black border on a striking maroon shade, this Tanchoi silk saree from Banaras
is one of those clothing pieces whose story is as interesting as its designs.
beautiful and soft Tanchoi silk which has become one of the most popular
fabrics in traditional Indian women’s wear, according to a legend, travelled
from China to India in the 19th century, thanks to three Gujrati
weaver brothers. After learning the art of this brocade, the brothers came back
and named the craft after themselves, Tan (Gujrati Tran, meaning three), and
their Chinese master Choi. Once the production of Tanchoi silk started, this
smooth fabric never looked back.
maroon-black Tanchoi saree appears symmetrically gorgeous due to its
Herringbone weave. The border and the endpiece are magnificently adorned with
the traditional Indian booti work- done by using fine gold threads by the
expert weavers of Banaras.
When it comes to choosing from a variety of elegant sarees to be
worn on any special occasion or big event, a Banarasi saree is
always the top pick for all women. As the name suggests, a
Banarasi saree originates from the ancient city of Varanasi
(formerly known as Banaras) in Uttar Pradesh, India. These sarees
are made of finely woven high-quality silk and bear opulent
embroidery with metallic threads. The main characteristic feature
of a Banarasi saree is gold and silver brocade or zari work upon
the silk fabric. The end of the saree called Pallu is heavily
decorated with the work of embroidered designs and sometimes with
The making process of a Banarasi silk saree is elaborate and a lot
of manual labor and dedication goes into it.
Before working on the original Banarasi saree, a template is
prepared by making a detailed design on graph paper. This
template contains the designs of the base, pallu, and border.
When these designs are approved and agreed upon, the process
moves further into the next step.
The Patta is a stencil made of cardboard on which the designs on
graphic paper are put into the handloom machine and holes are
punched into to create its exact pattern/copy. The stencil is
then installed into the machine from where the weaving process
High-quality silk yarns from South India are selected for the
making of the finest Banarasi sarees. These raw yarns are then
processed and dyed as per the color shade of choice. The excess
water is drained out and the colored yarns are allowed to dry in
Zari is one of the distinctive features of Banarasis that makes
the saree look graceful and beautiful. The selection of Zari is
done as per the base color of the saree. Usually, in most sarees,
copper zari is used but sometimes real silver and gold zari may
also be used.
After the silk yarns are processed and ready, the process of
weaving begins on a handloom attached to the machine. This is
the most complicated step in the whole process. The longitudinal
threads (the Tana) and the latitudinal threads (the Bana) are
set on the loom. With the back-and-forth movement of the shuttle
of the machine, the desired design is obtained and the weaving
of the Banarasi saree is completed. The weavers of Banaras are
highly skilled and thus they are able to exhibit excellent
skills and the fabric comes out with the right details.
When the weaving of the saree is completed, it is made ready to
be sent out for sale. Extra or loose threads are cut to make the
The colors of Banarasi sarees are always vibrant and eye-catching.
Every step of the process of making these sarees is carried out in
such a way that the richness and magnificence of the fabric and
its design do not go for a toss and the saree turns out just the
way it is required. The splendor of Banarasis is undoubtedly
unmatched and this is the reason why they are in high demand even
in the international fashion world.
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