For some time now, banarasi saris have caught the fancy of Indian designers. A banarasi sari is made in Varanasi(also called Benaras or Banaras) a city on the banks of the river Ganga. The saris are among the finest in India, and are known for their beautiful colors, gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and embroidery.
It is believed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gifted First Lady Michelle Obama 100 banarsi silk saris on her India visit.
Banarasis are made of finely woven silk that are decorated with intricate designs, which make them relatively heavy.
Their special characteristics are mughal inspired designs such as floral motifs, kaiga and bel (a string of upright leaves). Other features include gold work, compact weaving figures with small details, metallic visual effects, and jal and mina work.
Banarasi saris are mostly worn by Indian women on important occasions such as weddings and are expected to be complemented by the woman’s best jewelry.
Varieties: The saris are categorized according to the design process they undergo. There are several varieties of banarasis: jangla, tanchoi, vaskat, cutwork, tissue and butidar.
The latest style is to pair banarasis with a rich embroidered gold blouse.
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