree was the first that came to my mind. There is something about this kind of saree that fascinates me. I have been to Varanasi, but never really got impressed with the city. The saree that this city produces, though, is different. I have always had a fascination for the Banarasi sarees.
As a child, I always found my mother’s Banarasi sarees royal. They were given to her during her wedding and she has always kept them with utmost care. Amongst all, my favourite was a blue saree which had golden work on it. Looking at the saree, even today, gives me a lot of pleasure and reminds of skills of Indian weavers.
The art of making Banarasi sarees flourished during the Mughal era. In those times, the raw material for the saree came from China. However, today, the matierial comes from Banagalore. The process of making the Banarasi saree is no simple. A lot of effort goes in to produce one single saree. Approximately 5600 thread wires are used to make one saree. Ideally, three people work together to make this saree. Weaving, dying and creating lacchis are all integral part of Banarasi saree making process. Designing of the saree follows with the artist finalising the pattern on the graph paper with colour concept . Traditional design include scenes from village, fairs, flowers and foliage. Once the design is selected, perforated puch cards are prepared. These cards finally guide in making the saree.
Banarasi sarees are indispensable part of Indian Hindu weddings. All brides make sure that they have atleast few Banarasi sarees in their suitcases. These saree are also rated high in the Indian as well as International fashion industry. Attached below are few images of the saree that is loved by one and all.