What is Banarasi Silk Saree? | How to wash Banarasi Silk Saree?

Jul 23, 2023

What is Banarasi Silk Saree? | How to wash Banarasi Silk Saree?

What is Banarasi Silk Saree?

Sarees handcrafted by master Weavers of “Banaras” city are among the finest sarees in the world. Silk used to craft these banarasi sarees is the finest kind of silk called “Katan Silk”. A delicately handwoven lustrous fabric is made of pure silk threads twisted together.

They are known for their gold and silver work on them. Be it brocade or zari, they’re finely woven with intricate details.

Banarasi silk sarees are full of exquisite motifs and patterns such as kalga, bel and jaal. These sarees are also decorated with minute detailing such as meenakari, bootis and other visual effects.

Intricate embroidery and sophisticated engravings make these banarasi sarees relatively heavy. Banarasi silk sarees are often a part of bridal trousseau and mainly worn by Indian women for special occasions such as weddings.

They usually take anywhere between 15 days to 6 months to be crafted depending on the intricacy of designs and work done on them, Bridal banarasi silk sarees take longer because of the heavily designed brocade and motifs.

How to identify banarasi silk saree?

A bona fide banarasi saree is legitimately an asset to its holder and often a prized possession. There is a sense of belonging attached when we buy something which is so expensive and authentic.

There are thousands of cheap imitations of traditional banarasi silk sarees in the market but a real connoisseur can easily find out the difference between a real banarasi saree and a cheap quality imitation.

To check the authenticity of a banarasi silk saree, all you have to do is check the reverse side of the banarasi saree. A handloom banarasi saree will always have floats within the warps and wefts. Sarees crafted using machines have smooth finish which is never a case in handcrafted banarasi silk sarees.

This is a perfect way to identify a banarasi silk saree when you are buying in-person. But when you’re shopping online, you must take care of certain aspects.

Cost of the banarasi saree - Authentic banarasi sarees are usually expensive as they are handcrafted using zari which is made using gold and silver alloys.

Designs & Motifs - Genuine banarasi sarees have intricate detailing and usually persian motifs are present like ambi, amru and domak.

Reviews & Feedbacks - Before spending so much money on a saree, You need to check out the online feedback of the customers.

These are a few things where you cannot compromise if you are actually looking for an authentic banarasi silk saree.

How to maintain banarasi silk saree?

Banarasi silk sarees are delicately handcrafted and have been an essential part of Indian heritage since ages. Our culture and dressing ways have changed with modernity but silk sarees have never lost their prominence. It is intact as it used to be long back.

Indian women of all ages share a deep fondness with sarees. Now, the youth is also having a zeal towards sarees. Authentic banarasi sarees are often taken as symbolic of class and status. Love for these classic drapes is intensifying day after day.

People are often puzzled when it comes to maintaining banarasi silk sarees. So, WeaverStory is here to your rescue. Now you can treasure your favourite banarasi sarees for as long as you want.

1. Store them in a clean, dry place away from heat and moisture.
2. Avoid spraying perfume on banarasi sarees as they can get stained.
3. Keep them stored in a muslin/cotton cloth without any kind of chemicals like Naphthalene balls.
4. Front weaving part of the saree should be kept inside while folding to avoid damage.
5. Handwoven sarees cannot be washed so dry clean only when necessary.

How to take care of Banarasi Silk Saree?

Banarasi silk sarees are often transferred from generation to generation as inheritance. So, To keep them intact you need to take good care of them. They can be damaged if not taken care of properly.

In order to keep them in good condition for years. You have to follow a few simple steps that are mentioned below.

1. Banarasi silk sarees are advised to be kept away from sunlight and away from moisture.
2. To avoid stains, keep them away from any kind chemicals and perfumes.
3. They need to be stored without naphthalene balls and separately in a muslin cloth.
4. While folding, keep the front weaving part inside.
5. Handcrafted sarees should never be washed so you need to dry clean them only when necessary.
6. In order to iron them, keep a soft cotton cloth on the top of the material of banarasi saree.
7. There’s a fear of cuts if not they are not used for a long time. So, open and refold them every 4-5 months.
8. Always remember to put a newspaper in the middle of the banarasi saree so it does not get wrinkled.

How to Judge the Authenticity of Banarasi Silk Saree?

Banarasi silk sarees are so regal and full of heritage in themselves that having to buy them by physically visiting the store is a whole experience. People prefer to check each and every piece they buy as banarasi sarees are as special as the festival itself.

It can be easily identified if your banarasi saree is an authentic one or just an imitation by simply touching and feeling its texture. It is always advised to buy sarees in person but even if you buy them online, there are certain ways to check the authenticity.

1. Always check the reverse side of the banarasi silk sarees, machine woven sarees have a smooth finish while handwoven banarasi sarees have floats in the warp and weft grids.
2. You can also look for pin markings on the saree. They are usually located on the selvedge and are usually used to secure the saree on the loom.
3. Looking for a silk mark authorised certificate can be another essential thing if you’re buying a genuine banarasi saree.

How to wash Banarasi Silk Saree?

Banarasi silk sarees are so precious and it's very important to keep their shine intact as you will be gracefully flaunting it on your special occasion.

In order to keep them flawless, the best option is always dry cleaning them as there are less chances of damage.

There are certain things that you need to keep in mind if you want to clean it at home.

1. DO NOT wash your banarasi saree with soap in the beginning.
2. Avoid brushing or lashing your saree as you might end up damaging it or even tearing the fabric.
3. DO NOT keep it in water for too long. The cleaning up process has to be quick.
4. You can wash it with plain water using a mild detergent.
5. You can also clean heavily embellished pallu and border separately.

It's not generally advised to wash banarasi silk saree as the chances of damage are high.

The Origins and History of Banarasi Silk Saree?

Story of banarasi silk sarees originated ages back. They were introduced to India by the mughal empire. The Mughal empire introduced intricate designs and fine craftsmanship that we are cherishing till this date.

Banarasi sarees are a classic blend of two different cultures - Indian and Mughal. Earlier when these sarees were introduced, there were traditional designs and patterns used to craft banarasi silk sarees.

Now, It’s a mixture and these are simply divided into categories such as classic traditional and designer segment.

Designer segment is made to meet the requirements of modern women to match the contemporary trends.

Banarasi sarees are crafted in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. It is among the best craft clusters and beholds the finest sarees of different types. There’s a huge variety of banarasi sarees carrying opulent motifs and patterns.

How to wear a Banarasi Silk Saree?

Bridal banarasi sarees are vivacious and adorning a bride in banarasi is a sight to behold. Every woman looks immensely gorgeous draped in banarasi saree.

It is so easy to carry a banarasi saree as it can be draped anytime and everytime. All you have to do is pick the right banarasi saree for your special occasion. They are crafted in such a way that they can be draped in all weathers.

They’re known for their gold and silver heavy brocade and the best part is they never go out of style.

With the changing time, drapes styles have changed too. Some women still prefer to opt out the olden traditional style while some like to explore different styles.

You can always drape them up as per your preference along with some minimalistic jewellery and you are good to go.