Since years, Banarasi saree has been an integral part of Indian women's wardrobe, as they love to grace this traditional ethnic wear that has been the pride of India for ages. This saree rarely fails to flatter women, as it imparts them with a stunning and iconic look. Making them feel delicate and feminine, this saree accentuates their beauty and elegance in the truest sense. Varanasi is India's prominent center of silk weaving and the most famous product churned out from here is the Banarasi saree that is highly revered and acknowledged not only in India but all over the world. Known for its exclusivity and elegance, this saree has always held on its own as a traditional excellence that are intricately woven with fine designs and engravings.
The elegant Banarasi holds great significance among today's fashionistas as it was among the royal families of the Mughal times. Renowned for their fine quality of silk and the exquisite gold and silver zari work, this saree stands out because of its distinctively carved borders and grand pallu heavily embroidered with gold and silver thread. The stand-out features of the Banarasi sarees is the use of rich gold and silver coloured thread work on motifs and brocades that draw influences from the Mughal designs. The awesome floral and leafy motifs are known as kalga and bel, border with upright leaves designs called Jhallar provide rich and heavy look to the sarees.
Small motifs inspired by flowers and leaves are intricately woven throughout the saree imparting it with a heavy and gorgeous look. The designing of pallu and motifs require years of expertise and skills, as these designs first need to be drawn on wax papers and another craftsman designs punch cards that are placed into the machine to guide the thread to craft a specific pattern in the saree. Each card corresponds to a single line of weaving and several such cards are placed in series to obtain the desired motif. Making of thread is also not easy as pure silver is first melted and machined to create fine threads that is further flattened and wrapped around a silk thread that passed through an electroplating solution to obtain gold yarns.
This saree is sure to stun women of all ages due to heavy sequins, beads, and buttas that add glamour and shimmer to the saree. Besides heavy work, the compact weaving of the base fabric, small detailing, metallic visual effects and mesh pattern along with intricate embroidery contribute in making the Banarasi saree a rich traditional offering and a national pride. Banarasi saree is crafted with complete fineness and opulence and take anywhere from a fortnight to six months to complete it. This saree has created a niche for itself in the saree market and commands a steep price that mainly depends on the exquisiteness of designs and the intricacies within the weave and the fine adornments accompanied in the saree.
Banarasi sarees are always considered as an exceptional and finely sought-after sarees that have neither dimmed nor lost lustre. There have been additions and introductions within the weave but this saree never seemed out of place. Lately there are lot of fusion varieties and combination of styles that has always kept the Banarasi market interested and happening.