If once you visit the kharkhanas where these sarees are made you’ll feel you walked straight into a world full of colors and fabrics.
You’ll continuously hear the sound of khut – khut which is made from the constant working of a loom. It takes up to 15-20 days to make on banarsi saree but it totally depends upon the work it has to make in.
It might take up to 6 months or more too. The concentration to make such designs on these sarees is tremendous. At least 3 or 4 karigaar artists are needed to make one banarsi saree.
Traditionally these sarees were made on traditional handloom known as Naksha Drawlooms, which came into practice in 990 AD in India.
The one which is currently in use is the heddle system which was introduced by Khwaja Abdul Samad Kashmiri in the 16th century in the ruling time of Akbar.
This system of the heddle made it easier for artists to make different prints and patterns. Later in the 1930s jacquard looms were introduced which made the work of weavers easier.
Artists which are known as Nakshband creates weaving designs. They are the masters of weaving and have great respect from local weavers in Banaras.
They create designs on graph white paper which are then replicated on banarasi wholesale sarees. The color concept is also planned along with it.
When working on a jacquard loom, the graph paper is punched on the card and then the weaving is done, different kinds and colors of threads are used to knit these designs.
Every religion has different aspects and norms for its banarasi saree, the color, material, and designs vary according to the religion. Hindus prefer brighter tones whereas Muslims prefer mixed fabric with subtle pastel colors.
As for coloring vegetable colors and natural colors were preferred which used to live longer than these chemical colors that are used these days. The natural colors stay vivid even after years.
Mulberry silk thread is the basic raw material used in the making of banarasi sarees.
History, Present, And Future Of Banarasi Sarees Silk Based on Fabrics
Pure silk or Katan
These pure cotton sarees wholesale were made in many beautiful patterns, but they were made in handlooms, now the power loom has been switched with these handlooms.
The lightweight fabric is woven in open textures to make a beautiful banarasi saree.
With rich brocade fabric, woven in golden patterns and designs these are one of the kind.
TYPES OF BANARASI SILK BASED ON DESIGN
Banarasi silk jamdani
With brocade cotton thread and rare use of zari work, this is one of the finest banarasi silk available, these sarees are a bit expensive, but cut work in these are less expensive.
Intricate patterns and motifs are used to make these silk thread banarasi sarees, this is one of the oldest forms of brocade banarsi saree.
Jamwar tanchoi saree
Extra-colored threads are used to design these beautiful silk sarees. The inspiration for these sarees comes from jamwar Kashmiri shawls.
The threads like gold and silver are used to make beautiful designs on these silk sarees.
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PROBLEMS FACED BY THE WEAVERS
The biggest problem faced by the weavers is the availability of raw materials. If the weaver plan on using a good quality of yarn it comes out expensive. The price of yarn has hiked and government intervention has not been made.
Their biggest competition and hindrance is power looms. Despite the regulation, the growth in power looms is great. The work done by weaver takes about 2 months which the power looms can complete in a day.
Unfair trade practices such as selling the power loom products as handloom products also affect the weavers in a great way. Usually, the customer can’t differentiate between handloom and power loom sarees.
The best way to differentiate a handloom saree from a power loom is to check for a small hole at the end of the sarees which is the easiest and quickest way to differentiate a handloom saree from power loom saree.
The middlemen usually take the more share, which makes the end weaver get very less pay, the younger generations do not want to follow the tradition of weaving the banarsi saree on handloom as it takes a lot of manual power whereas the power loom is easy to operate and the pay is even better than the handloom one. Many weavers have left their looms to find different sources of livelihood.
Home of 6 to 8 lakh weavers Banaras now has a population of merely 50,000 weavers. When you’ll walk through the roads of Banaras you’ll find many vendors selling the banarasi handloom saree at a cheaper price, but think of with so much dedication and hard work is it possible to sell these sarees at a cheaper price?
This ancient saree has been in our traditions for a long time, with time these sarees have been more luxurious and richer, the quality of these sarees have a great authenticity, it would be a real shame if ever lose this ancient art of our country.
SOME FACTS ABOUT BANARASI SAREE
- An ideal banarasi saree is made of 5600 thread wires
- Hundreds of perforated cards are used to make the single design of the banarsi saree
- An authentic banarsi takes up to 6 months to 15 days to be made
- This saree is heavier in weight due to heavy zari and embroidery work.
- These sarees are mostly a kind of trousseau in Indian culture
- Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata have mentioned banarsi sarees.
- In ancient times gold and silver threads were used to make these sarees which were only done for royalties, you’ll find in Ramayana that Ravan used to wear dhoti which was made of golden threads.
- A genuine banarsi sarees range from 8,000 up to 3,00,000 Indian INR, If you find anything lesser than this you might be compromising with quality