When you think of the city of Varanasi or Banaras, you think of the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, the ghats of the holy river of Ganga, the narrow nostalgic streets, and the handicraft work. Among its handicraft, Banarasi silk handloom is the most famous.
Banaras silk sarees are known for its gold and silver zari work and are considered the finest sarees in India. Traditionally, it carries a special place in the closet and heart of every Indian woman. In earlier days, Banarasi sarees used to be the favourite and most preferred wedding attire for north Indian brides. I still remember, during my growing up years that how my mother used to keep her wedding sari, which was of course Banarasi, carefully wrapped up in a white muslin cloth and she only used to take it out for wearing on some special occasions and festivals. Even today, Banarasi weaves find its way in modern Indian women’s life on special occasions. I hardly know anyone among my friends who would not have a Banarasi sari enriching her closet.
So after successfully introducing Andhra and Telanagana handlooms to its customers, Weavesmart got tempted to help you add the rich Banarasi weaves to your sari collection and decides to bring the Banarasi weaves online. In the month of May 2016, our team personally visited Varanasi to set-up our local weaver network there.
It was warming to be in the land of silk handloom. The moment you step in the city you are reminded of its antiqueness. No wonder, it’s featured among the top 20 oldest inhabited places on the earth (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/galleries/The-worlds-20-oldest-cities/). The team was truly amazed to see the beautiful and colourful Banarasi treasure hidden in the narrow winding streets of the city, which gets shipped across the world. The sight of weavers dexterously working on the looms producing the finest weaves of India was quite an overwhelming experience. The team organised meetings with weavers in various clusters in Varanasi to understand their product varieties, typical weaving cycle and timelines and current marketing platforms.
Weavesmart founder Nishita Manne interacting with Weavers in Varanasi
Weaver Aslam creating a new piece of art from his loom
Banarasi sari comes in four main varieties, which includes pure silk (Katan), Organza (Kora) with Zari and silk; Georgette, and Shattir. Depending on the design, a Banarasi sari can take anywhere from 15 days to 6 months to finish.
Now, you can find wide range of Banarasi sari varieties on weaversmart.com. All products are directly sourced from the local weavers. Apart from Sarees, Weavesmart has also added Banarasi dress materials and Duppattas to its product range.To see and shop for our new Banaras range, visit www.weavesmart.com