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Banarasi Brocade Sarees

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The famed “Pashmina” of Kashmir received Geographical Indication (GI) rights last year and recently Banarasi silk products joined the league along with Tirupati laddu, Darjeeling Tea and Pochampalli. The other product from the state of Uttar Pradesh, India to receive GI is Malihabadi Dussehri mango. The Banarsi Silk Sari gets its recognition in the name of Banaras Brocades and Sarees’.

Banarasi Bunkar Samiti, an organization of banarasi handloom weavers along with eight other organizations is initiating the effort to receive the right to the Banarasi silk product. GI is a status given to certain products which is related to a specific geographical region or province and entitles certain qualities and privileges due to its geographical origin.

Banarasi Brocade Sarees

The banarasi sari has been facing a lot of competition recently from saris manufactured in cities like Bhagalpur, Surat and Bangalore and the Geographical Indication is expected to cut the duplicates which had tagged off as banarasi. Rajni Kant, President of Human Welfare Association (HWA) confirmed the GI status and said “We dedicate this achievement to lakhs of handloom weavers in the region.

Banarasi Brocade Sarees

It will not only benefit the handloom weavers, but also exporters and consumers.” Almost 12 lakh people associated directly or indirectly with the silk industry would benefit from the GI status as this would restrict the misuse of the brand name Banarasi Sari. Banarasi sari is the finest Indian sari. The fine silk, opulent embroidery and silver and gold brocade, makes them highly sought after. The intricate Mughal designs are characteristic feature of these saris, intertwining foliate and floral motifs.

Banarasi Brocade Sarees

The Banarasi silk saris are an inevitable part of any Indian bride’s trousseau. All Indian women wear the Banarasi sari on important occasions like wedding and are complemented by their finest jewellery. According to the GI certificate, Banarasi silk product fall under four classes (23-26), namely silk embroidery, textile goods, silk brocades, silk sari and dress material. The most important aspect of the GI certification is that no brocade or sari made outside the six identified districts of Uttar Pradesh, India can legally be sold as Banarasi sari and Brocade.

Banarasi Brocade Sarees

The six identified districts are Varanasi, Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Chandauli, Mirzapur, and Bhadohi. There are mainly four varieties of Banarasi saris, among them are Organza (Kora) with zari work, Pure silk (Katan), Georgette, and Shattir. The banarasi sari and brocade are divided into categories like, Vaskat, Tissu, Butidar,Tanchoi, Jangla, and Cutwork according to the design process.

Banaras has been famous for the weaving of Wedding sari and was described by Ralph Fitch (1583-91) as a thriving cotton textile industry. The arrival of the Mughal period, around 14th century, introduced the intricate designs using silver and gold threads and the weaving of brocades became the trademark of Banaras. Ashok Kapoor, founder member of Eastern UP Exporters Association (EUPEA) passionately said “It is a big achievement for the people associated with the Banarasi saree industry. In this era of globalisation, it is essential to get the GI status.”

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