Banarasi sarees are created particularly in the ancient town of Varanasi and nearby villages, using special methods and extraordinary designs. In the Mughal period, these fine silk weaves were blended with gold thread work called ‘zari’, and the designs came to be even more detailed and stunning.
Banarasi silk is defined by its tight weave, metallic gleam, goldwork, fine feel and intricate designs of entwining flowers, pictures, jal or net and leaves. The finest fabrics and threads are used to make a Banarasi saree, such as soft woven silks from southern India and the best quality gold and silver threads.
These sarees are either made of brocade or kora silk/raw silk, with gold or silver zari and silk designs. As per the designs and materials, they are categorized into a few subtypes such as Jangla, Tanchoi, Cutwork, Tissue and Butidar. But, pure Banarasi silk sarees are still the most sought after outfits of brides, not only because of being a traditional piece of the bridal trousseau in northern India but also because these sarees are the most elegant looking options available.
The bridal Banarasi saree generally comes in vibrant colours like red and maroon, with thick gold embroidery and woven designs of fertility symbols such as flowers and fruits. It is the most decorated, intrinsic and lavish of all the different varieties of Banarasi sarees. Banarasi wedding sarees come in a spectrum of colours such as blue, pink, purple, green and yellow. The pallu is reasonably significant as this is where the most vivid designs are shown.
Banarasi silk sarees that we are seeing at present have descended from the erstwhile sarees of royalty. The charm and elegance are still noticeable and commendable.