Benarasi – An Overview of Benarasi Saree in Bangladesh
Assistant professor, Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Benarasi saree is a fabric made out of silk and zari which is worn by women in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It name has festive mood. Benarasi sarees are used mainly by affluent society during special occasions like wedding, and other party. Red color benarasi is the most popular color for new bride. Its color, texture, and design everything has the touch of tradition.
In the most ancient and sacred city of Varanasi, banarasi saree is a ancient tradition. Thousands of weavers are engaged in weaving Benaras saris. Benaras is the other name for Silk Saris..The Banarasi saris gained popularity during the Mughal peroid. During this period, all art was amalgamated to create a fusion of aesthetics. Persian motifs and Indian designs on silk studded with gold and silver remained the cue of Mughal patronage. Today Bbanarasi sarees are being exported worldwide.
Designers of banarasi saree:
Designer who supply the designs of the Banarasi sarees either from their own creativity from different catalogues are known as design master. There are separate design workers who draft these designs on design paper.
History of Benarosh:
Ralph Fitch (1583–91) describes Banaras as a thriving sector of the cotton textile industry. The earliest mention of the brocade and Zari textiles of Banaras is found in the 19th century. With the migration of silk weavers from Gujarat during the famine of 1603, it is likely that silk brocade weaving started in Banaras in the seventeenth century and developed in excellence during the 18th and 19th century. During the Mughal period, around 14th century, weaving of brocades with intricate designs using gold and silver threads became the specialty of benarosh. Gorakhpur, Chandauli, Bhadohi, Jaunpur and Azamgarh districts 12 lakh peoples are directly and indirectly involved in this section.
Historical background of banarasi in bangladesh:
During partition in 1947 some 125 families migrated to Parbatipur of Rajshahi district and to various areas of Old Dhaka – Becharam Deuri, Kazi Alauddin Road, Kaiktuli, Tanti Bazar, Doyaganj and Gandaria from Benaras in India. And they brought along with them their skills of weaving the famous Benaroshi Sari. After independence of Bangladesh, the artisans who were in Dhaka started to live in the refugee camps of Mirpur and made their living from weaving saris.
Mirpur gradually grew into big industry from what was initially cottage industry. Towards the late nineties, a big market also grew up alongside the sari-making units in Mirpur. This is now known as the Benaroshi Polli.
About 10 to 15 thousand weavers are involved in this industry where the sarees are designed, hand woven and marketed -all locally by traditional weavers and traders for generations.
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Present state of benaroshi industry in bangladesh:
The benarshi workers of Dhaka city are mostly concentrated at section NO-10, NO-11, NO-12 of mirpur. According to the Benaroshi polli owners Association at present there are total-999 owners,11000 weavers, 25 designers, 25 color masters, 3000 support staff involved in this industry.
Raw materials of Benarasi:
The raw materials of Benarasi are imported from foreign countries like China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Taiwan and Pakistan through different agencies with 25 percent import duty, which is then sold to the local markets. The entrepreneurs have to buy the raw materials from local market at a very high rate. As a result production cost increases. But the supply of raw materials is sufficient, they opined.
The gold and silver zari are used to create glittering embossed extra weft pattern thatgave a classic touch to the saree. The popular zari numbers used are 1200, 1400, 1600 3700. The four types of zari commonly used in Banaras silk saree. Main raw materials are..
1. Silk yarn
Bangalore silk i.e. mulberry silk and China silk.
2. Gold and silver zori
- Pure zari
- Tested zari
- Powder zari
- Plastic zari
3. Hand loom
Types of Loom used for Benaroshi Weaving.
- Backstrap Loom
- Draw Power Looms
- Power Loom
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There are three types of weavers.
- Individual weavers
- Master Weavers and
- Weaver of the Cooperative Society.
Yarn imported countries:
Preferred yarn imported countries percentage are
Majority (61%) of the respondents said that quality of yarn from China is good where as rest prefers yarn imported from Japan, Vietnam, Korea, India, Pakistan, and Taiwan etc.
