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The Opulent Look And Grand Feel Of The Banarasi Saree

By Expert Author: menaka poonam

The Banarasi saree is from Benares or Varanasi. Known for its gold and silver brocade or zari work, it is generally accompanied by rich embroidery, intricate designs and engravings. Designs from the Mughal period are mainly the base for these engravings, such as floral intertwining, motifs of leaves on the borders and the body. Kimkhab, potthan, betta and amru are some of the famous brocades woven on banarasi saris.
Other distinctive features are heavy gold work, intricate weaving, detailing work, metallic effects which contribute to the richness and grandeur of the saree. In the proccess, they also make the fabric slightly heavy.
The finery and trappings of the Banarasi Saree are reason enough for it to figure in any Indian wedding. As Bridal attire, it provides an extremely rich look and feel for the occasion. Based on design the Banarasi sari has been classified as Pure Silk, Organza, Georgette and Shattir. Again based on cut methods they are classified differently.
Beautiful combinations for Banarasi Sarees have evolved and are suitable for different ocasions.
Designer banarasi pure silk sarees richly woven with intricate beautiful zari brocades, jamdhani work, floral and foliage motifs are much loved by bollywood celebrities and are a ‘hit’ for Indian weddings.
Banarasi sari having border decorated with kundans, pearls, beads and sequins is extremely stylish. With Jhallar work enhancing the beauty of the sari further it is a grand affair for festivals and important social occasions.
An Indian designer pure Banarasi brocade saree having ‘jal’ (net) at the borders, rich embroidery on the net and with an elegant pallu is very charming, and most apt for weddings, functions and suited as bridal attire.
An exclusively hand crafted design on banarasi patola cotton saree makes it uniquely stylish and a good choice for college parties and traditional festivals.
The Banarasi supernet sari embellished with zari embroidery and stones, gives the wearer a sensuous look. It is appropriate to wear on occasions like marriage anniversary or special invites.
Other trendy eye-catchers have innovative blends of tussar silk and jute fabrics. Brilliant colour combinations and contrast borders with designer pallus have been experimented with viscose art silk, with jamdhani style woven buttis and banarasi patchwork for enhanced appeal.
The weaving could take anywhere up to a month or even several, based on the designs and trappings chosen for the Banarasi Saree. Methods are being adopted to extract natural colours from plants, flowers and fruits to address environmental concerns, but still much needs to be done.
An estimated population of over 10 lakhs is associated with the Banarasi Silk Saree industry from Banaras and its surrounding areas such as Gorakhpur, Bhadohi, Jaunpur.
Over a period of time, the industry has suffered on account of mechanized loom productions claiming the label of Banarasi Sari, on account of their being located in Banaras and nearby areas. The Geographical Indication (GI) rights for Banaras brocades and sarees awarded in 2009 to six districts of Varanasi, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Bhadohi, Jaunpur and Azamgarh districts, gave legal rights to the traditional weavers of these areas and a trade boost to this traditional weave to see better days.
GI is an intellectual property right, which identifies a good as originating in a certain region where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
This means that no sari or brocade made outside these six identified districts of Uttar Pradesh, can be legally sold under the name of Banaras sari and brocade
The Banarasi Saree with its wide-ranging and far-reaching combinations, in a fusion of traditional and trending seamlessly ‘woven’ together, continues to remain the much sought after fabric that it always has been.

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