Hand made by artisans, Handpicked for you, by Fabriclore.
Banarasi silk fabric originates from the ancient city residing on the banks of the holy river Ganga, Benaras, now renamed as Varanasi. Marked by the precious gold and silver threads used to weave the unique and intricate motifs which span the expanse of the fabric, Banarasi silk was known as ‘Hirnaya Vastra’ or Golden Cloth in the great Indian Epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. It even finds mentions in ancient Buddhist texts, that the mortal remains of Lord Buddha were covered with Banarasi fabric emanation hues of blue, yellow and red after he attained Nirvana. Did you know, the bird motifs, floral patterns and geometric designs used in modern Banarasi suit and dress materials were discovered in the cave paintings and murals of the Ajanta Caves depicting the Gupta period? According to another Legend, the ancient Mughals were the ones who sowed the seeds of the modern Banarasi craft in the area which is now the state of Uttar Pradesh. The resulting feature of this piece of history is readily recognizable as the elegant Persian motifs on most Banarasi fabrics. Emperor Jahangir and Empress Nur Jahan were said to be experts of Banarasi Brocades and favoured them to other fabrics as well.
The Making of Banarasi Silk is a three-step process consisting of Reeling, Dyeing and Weaving. Reeling of the yarn is the precursor to the dyeing and pattern making process. The yarn is made by hand and wrapped into bundles separated by Tana (Warp or lengthwise) and Bana (Weft or breadthwise). After this, the Yarn is steeped in warm soap water to give the yarn its significant shine before being dyed with vibrant and colourful hues. The design for a certain fabric is drawn on paper and punched onto perforated cards which determine how the fabric would be woven. Then comes the finale, the weaving process. The yarn is fed into a pit loom, which is fed with the weft and warp yarn colours. The artisans then weave the specific design using the punch cards as a reference.
Fabriclore brings you the best picks of this opulent fabric, ethically sourced from local artisans. Our collection features gorgeous Banarasi dress materials adorned with delicate springtime florals, brocade fabric for the classic Banarasi blouses embellished with sparkling Buttas and regal damask zari patterns. Banarasi silk fabric is a great pick for some classic wardrobe must-haves. Banarasi suits are the favoured outfit of choice for wedding guests, and a simple saree can be paired with a Banarasi blouse to elevate your look!
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