Banarasi Silk Sarees

Banarasi silk sarees are made in Varanasi, which is also known as Benares or Banaras. These sarees are one of the finest sarees in India and are well-known across the world. A Banarasi saree is a classic and rich saree that you cannot go wrong with, whether it is for a function or your wedding.

These sarees have been worn by Indian women since ages by brides for standing out in the crowd. Even many well-known Indian designers are also known to include Banarasi silk in their creations. In this article, we would be talking about these sarees and the types of Banarasi silk sarees available in the market.

Origin of Banarasi Silk Sarees

Banarasi silk sarees originated during the Mughal period when the Muslim craftsman and artisans chose Banaras to weave their sarees. The main reason behind this was that Banaras blended well with their culture. The special characteristics of these sarees are the Mughal-inspired designs such as intertwining foliate and floral motifs, bel and kalga along with a string of upright leaves known as jhallar at the outer edge of the saree border. This is a unique characteristic of the Banarasi silk sarees.

A Banarasi silk saree can take 15 to 30 days for completion depending on the intricacy of the designs and the patterns. In some cases, it may even take up to 6 months.

Types of Banarasi Sarees

There are different types of Banarasi sarees available in the market. These sarees can be segregated based on fabric as well as the design process. Keep reading to find out more about them!

Based on Fabric

Silk is not the only form of Banarasi saree you get. There are four fabric varieties of Banarasi sarees, namely:

1. Pure silk (Katan) Banarasi Sarees

Pure silk or Katan is the plain silk fabric. This type of sarees has woven pure silk threads that are twisted and woven into pure Banarasi silk sarees. Today, these sarees are made using looms, however during the ancient times, these sarees were mostly handwoven.

2. Shattir Banarasi Sarees

Shattir is a sole fabric that is used for creating an exclusive and contemporary design. This type of sarees is used for creating modernized and exclusive Banarasi sarees.

3. Organza (Kora) Banarasi Sarees

Kora fabric is a rich and beautiful woven fabric that has different designs made by weft and warp. The silver threads have a golden coating and are woven around a silk yarn for creating a zari brocade.

4. Georgette Banarasi Sarees

As you might know already, Georgette is a finely woven light fabric with a simple and plain weave. This is more popular for contemporary sarees.

Based on the Design Process

Banarasi sarees can also be segregated based on their design process. The different types based on design process are as follows:

1. Jangla Banarasi Sarees

Jangla is a style of Banarasi sarees that are intricately woven in colorful silk threads. This saree derives its name from the design pattern that sets it apart from other Banarasi sarees. The Jangla sarees are believed to be quite ancient among Banaras brocades. They have gold or zari work along with closely woven brocade work. They are characterized by highly intricate and heavy weaving. 

2. Tanchoi Banarasi Sarees

The beautiful ‘Jamawar’ style Labyrinth or paisleys saree woven by zari. This is a type of Banarasi saree that is popular for weddings. Several artisans from Banaras weave different patterns on these sarees with the help of colorful weft silk yarns. The drape of this saree is mostly decorated with huge motifs of paisleys whereas the border may have crisscross patterns.

3. Cutwork Banarasi Sarees

Cutwork Banarasi sarees are not very expensive as the others. These sarees are made using a cutwork technique carried out on a plain texture with the help of cotton and silk mixture. The popular motifs that are featured in cutwork Banarasi sarees are marigold flowers, jasmine, leaves, and creepers.

4. Tissue

These Banarasi sarees have the most delicate work and look. They are delicately woven with a golden zari weft that adds luster to the tissue sarees. The drape and border of these sarees are patterned with self-woven paisleys.

5. Butidar Banarasi Sarees

Butidar Banarasi sarees are a distinctive and popular saree type that are richly woven and brocaded with threads of silver, gold, and silk. Golden threads are darker in shade in comparison to silver threads. Thus, the weavers refer to this type of brocade patterning as Ganga-Jamuna.


This article was an introduction to the history of Banarasi sarees as well as its different types. The above points will help you choose the right saree according to your need and preferences.