Indian weddings and festivals are never complete without silk sarees. Banarasi silk sarees are one of the best silk fabrics that leave no stone unturned in adding a splash of grandeur to any festivities. Originating from the ancient city of India, Banaras or Varanasi, each fabric and saree has its own legacy. Banarasi sarees are the meticulous efforts of artisans who weave them with utmost faith. Banarasi silk saree is known for its gleam and elegance. The fascinating weaving techniques of Banaras bestows this luxurious feel to the world-famous Banarasi silk saree. The woven fabric, when taken off from the loom is called a kora, the pure fabric.
A guide to the fascinating world of warp and weft of Banarasi weaves
The weaving design on a Banarasi silk saree is inspired by Mughal culture. Golden and silver Zaris are used to weave the designs of flowers and motifs. The intricately detailed and beautiful motifs are called Kalga or Bel. It takes almost fifteen days to six months to weave a gorgeous piece of 6 yards Banarasi wonder.
The intricate weaving patterns used to create Banarasi silk sarees are plenty. Along with the opulent embroidery and engravings, the compact weaving has metallic visual effects and goldwork. Mina work, an intricate intertwining of foliate and floral motifs, adds further luster to the silk saree.
Ektara is a needlepoint masterpiece. This weaving technique is used to generate a fine fabric with a mesh-like structure that is resistant to crumpling. Renowned as the royal fabric, a multi warp heddle shaft is used to create this. Ektara is regarded as one of the best weaves from Banaras, which enhances the visual appeal of the fabric giving a smooth and shiny texture to the Banarasi saree.
Kadhiyal is a three shuttle weaving technique, used to create contrasting borders in Banarasi sarees. Three shuttles are used for creating the upper and lower border of the saree. Kadhiyal uses an interlocking technique to join the borders and brings out the best of the contrast hues in a saree.
Kadhwa is a weaving technique in which each motif is woven separately. Often, two weavers weave a kadhwa saree. One weaver is engaged in weaving the cloth and the second helps in embroidering the motifs. Motifs are edged into the fabric separately leaving no floating threads on the reverse side. A kadhwa saree will take about 12-14 days to complete and go up to 8-9 months depending on the intricacy of the design.
Phekwa or Cutwork
Phekwa is a weaving technique in which the weft yarn is interlaced in the warp from one end to the other to create beautiful textures on the surface. Each motif is hand woven separately and the pattern is run across the edges, making the threads float on the reverse side, which are manually cut later.
Tanchoi is one of the complex weaving techniques involving a single or double warp and two to five colours on the weft which are often of the same shade. Tanchoi creates a vibrant, delicate work of fascinating designs embossed on silk fabric.
Each Banarasi silk saree is approximately 45 inches wide and has 5,600 threads. Available in a wide array of vibrant hues, this gorgeous Banarasi silk saree is a must-have addition to your wardrobe. With such impressive weaving skills, it is no surprise that this talent has been inherited by generations in the city of Banaras
ReshaMandi makes its presence felt in Banaras
With its centre in the weavers’ hub, Varanasi, ReshaMandi is providing direct delivery of high-quality yarn to the weavers for good fabric output. Weavers can also sell their fabulous fabrics to ReshaMandi. ReshaMandi is bringing traditional textiles like Banarasi fabrics to the forefront through its D2C platform. It is helping weavers to connect with an innumerable number of customers and aims to uplift the traditional weaving sector and help several artisans and craftsmen.
ReshaMandi’s D2C platform, ReshaWeaves presents a teeming catalogue of fabulous Banarasi sarees. Shop now!