Know about your Banarasi silk and the weaves
Dating back to ages, Silk weaving in Varanasi is one of the most ancient and vibrant parts of the Banaras culture. While the Banarasi silk saree and Banarasi silk are one of the most renowned things from Varanasi, the weavers of Varanasi remain behind the limelight. Portraying some of the most regal and gorgeous blend of colors and culture, the weavers of Varanasi have created many masterpieces using the Silk fabric. From ancient times till now, they have perfectly mastered the art of weaving Banarasi silk sarees and have still maintained the astonishing quality of artwork in their designs.
When the poet Kabir could not resist the silk
If you look deep into the rich culture of Varanasi, you will find many imprints of weavers, woven their tales, songs, poems, and other forms of arts. One of the most excellent examples is the saying of the most celebrated Indian Sufi, Bhakti poet Kabir, "The wondrous weaver wove the cloth, with the thread of karma as a warp, memory, and attachment as weft." The tradition of weaving in India was celebrated by Kabir, who belongs to the weavers' community 'Julahas.'
Although you would find an array of fabrics all over India used by the weavers like Pashmina, Khadi Cotton, Kanchi, Chiffon and Velvet to name a few, silk has always been the true symbol of royalty in India. And when it comes to Banarasi silk, the weavers in Varanasi are widely known for creating masterpieces with this fabric.
Silk in Different Avatars:
There are four types of silks produced in India that includes
- Mulberry Silk - is one of the most established and popular forms of commercial silk, particularly when it comes to textiles.
- Muga Silk -is a variety of wild silk from the state of Assam,known for its extreme durability and natural yellowish-golden tint
- Eri Silk - is also known as endi or errandi in India and referred to as the fabric of peace when it is processed without killing the silkworm.
- Tussar Silk - is a type of wild silk produced by caterpillars other than the mulberry worm and has a feel and quality different from the Mulberry silk.
When it comes to Banarasi silk sarees, the type of Banarasi sarees can be distinguished by the use of its fabric - Pure silk (Katan), Organza (Kora) with zari and silk, Georgette and Shattir.
All these fabrics are like bits and pieces of a masterpiece that are put together quintessentially by the weavers in Varanasi. Jangla, Tanchoi, Cut-work, Tissue, and Butidar are some of the most magnificent and regal methods of weaving used by the weavers in Varanasi.
Banarasi Silk : DON'T Fake It:
As the traditional and royal Banarasi sarees started to touch hearts and awestruck people around the globe, the risk of being scammed by the fake Banarasi silk also increased. However, someone with a piece of good knowledge about Banarasi silk sarees can easily distinguish between a real and fake Banarasi silk.
In an original Banarasi silk, the work will be more glitter, and a fake one will have a grayish shine in comparison. Another way to distinguish is to look for the heavy thread work on the back side of the saree. Although these things can be manipulated by the craftsmen or salesmen, one absolute way is to look for the government marker GI (Geographical Indication) tag.
When you burn original silk it will smell like burnt hair, whereas synthetic will leave residue and smells like burnt plastic.
Treat the Banarasi Silk well
There is absolutely no doubt that having such beautiful and mesmerizing Banarasi silk saree in your closet will increase the grace of your collection but taking care of such delicate artwork is also very crucial.
One of the best ways to take care of your pure Banarasi silk sarees is to get them dry cleaned. Our suggestion is to just air them and don’t dry clean unless very necessary. To store the saree, you can keep them wrapped in muslin cloth or hang them in your closet but make sure to change the folds now and then to avoid any lines on the saree, especially for Tissue and Kora. Avoid putting perfumes on the silks.