Design about banarasi:
Banarasi sarees design are mainly come from two sources. these are
- Indian Catalogue—- 50%
They do not have any institutional training. So they put great emphasis for the need of technical and professional training.
Benaroshi weaving threads:
There are various types texture used Benaroshi saree.This verities can be develop by using different types of thread. They are given below:
- Silken thread
- Polyester thread
- Nylon thread
- Cotton thread
Texture of benarasi saree:
The texture of benarasi saree is quite different from another. Texture of benarasi saree is made of jack-word, pit loom and powered loom. The threads are for texture both in weft and warp side. The texture of saree is woven by mixed of two-three types of threads.These are:
- The texture of the saree that made of silk threads is very smooth, soft and silky.
- The texture of the saree that made of polyester threads is fine, rough and hard.
- The texture of the saree that made of nylon thread is coarse, rough, and hard effect.
- The texture of the saree that made of mixed threads is less smooth, fine and light hard.
Motifs and Design:
Design is the special attraction of benaroshi. The design of this saree is very nice to look up. It is gorgeous traditional and beautiful. Without any institutional education the illiterate weavers have made the design is beautiful which attracts all. The texture is kept light and smooth. Motifs always symbolize something or there is always a reason behind it. These motifs are always present in the traditional motifs list.
Some symbolic motifs list are
- Kalkha motifs
- Geometrical designs
- Floral motif
- Herbs peacock
- Animal motifs,
- Creeping vine
- Tree of life
- Fish, Tortoise, Conch
- Hazar buti design
- Modern Design
Colors of banaroai saree:
Popular color combinations were red, maroon, rani pink, magenta, orange, yellow, parrot green, olive green, blue, skyblue, purple, grey and brown. More than ninety per cent of the weavers used acid dyes to dye silk yarns.
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Export and import market:
Sarees and different materials and accessories for making sarees are imported from India, Pakistan, Srilanka, China and some other countries. On the other hand, the sarees manufactured here are not only supplied to all districts of Bangladesh but also guided by our vast distribution network spread in various parts of the COUNTRY including INDIA, USA, UK, GREECE, SPAIN, ITALY, BELGIUM, JAPAN, CHILI, GERMANY AND FRANCE etc. This has helped us to accomplish faster growth, increased market share and better corporate positioning.
Different uses of benarasi fabric:
Benarasi is mainly used as a traditional women’s saree but now a days designers of our country do good jobs with their creativity. They use benarasi fabric in different forms. Such as, salwer- kamiz, bags, scarfs, stole, sherwani for men etc. Benarasi fabric is also used in decorative pillo covers, wall mats, table mats, table lamp etc.It is very good idea to save our Bengali culture.
Information about Production:
Different capital sources of the entrepreneurs are
- Bank loan——– 77%
- Self-savings—— 13%
- Local people—— 10%
Out of total capital invested 31 percent is loan from various sources. The workers produce mostly sarees. Some of them also produce Salwar-kamiz, scarf, stole etc. According to the entrepreneurs, the present production system is not profitable because of high cost of production and low price of products.
Production and marketing of Benaroshi sarees:
- Average 1 to 4 saree were produced on each loom per month.
- Approximately 10 to 15 days were required for weaving of each saree.
- Nearly three forth of the weavers sold the sarees in local markets, monthly or when in demand.
- Most of the weavers sold their produce directly to master weavers.
- Selling price of Banaras silk sarees ranged from Rs.1700-3800/-depending on the design and rate of production.
- Inadequate supply of electricity, marketing of silk sarees, low production rate as well as low wages were the main problems faced by the weavers in Banaras.
The cost of production of Banaras silk saree is very high. To reduce the production cost by CAD application and digitization of motifs. The CAD software would reduce the time, labor and wages that would have spent on manual designing. Further, mechanization of pre loom processes like warping, pin winding would not only hasten the production but also minimize the cost of production to get a better future of banarasi saree.
- bangla deshi benaroshi sari; hazar buti saree; reed banaracy share; www silkthreads banglas com;