Varanasi is among the oldest living cities in the world. The city is famous for some of its finest handicrafts but the most eminent craft is silk weaving. Banarasi saree, intricately crafted with real gold and silver threads by skilled local craftsmen in Varanasi is the main attraction not only in India but is superiorly recognized across the globe.
Varieties of banarasi sarees
Banarasi sarees come in many variations and designs but there are mainly four main types of banarasi sarees
- Pure silk also known as katan
- Organza (Kora) with Zari and silk
According to their designs and process of weaving, they are further categorized into
Checklist to find the top banarasi saree boutique in Varanasi
Research and gather information
Before directly visiting stores, you should gather as much information as possible. You can search on the internet and travel forums for renowned boutiques offering Banarasi sarees. You can also seek recommendations from family and friends who may have visited Varanasi before.
Authentic manufacturers and boutique owners are awarded silk mark certificates. The silk mark tag on the cloth certifies that it is made of 100 % pure natural silk.
- Silk mark tag has four features
- Unique Serial number
- Silk mark logo
- QR code( details of authorised user)
To identify a Silk Mark tag, you can either scan the QR code using a scanner or your mobile phone. Upon scanning, a link will appear, directing you to the details of the authorized user.
Heritage and legacy
Boutiques that have been around for a long time and have a strong history are deeply connected to the origins of Banarasi saree weaving and the rich cultural traditions of the region.
Thus these boutiques have expert knowledge of the fine techniques and traditional patterns that make a banarasi saree special. They understand the art form well, and their experience over the years allows them to offer sarees that truly represent the essence of banarasi craftsmanship.
Recommendations by locals
While roaming in the busy and colorful lanes of Varanasi, don't just engage yourself in tourist-centric areas. Try to strike up a conversation with the local people; they are more familiar with the place and can guide you to local hidden boutiques to purchase authentic banarasi saree that may not be known to most tourists.
A reputable boutique prioritizes skilled artisans and traditional weaving. When you visit the store keenly observe the craftsmanship of the sarees and inquire with locals or search on the internet about weaving patterns, banarasi zari work saree, and other fine detailings.
Verify online presence
Numerous well-established boutiques maintain an online presence through Instagram or dedicated websites. This allows you to preview their collection before your visit and you can even place orders online from the comfort of your home. Additionally, you can review comments and testimonials to gauge the authenticity of their sarees.
Visit many stores
Visit as many boutiques and Banarsi saree shops in Varanasi before settling for your special saree. This approach will allow you to explore a variety of designs, and compare prices and quality to make a more informed decision.
Tips to identify authentic Banarasi Saree
Richness of fabric
Pure banarasi sarees are woven with high-quality silk. Premium silk is soft, smooth, and has a regal feel. It also reflects light gracefully which is the hallmark of a genuine banarasi saree.
Authentic banarasi handwoven patterns are crafted by experienced and skilled craftsmen so there are several cuts and irregularities in the weave whereas machine-made sarees are clean and have uniform patterns.
Authentic zari work
Genuine banarasi sarees have intricate zari work made up of fine gold or silver threads. Authentic sarees exhibit very detailed artisan skills. Original zari has a metallic appearance whereas the artificial ones have a very shiny finish.
Weight of the saree
Bansarasi sarees are made of rich silk and intricate zari work thus they have a substantial weight. If the saree feels too light then there is a high chance that could be made of synthetic material.
Weaving a banarasi is a manual process it takes highly skilled labor and premium quality fabric so excessively low prices may be a signal of the lack of authenticity of the sarees.
Mughal inspired motifs
Pure banarasi saree is crafted with Mughal-inspired weaved motifs like the Amru, Ambi, and Domak. Saree also has fine zari floral and foliage themes like kalga and bel.
These patterns speak of the finesse of the craftsmanship of the artisans and are hard to find on duplicate sarees.
Top banarasi saree boutique in Varanasi
As we conclude our blog, you should now be aware of key considerations when searching for a top Banarasi saree boutique and how to identify an authentic Banarasi saree.
We are delighted and proud to invite you to our store, Albeli, in Varanasi. Since 1990, we have been dedicated to preserving the art of traditional weaving. Taking it a step further, we blend traditional aesthetics with modern designs in silk sarees, catering to the diverse needs of women across different ages.