The resplendence of a Banarasi saree is unmatched. Brought to India by the Mughals centuries ago, the art of weaving this beautiful piece of wearable art hasn’t ceased since. Do you remember the time you first wore your first pure banarasi silk saree? Or the first time your mother showed her bridal trousseau and you were amazed by the sheer brilliance with which the saree still gleamed? If you remember that feeling of awe, let us tell you the story of the banarasi.
Today, we will talk about the process of weaving a banarasi saree, look at some of its other types, and also peek at some of the differences between power loom and handloom banarasi.
Process of Weaving a Banarasi Saree
Most banarasi items, like sarees and pure silk banarasi dupatta, is done in Banaras where the process can be largely divided into three parts:
- Jacquard Cards
At the first step, the design that is to be weaved on the cloth is made by punching holes in jacquard cards, which are 12 inches by 3 inches. Once the design is transferred to the card from a graph paper by perforating the card, they are tied together and fed to the weaving machine.
Next, the silk yarns are dyed. The yarns are usually of raw silk. The yarns are turned into threads, which are then spun into spools by a spinning wheel.
The loom is set up and the process started even before the jacquard cards are fixed. Following the holes in the cards, the threads are pulled into the desired design and the weaving process starts. Most sarees can take more than three months to make and sometimes, richer, heavier sarees can take up almost a year.
The Differences between Handloom and Powerloom Banarasi Sarees
Are you often confused when you shop for banarasi silk saree online? Do you look at the prices and get even more baffled (site A says 5000 for a banarasi and site B says 51,000)? Then keep this small but handy guide at hand:
- Handloom sarees are softer than powerloom sarees. And if the site you shop from has zoom-in features, you can even see the texture clearly.
- The weave in a handloom saree is uneven while the weave is even in powerloom sarees. The charm of a handloom saree lies in its unevenness.
- You will often notice small pin marks at equal distances on the bottom or top of the saree at the borders in handloom saree. This feature is missing in powerloom sarees obviously.
- Often, handloom sarees have extra threads hanging at the end of the pallu, which is not there on powerloom sarees.
In this age and time, powerloom has made fashion fast and easy. Some might see it as a necessary evil but we believe that with powerloom, richer, more exquisite items are easier to find and afford. It has created jobs and it has made luxury affordable to the general masses. With our initiative at Shoonya, we want to bring you the best of handloom along with fashion that is accessible.
If you want to check out our collection, visit us today at Shoonya. Browse through our exquisite collection of handloom sarees and dupattas today!