Banarasi Saree History: Everything You Should Know About Banarasi

Banarasi sarees are a luxurious form of traditional Bangladeshi attire cherished by women for centuries. These sarees are known for their intricate designs, rich colors, and fine detailing, making them popular for weddings, festivals, and other special occasions. The art of Banarasi saree weaving has been passed down through generations of weavers, who have perfected the craft over the years.

Banarasi sarees are considered a symbol of heritage and culture and are often passed down as heirlooms from generation to generation. They have gained global recognition and are worn by women worldwide who appreciate their timeless beauty and elegance. Banarasi sarees continue to remain an important part of Bangladeshi fashion and culture.

Each saree is handwoven on a loom using silk or brocade fabric and embellished with intricate embroidery, sequins, or Zari work. The process of weaving a Banarasi saree can take a few days to several weeks, depending on the design’s complexity and the weaver’s skill. This article is going to explore the history as well as the weaving process of this popular saree.

What is Banarasi Saree?

Banarasi saree is a traditional Indian saree that originates from the city of Varanasi in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. These sarees are known for their intricate designs, luxurious silk fabric, and heavy embellishments of Zari and embroidery work. This popular saree is constructed of fine silk thread and features several intricate and complicated motifs.

Banarasi sarees are usually made of finely woven silk and feature gold or silver brocade designs. The sarees are often adorned with intricate motifs, floral patterns, and delicate embroidery work. The borders and pallu of a Banarasi saree are particularly elaborate, featuring intricate designs, and are often made with real gold or silver thread.

The depth of popularity and acclaim of Banarsi sarees actually happened during the Mughal era. Banarasi sarees are considered to be among the finest sarees in India and are a popular choice for weddings and other special occasions. They are often passed down from generation to generation and are treasured as family heirlooms.

The History of Banarasi Saree

Throughout the fourteenth century, during the Mughal era, Panara artisans started to establish themselves by creating distinctive and exquisite silk textiles using golden and silver Zari threads. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Banarasi tapestry became increasingly well-known and developed its competence.

The Banarasi saree has a long history in Bangladesh. Since 1950, Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants from Benaras have been producing Benarasi sarees at Mohammadpur as well as Mirpur in Dhaka. The custom has persisted from one generation to the next. In Bangladesh, a market called Mirpur Banarasi Palli is widely renowned for its assortment of ancient Banarasi sarees.

These sarees are considered the finest in India and are renowned for their elaborate hand-weaving and exquisite silk, gold, silver, and Zari designs. The carefully woven fabric used to make the sarees is ornamented with an exquisite pattern, and as a result of these carvings, these sarees have taken centre stage in the market.

Its distinctive characteristics include Mughal-inspired patterns such as the intricately woven flower and leaf motifs, the calga, and a bell; on the outer, these sarees have a row of vertical leaves called jahlhar, or even the rim fringe. Gold, tight textures, small-detail forms, metallic visual effects, pallor, and gal are additional characteristics.

Banarasi Saree Weaving Process

They are handwoven in Varanasi, also known as Banaras, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The weaving process of Banarasi sarees involves several intricate steps. The entire process of weaving a Banarasi saree can take a few days to several weeks, depending on the design’s complexity and the weaver’s skill. However, the result is a beautiful and timeless piece of clothing.


The first step in the weaving process is designing. The design of the saree is drawn on paper by a designer, and the weavers follow this design to weave the saree.

Warp preparation

The next step is to prepare the warp, the set of threads that run lengthwise on the loom. The threads are wound onto a warping board and then onto the loom.

Weft preparation

The weft is the thread that is woven across the warp threads to create the pattern. The weft threads are wound onto bobbins and placed near the loom for easy access.


The weaving process begins once the warp and weft threads are in place. Following the design pattern, the weaver uses a shuttle to pass the weft thread across the warp threads.

Cutting and finishing

Once the saree is woven, it is cut from the loom and sent for finishing. The saree is washed, ironed, and sometimes embellished with additional embroidery or sequins.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, Banarasi sarees accurately depict Bangladesh’s tradition, artistry, and culture. These wealthy and sophisticated sarees have weathered the test of time and are still a preferred option for women worldwide. The elaborate patterns, vibrant hues, and exquisite details of Banarasi sarees are evidence of the talent and commitment of its weavers. These sarees are prized works of art that transcend their status as mere articles of apparel. Banarasi sarees remain a classic and vital component of Indian fashion and culture despite the fashion industry’s constant change.

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