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Praant — Going Bananas Over Banarasi!
Banarasi brocade will not be a mere fabric — it is a residing testament to the subcontinent’s handweaving skills. It’s also a personal museum of memories, of types, with a grandmother or mother handing her bundle of life stories over to the next technology together with her Banarasi sari.
For generations, the Banarasi sari has been an intrinsic half of each Indian bride’s trousseau. She is usually clad in a vibrant purple and gold Banarasi sari for the primary wedding ceremony ceremony, and the sari remains a cherished collectible in her wardrobe, typically handed all the way down to the next technology as a best place to buy ferragamo belt precious heirloom.
Banarsi silks discover point out in the Mahabharata and even in some historical Buddhist texts. Banaras is believed to have flourished as a textile centre when it was the capital of the Kasi kingdom, of which Siddhartha (later generally known as Gautam Buddha) was the prince. In Bhuddha Sutra, when Prince Siddhartha decides to renounce worldly luxuries, he takes off his silk clothes, talked about to be woven by the weavers of Kasi to get into simplest of attires.
Banarasi hand-weaving has seen many changes in preferences of colours, patterns, motifs, borders and styles over time. Between 350 Ad to 500 Ad, floral patterns, animal and bird depictions gained recognition. By the 13th century, ‘Butidar’ designs had been excessively in demand. With the coming of the Mughals, Islamic patterns like birds, florals and ‘Jali’ or ‘Jaal’ came in vogue. Later in the 19th century, Indian designs began displaying a detailed resemblance to Victorian style wall papers and geometrical patterns (a carry ahead of the Mughal Lattice work).
Brocade is a speciality of Benaras fabric. It’s a characteristic weave during which patterns are created by thrusting the Zari threads (pure form of Zari is a thread drawn out of actual gold) between warp at calculated intervals in order to evolve the design/Buti line by line. A type of loom referred to as Drawloom or ‘Jalla’ is used to weave a brocade fabric. Usually, three artisans work collectively for fifteen days to six months to create a Banarsi sari, relying on the intricateness of the design. For more intricate royal designs, the artisans might even take one year to complete the sari.
With the development of expertise, these are actually woven on Jacquard looms, which permit for pre-planning of the entire design and then going about the whole process moderately mechanically.
Today, in India, while Banarasi saris continue to enchant ladies, the fabric is being creatively used in contemporary trend. Trendy designers have been known to make use of traditional brocade weaving and patterns in the creation of famend items or collections. Brocades are used in western style clothing like jackets, pants or dresses.
Salvatore Ferragamo created Banarasi brocade footwear for Challenge Renaissance that was held in DLF Emporio Delhi in 2013. Internationally acclaimed Indian designers Abraham & Thakore collaborated with the Ministry of Textiles to put out a contemporary bridal line utilizing Banarasi brocade on the Wills Way of life India Fashion Week in New Delhi. Other designers like Shaina NC, Ritu Kumar, Manish Malhotra, Sandeep Khosla, Shruti Sancheti, Anita Dongre and Rina Dhaka also actively use and promote this magical fabric in their collections.
At Praan:t, a top trend studio in Pune, designer Monika Chordia sources Banarasi brocade instantly from hand weavers in Banaras and uses it to create an exclusive designer collection of stylish occasion wear and smart informal put on for ladies. At Praan:t, brocade is mixed with different textile crafts of India corresponding to Bhuj embroidery, vegetable-dye fabrics from Rajasthan, hand block-printed fabrics from Gujarat and clamp-dye fabrics to craft a spread of bespoke apparel for women and traditional put on for men which can be stunningly stylish yet wonderfully wearable.
Monika Chordia believes the normal handloom and textile crafts of India must be treasured and promoted. Handwoven fabrics want a premium worth; the weaver and craftsman should benefit economically so that their craft endures and flourishes in the face of competition from cheaper, mass-produced mill-made textiles.