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Seven things that make Banaras silk special - Seven Sarees

Seven things that make Banaras silk special

Think Banarasi saree and your eyes will remember the gleaming fabric in all its grandeur. What makes for this instant association between Banarasi and brilliant?

The fine weave

The weaving is very compact and is made by the two fold twisting of silk filaments. This makes the fabric strong and long lasting, which cannot be said of most silk sarees. The silk threads are the soft Mulberry silk that is produced in Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kashmir and China. Tussar is also used here.

Weft brocade

The weavers weave silk, bringing vertical and horizontal threads together in a tight weave. They also add an additional weft (horizontal line) of gold or silver thread as per the design. This way they are able to add dots or other designs of brocade all over the saree, making a girl look like she is decked all in gold.

Floral foliage motifs

The design elements in the saree are mostly Mughal inspired flower and foliage motifs. Bold faced flowers, leaves attached to creeper that twine all over the body of the wearer give the saree a mesmerising shimmer. A close look at the dots on a banarasi saree will surprise, for it is a miniature of a flower and not just a dot. 


So the same designs appear on the border, right? Wrong! A lot of artistry goes in to making the border define the rectangle lines of the border. Closely woven zari gives an illusion of a lines drawn around the main design which could be a peacock, an elephant or a bunch of flowers. The same flowers and leaves but look remarkably different and stiff at the border.


Typically the pallus are heavier and laden with zari or embroidery. Some pallus have windows or jalis and netted exquisitely. Such pallus are also draped in front instead of flowing at the back. Even if they are worn in the everyday style, they look glorious when you pick an end and hold it aloft.

Mina work

Mina work which is usually associated with jewellery, is also used in Banarasi sarees. Craftsman use enamelling with the powder of glass or semi precious stones on metals such as gold, silver or white metal. This makes the sarees sizzle with glittering colours


With the use of new technology, Banarasi weavers have started to experiment with a variety of styles. Tanchoi, Tissue, Butidar, cut work, Vaskat are some of the styles. You can choose one that suits your budget.

Now that  you are armed with the knowledge of different aspects of the Banarasi saree, it is time you decide which of these creations has a special appeal to you.Your chance to shimmer is now.

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