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Different Types of Banarasi Sarees

I love writing about the ancient culture and fashion of India.

Banarasi Sarees: 4 Fabric Varieties

Banarasi sarees are popular across the fashion world because of its intricate weaving. Banarasi sarees came into being during the Mughal era when Muslim artisans and craftsmen chose Banaras as the place that blended well with their culture and started weaving silk Banarasi sarees. There are a few fabric varieties of Banarasi sarees: pure silk (Katan), Shattir, Organza (Kora) designed beautifully with zari and silk, and finally Georgette. When segregated according to the design process, Benarasi sarees can be divided into categories like Jangla, Tanchoi, Cutwork, Tissue, and Butidar.

Let’s take a detailed look at the four fabric varieties of Banarasi sarees.



1. Katan

Katan is a plain fabric with woven pure silk threads that are twisted and woven into pure silk sarees. These pure silk sarees are now produced using powerlooms and rapid looms, while in ancient times Katan sarees were woven using handlooms with a beautiful creation of patterns and motifs.

Organza saree.

Organza saree.

2. Organza (Kora) With Zari and silk

Brocades are made with beautiful and richly woven fabric where the patterns are pattered with different designs made by warp and weft. Silver threads are coated with gold and are then woven closely around a silk yarn to create zari brocade.

3. Georgette

It is a finely woven light fabric with a simple and plain weave. This fabric is made of crepe yarn where S twisted and Z twisted yarns are interwoven with both warp and weft. This fabric is most popular in modern types are used to produce designer sarees, Bollywood sarees, and the latest salwar kameez designs.

4. Shattir

Shattir is another fabric that is used in creating exclusive and contemporary designs of Banaras sarees.

One can classify Banarasi sarees on the basis of different designs.

The 5 Different Designs

Cut work saree.

Cut work saree.

1. Jangla

These styles of sarees are woven in colorful silk threads. The name of this sari derives from the pattern of design that distinguishes it from other Banarasi sarees. It has intricate Jangala patterns in form of Jangala vegetation motif that scrolls and spreads across the length of the sari. These sarees are believed to be ancient ones among Banaras brocades. Unique designs and intricate detailing with luxurious fabric make this sari apt for wedding ceremonies.

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2. Tanchoi

Beautiful ‘Jamawar’ style paisleys or Labyrinth woven by zari add value to this silk sari making this appropriate for wedding ceremonies. Artisans from Banaras weave patterns on these sarees with colorful weft silk yarns. The pallu of this sari are often decorated with large motifs of paisleys while the border is beautified with criss-cross patterns.

3. Cut Work Saree

These sarees are commonly referred to as the less expensive version of Jamdani sarees. This type of sarees is prepared by cut work technique on plain texture. Silk Jamdani sari is produced by placing a few warp threads with cotton and weft to produce traditional design patterns. The most popular motifs which are featured in cut work sarees are jasmine, marigold flowers, creepers, and leaves. Unique patterns of cut work sarees are created from selvage to selvage, which resembles the design of Jamdani.

Tissue saree.

Tissue saree.

4. Tissue Sarees

Delicately woven sarees with golden zari weft add sheen to these tissue sarees, and therefore it is also known as the golden cloth. The most popular designs used in tissue sarees are golden zari woven lotus floating in a radiant pond, where the water drops are designed with a cut work technique. The border and pallu of the sari are patterned with self-woven paisleys.

5. Butidar Sari

An inimitable feature of Butidar sarees is that it is a richly woven sari that is brocaded with threads of gold, silver, and silk. Gold is darker in shade as compared to silver threads. Therefore the weavers of Banaras refer to this variety of brocade patterning as Ganga-Jamuna. Motifs are locally popularized as Angoor Bail, Ashraffi Butti, Latiffa Butti, Reshem Butti Jhummar Butti, Jhari Butta, Patti Butti, Baluchar Butta, and many more.

© 2012 Neha Madan


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