BANARAS BROCADES & SAREE
BANARAS BROCADES & BANARASI SILK SAREE
A Banarasi Saree is a saree made in Varanasi, a city which is also called Benares or Banaras. The sarees are among the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. In 2009, after two years of wait, weaver associations in Uttar Pradesh secured Geographical Indication (GI) rights for the ‘Banaras Brocades and Sarees’.
What is Banaras brocade?
The Banaras brocade can be traced back to the Mughal period. Brocades with magnificent motifs made primarily of gold and silver threads were recognized to be a Banaras specialty during this time. The city of Banaras and its surrounding area are regarded as the main center of brocade weaving, with roughly 85 percent of all weavers hailing from there. The majority of the original Banarasi saree weavers learned their craft from their families, many of whom have been weaving for decades.
What is special about Banarasi saree?
With its intricate designs and extensive use of gold or silver thread, the Banarasi Saree is nearly synonymous with weddings in India, as most brides opt to wear the stunning Saree to make a statement at their wedding. Making one of these statement pieces, on the other hand, needs skill, delicacy, and a lot of patience. Patience and elegance are arguably the most important qualities necessary to weave one of these Sarees, as it can take a weaver anywhere from three to four weeks to almost six months to complete one. If the designs are sophisticated, distinctive, and intricate, they may take longer.
However, as time passed, the original weavers and their self-funded handlooms suffered severely due to increased production and demand, as well as the rise of power-looms. For the following reasons, the original makers perceived a pressing necessity to categorize the Banaras Brocade and Sarees:
Banarasi Saree legacy & the arrival of power looms
Power looms mass-produced similar-looking imitations of the original handloom Banarasi Sarees and made them available to the general public. Instead of the true artistry of the original makers, these are manufactured with computerized designs. This resulted in significant losses not just for the original manufacturers of legitimate Sarees, but also for consumers who, not knowing the difference between mass-produced power-loom items and authentic handloom products, ended up paying exorbitant rates for these copycat Sarees.
Power looms became popular in Banaras throughout the 1980s and 1990s. These power-looms are used to give the saree a "Banarasi appearance." Even if the power-loom is very old, labor productivity is typically 10 times that of handlooms. When it comes to paying, both handloom and power-loom weavers get roughly the same hourly salary.
Power-loomed sarees are sold as handloom sarees at significantly higher costs, resulting in increased income for power-loom weavers and merchants. This is a clear violation of the Handloom Reservation Act of 1985, which predates the GI Legislation and prohibits the mechanical manufacturing of a specific type of cloth that is only available on handlooms. Power-loom producers in Banaras and elsewhere were allowed to make unrestricted use of the Sarees' reputation since the legislation was not strictly enforced.
Imports of low-cost materials
The power-looms were not only producing counterfeit goods, but the raw materials they utilized were also significantly inferior to those used by the original weavers. In the name of Banarasi Sarees, a product known as Kela sarees or banana sarees was being offered. These sarees were created with banana tree resin threads that were then polished to give them the luster of gold or silver threads. Furthermore, instead of the authentic Katan silk, cheap Chinese silk was being used, and these low-quality sarees have been flooding the markets for consumers to pick from.
Banarasi Saree GI Tag - A distinguishing symbol
There was no particular or specific label distinguishing the Banarasi Sarees created in Uttar Pradesh from the rest of the country. Cottage and handloom enterprises can be found all over the country, producing a plethora of similar-looking sarees. This had a direct impact on the Banarasi weavers' markets.
The urgent need was to assist the weavers in safeguarding the originality of a product that was not just a national pride but also worldwide renowned for its unique design and excellent quality. The weavers created a committee and asked the state government for assistance, and 9 organizations filed a GI Application for "Banaras Brocades and Sarees":
The Application for Registration was headed by the Banaras Bunkar Samiti,
⦁ Human Welfare Association,
⦁ Joint Director Industries,
⦁ Director of Handloom and Textiles, UP,
⦁ Eastern UP Exporters Association,
⦁ Banarasi Vastra Udyog Sangh,
⦁ Banaras Hath Kargha Vikas Samiti,
⦁ Adarsh Silk Bunker Sahkari Samiti,
⦁ Handloom Fabrics Marketing Cooperative Federation.
Banaras Brocades and Banarasi Silk Sarees GI tag Registration
On September 4, 2009, the GI tag was awarded to "Banaras Brocade and Sarees," which was registered under Application No. 99 in classes 23, 24, 25, and 26. Banarasi sarees and brocades are popular handloom products with a wide following. It is the most popular choice for wedding season, and it has long been a part of Indian culture. However, mass-production of these sarees utilizing low-quality materials, as well as an increase in the number of fakes on the market, were visibly lowering demand for genuine Banarasi sarees.
Banaras Brocade & Silk Sarees at ShoppingKart24
At shoppingKart24 we have huge collection of Banarasi sarees from GI registered & certified vendors. We deliver traditionally made banarasi sarees by original manufacturers. All products under shoppingkart24 are authentic & quality assured. At shoppingKart24 you can buy banarasi saree for wedding, silk sarees online perfect for bridal and for other occasions like office party, festivals, cocktail party, get-together parties, social events, engagement parties, Navratri, bhai dhuj, durga puja, diwali and more. We have exotic collection of authentic silk sarees from different states of india apart from banarasi sarees, which are high in demand and made traditionally by experienced artisans.
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