The Heritage capital of Indian silk saree: Banarasi saree

From historical times Banaras is considered to be the weaving capital due to its high heritage in weaving beautiful and quality clothes. Mughal Emperor Akbar was the ruler who contributed to the weaving industry, here and all over India, this much importance. 

All his wives and those from his harem dressed in rich silk sarees with zari work. This piece of clothing is now popularised as Banarasi Silks, also now, these designs are developed by adding silver threadwork to the mix.

The time is taken for manufacturing each of Banaras handloom saree can take anywhere from 15 days to a month, and sometimes up to six months.

In the initial stage, the saree designs are created on paper then they will be punching the pattern into the paper which looks like Braille. For a single saree hundred of patterns like this are used. Nowadays power looms are restoring the hand-loom and chopping down on labour and production time. But the end machine-manufactured product is the same and lacks the distinctiveness of the handmade saree.

The silk of our history and its demand.

The business that has withstood centuries is under threat with cheap copies surging the markets. Unfortunately, a lot of craftsmen have been compelled to shift careers. A pure Banarasi silk saree puts up time and undertaking to create and comes with a hefty price tag. 

Buyers are frequently reluctant to spend the price of the labour and voluntarily opt for fakes. By honouring the craftsman and paying a reasonable price, we may be able to conserve this chapter of our history. On the bright part, Banarasi sarees now received the GI (Geographical Indication) certification for Banaras Brocades and Sarees.

A pure Banarasi silk saree can be purchased for anywhere from Rs.3,000 to Rs.2,00,000 depending on the design and the delicacy of the work. That said, a saree with a decent quantity of work would go for a minimum of Rs.8,000 to Rs.10,000.

Origin of the designs

During the Mughal era, the patterns and designs of Banarasi sarees were largely included Islamic motifs such as stylish leaves, Floral print and net designs, which can be easily found in their architecture. 

The Taj Mahal boasts of related motifs in detailed inlay work crafted from and within the stone. The effect is completely stunning. The methods were a try to simulate the dividend of Jannat (paradise). 

Then In the British era, the Victorians always mandated geometric patterns. Today, while Islamic motifs stay prominent, also can find a variety of Hindu Gods embossed sarees.

The varieties of Banarasi silks

There are mainly four varieties of Banarasi sarees,  pure silk (Katan), georgette and shatter, organza (kora) with zari and silk. From these, pure silk is the most prominent. 

For design, Banarasi sarees are also classified into jangle, Choi, basket, cutwork, tissue and bidar.


Traditional Banaras sarees are also a part of our heritage and culture. It has an important part in the history of our silks. Maintaining this further should be considered our responsibility