From being a quintessential addition to a bride’s trousseau to gracing the red carpet, different types of banarasi sarees find an adored place in every woman’s wardrobe. It’s their timeless charm and regal aura that make them such a treasure across the subcontinent. Evident by the name, the intricate craftsmanship finds its origin in one of the world’s oldest cities, Varanasi.
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No other city could boast about a handloom variety as rich as the different types of Banarasi sarees. Besides the fabric and distinct designs, different colours of banarasi sarees also lend them their dramatic allure. Probably the reason why one could possibly never possess enough of these stunners. Let’s dive deeper, shall we?
Types of Banarasi Sarees
How many types of banarasi sarees can you name? There are different types are found extensively in our regional textiles. With time, they only seem to evolve into more vibrant forms.
You can find all types of banarasi sarees today. Yet it is natural to be overwhelmed by this rich variety. Read on to understand the types better and shop with new-found confidence and knowledge.
1. Shattir Banarasi Saree
Not all types of Banarasi sarees have to be extravagant affairs. Shattir is a perfectly relaxed silhouette, lightweight with a contemporary design. It makes for a great choice of casual wear saree without compromising an inch on style. When in doubt, go for a pastel-hued shattir.
2. Katan Banarasi Saree
This object d’art is made using pure silk threads, twisted and woven to perfection for an extra illuminant look. As a sturdy saree that holds intact for longer, Katan is often the first choice for festivities. Bold and classic hues like rose pink and cherry wine in Katan are absolute show stealers.
3. Georgette Banarasi Saree
For radiance akin to that of a Katan or Jamdani, without the hassle of heaviness, Georgette Banarasis makes a great choice. They are feather-like and facilitate a more flattering silhouette. A recent popularity surge has seen them adorned with truly imaginative contemporary designs. A warm-hued georgette banarasi is a fail-proof choice.
4. Shikargarh Banarasi Saree
Considered to be sophisticated artistry, Shikargarh features detailed motifs that are inspired by elements of nature. Broad borders and pallus are the main canvas. A recent surge in popularity has seen Shikargarh designs being reimagined on never-seen-before colour palettes. Consider going for a double-shaded piece for a vibrant look.
5. Tanchoi Banarasi Saree
Heavy on geometrical patterns and designs and contrasting colour palettes, Tanchoi banarasi are recognizable at a glance and hard to look away from too! No matter how many types of banarasi sarees you already own, a boldly contrasting Tanchoi saree is an evergreen necessity for your wardrobe.
6. Butidar Banarasi Saree
A popular choice of heirloom in Indian households, thanks to an allure that appeals across all generations and styles. Butidar banarasi saree stands out because of the darker shadowy look arising from the gold brocading it embodies. For your finest pick, go for rare designs like Jhari butta, Thakka anchal, angoor bail on earthy hues.
7. Cut Work Banarasi Saree
Of all types of Banarasi sarees, this one has evolved drastically in design while still retaining its ageless charm. The epitome of traditionally urbane finesse. Often promoted as inexpensive renditions of Jamdani sarees, Cut work Banarasi are effortlessly beautiful and easy to style. Going for a classic hue like indigo blue or sindoor red could make your purchase a timeless investment.
8. Jangla Banarasi Saree
Considered to be one of the oldest types, Jangla Banarasi sarees stand out to date. Crafted using colourful silk thread work and intricate work on the pallu and border, they paint a vivid image of a jungle. Meena decoration on fringes is also common. The luminous canvas in its entirety, makes for a perfect ensemble during post-dawn festivities. Extravagant in all shades, but there lies something extraordinary about this intricate artistry on a raven-black canvas.
9. Tissue Banarasi Sarees
The Banarasi tissue sarees come with a golden weft. The sleek finishing of tissue fabric, along with exquisite golden zari work, paints an image that is surreal. Even ones that are lightly decorated carry a stardust-like shine. Their ever-pleasing allure also makes them a perfect no-brainer gift. It is hard to find people who don’t adore a classic rose gold-hued banarasi tissue saree.
10. Jamdani Banarasi Saree
If you don’t shy away from having all eyes in the room transfixed on you, this is the perfect type of Banarasi saree for you. The extravagance it creates is unmatched. Crafted using non-structural wefting methods, they are frequently adorned with jasmine, marigold, and emerald motifs. Makes one feel like a true royal. Nothing screams regal style like a classic red Jamdani on your special day.
11. Banarasi Silk Shalu
Finding ritualistic significance and popularity amongst Marathi households, Banarasi Silk Sahu is all about the attention it brings to the detail. The bright zari work-laden motifs are softer and richly detailed as compared to other types. A contrasting canvas of deep green and red-hued Banarasi silk shalu could really lend your wardrobe a wholesome quality.
12. Organza (Kora) Banarasi silk saree
Unlike the plush red carpet-worthy look of other banarasi silks, Organza silks sarees offer a softer springtime kind of quality. Smooth, soft and shiny, they are an easy-breezy silhouette to wear and carry. The aesthetics remain uncompromised, thanks to the rich embroidery and zari ladder borders, a prominent feature of this alluring textile. Powder pink, periwinkle, and lavender are some soft hues that do the best justice to their craftsmanship.
In spite of originating and evolving at the hands of the same lineage of master craftsmen in the same city itself, all types of banarasi sarees show rich individuality and artisanship, which only seems to get finer with time. From Shalu silk becoming a staple of Marathi weddings to Shikargarh and Jangla finding respected heirloom status, each type is sure to make a place for itself in your wardrobe with its distinct beauty. So go on and make your closet a vibrant affair, filled with different colours of banarasi sarees of all kinds.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Banarasi Silk Saree
How do you differentiate a Banarasi saree?
In spite of its extensive variety, some classic designs could help differentiate a banarasi saree. Intricate zari floral work, as well as weaved motifs like the Amru, Ambi, and Domak are some examples. Looking at the reverse side also helps. Loom-woven Banarasi sarees will always have floats inside the warp and weft grids compared to the smooth finish of machine-woven ones.
Which type of silk is used in Banarasi saree?
Pure silk (Katan), a plain silk fabric woven with glossy and pure silk threads, is used extensively. It is woven using pure mulberry silk in both warp and weft. Another one is Kora Silk. Almost the same as Katan silk, but the silk yarn used is without degumming, giving it the distinctively famous stiff texture.
Are Banarasi sarees heavy?
Katan and Jamdani are sarees made of finely woven silk and decorated with intricate designs. These engravings make them relatively heavy. While georgette and Kora silk, even with their zari motifs and borders, fall on the lighter side due to the fabric. Hence the weight varies depending on the changing composition of the fabric, design, and needlework.