From Weaving to Wearing: A Guide to Authentic Banarasi Handloom Sarees

Saree is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Indian fashion. The epitome of Grace and elegance, they never go out of fashion. And Banarasi Sarees are especially known to all for their timeless charm. Pure Banarasi handloom sarees are really a valued possession and ‘drape of the dreams’ for every Indian woman. The royal silk fabric and beautiful Mughlai designs prepared by amazingly talented weavers and artisans is our India’s pride. 

From Banaras with Love: A Tale of Katan Silk Sarees

Banarasi or Katan silk sarees are popular for their distinct designs and beautifully handwoven silk yarn of the finest quality found in India. Tales of their beauty and popularity are in Ramayana and Mahabharata as well. They are generally woven with intricate designs such as Jangla, Tanchoi and Butidaar using Kadhua, Cutwork or Fekuan techniques on the handlooms that can only be found in Banaras (Uttar Pradesh). 

Ways to Identify a Pure Banarasi Handloom Saree

With the onset of power looms, Banarasi silk sarees are becoming highly available; and identifying an authentic Banarasi silk handloom saree has become especially important while purchasing one. Many-a-times, people are not able to identify a pure handloom saree from the ones made in power looms with printed designs and end up buying the fake ones. We, at Sanduk, understand your quest for an authentic Banarasi handloom saree, hence we have listed a few heads up for you to take care when you buy Banarasi saree online and offline!! Yes you read it right! So grab your cup of tea and sit back while we help you distinguish a pure silk Banarasi saree!

High-end Havens: The True Cost of Craftsmanship

A pure Katan Banarasi Saree is made from high quality silk using a time-consuming and laborious handloom weaving. An average Banarasi Handloom saree takes weeks or sometimes even months to complete. It all depends on the weaving style and how complex the designs are. A skilled craftsmanship and the use of premium materials take them to be on the bit of a pricey side. Hence, an authentic handloom Banarasi saree falls into the above average or high end range when it comes to the cost.

A Pure Handloom Kadhua Weave Saree

 The Language of Texture: How It Tells All

A handwoven garment has a sort-of rough texture because of the uneven weaves as compared to the smooth flawless texture of the machine woven ones. Hence, while buying the Banarasi handloom saree, check the reverse side of it. Only a pure one will have floats between the grids of warp and wefts. Machines cannot replicate the irregularities in the weaves. Hence, the texture will reveal whether the saree in your hand is pure or not.

Design Decoded: Understanding the Language of Saree Design

The Katan Banarasi sarees are famous for their intricate designs. They are greatly inspired from Mughal culture. The floral foliage theme is predominant in these sarees. There is always some uniqueness in the designs of these handcrafted sarees. However, the most common patterns are Domak, Amru, and Ambi along with the Zari-work. These beautiful designs and patterns are what set Banarasi sarees apart. 

 Silk Burn Test: Is that a real silk?

Last but not the least, and probably the most crucial element of a pure Banarasi silk handloom saree is the Silk itself. It is very easy to be duped with a similar kind of fabric that may look and feel like real silk, but turns out to be artificial. The true test of real silk is what they call the ‘Silk Burn Test’. Take out a small thread from the saree and burn it a little. When you burn a real silk fabric, it smells like burning hair and it stops burning as soon as you take the flame away. Moreover, the ash from burning pure silk is black and brittle which turns into powder easily when you press it with your fingers. Burning other artificial silk, in contrast, does not produce any ash.

Every Banarasi silk saree has a tale to tell. The time-consuming handloom weaving, intricate culturally inspired designs, and high-quality silk with the touch of Zari threads of gold and silver are what makes these sarees unique. So, when you buy Banarasi Sarees online or from a store, keep these signs in mind to make sure you get the pure Banarasi silk Handloom saree that you can proudly wear with style.

We, at Sanduk, keep trying our best to make our customers empowered and informed. Using our social media platform and blogs, we keep sharing information on the weaving, designs, types of Banarasi silk handloom saree. As an informed customer, it would be easier for you to invest in your drape of dreams, won’t it?