Amongst the finest sarees made in India, Banarashi originally hails from Varanasi. Known for gold and silver embroidery, Banarashi is traditionally worn by brides on their wedding day. The intricate pattern work on this material can take anywhere between two weeks and a month to create – the reason it is so expensive compared to other styles.
The style itself dates back to the 19th century, after an earlier migration of silk weavers, the art of using gold in fabric because the area’s number one export. With 1.2 million people involved in the industry, it has quickly become integral to the people who live there. The industry has seen massive change in recent years, with a move away from newer chemical-based dyes, back to traditional plant-based alternatives.
There are four main varieties of Banarashi saree: pure silk (Katan), Organza (Kora) with Zari and silk; Georgette, and Shattir. Each of these are distinctive styles, but all showcase the traditional gold or silver inlay.
As with many industries, the invention of loom machines has had a huge impact. These can create a similar product in much less time, driving prices down. However, the region still suffers from a poor electricity grid, that means power cuts are commonplace. For this reason, many still look to the traditional handweavers to supply their fabric consistently.
We are privileged to offer cushions using Banarashi, created using the finest materials and made in the traditional style. Our limited edition range won’t be here for long, so get yours whilst you can.