Silk Weaving- Old Traditions of Varanasi
Silk is although a natural protein fiber, but of some, its forms can be woven into thread or textiles produced from the cocoons of mulberry silkworm via a process called Sericulture. Weaving was probably invented, around 6000 BC, in West Asia. The art or a technique of weaving mulberry silk into a thread either with the hand or machines is called silk weaving. The fabric has a shimmering appearance
China is the world’s topmost producer of the silk, followed by India. Silk has a long history in India. It is known as Resham in eastern and north India, and Pattu in southern parts and Paat in eastern parts of India. India not only is the second most producer of the silk, but also the largest consumer of the same.
Most of the raw mulberry silk comes from six Indian states, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, and West Bengal. There are many types of silk produced in all over India, tanchoi silk the weaving technique which is a blend of silk from the two countries, India and China; Garad silk originates in West Bengal and is distinguished by its red border and small paisley motifs; Jamawar silk is an adulterated form of Pashmina silk which contains a blend of cotton and wool; Matka silk A rough handloom silk fabric made from the waste Mulberry Silk without removing its gum (sericin) part, largely produced in Karnataka and Kashmir; mulberry silk Purest form of silk extracted from Silkworms; Kanchipuram silk from the village called Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, India, this one is known for its durability and shine; Uppada Silk, also known as Uppada Pattu, Uppada silk comes from Andhra Pradesh. Usually woven in cotton warp, this one is known majorly by the length and breadth count of thread; Tussar Silk, also known as Wild Silk, Tussar radiates gold sheen in its fabric and is exclusively produced in India; Muga Silk produced only in Assam, Muga silk yarns are totally yellow in color and are considered as strongest natural fiber; Eri Silk, also known as Errandi and Endi in most parts of India, Eri Silk is the purest forms of silk from the east, with a dull yellow, gold like sheen, and so many more.
In midst of chaotic Uttar Pradesh, the northern state of India, there is a city called Varanasi (Banaras), more famous for its Ghats and city of death salvation, this is also home to spectacular silk that has been woven here for centuries. So if you are planning to visit Varanasi, you might as well carry one extra luggage with you because maybe your guide brochure of places to visit in Varanasi, directs you to the areas filled with silk. The type of silk produced in Banaras is known for gold and silver work of brocade and zari on the fabric and is called Banarasi silk. Rather than relying on mass production and modern advances, the weavers use age-old techniques. Rather than relying on mass production and modern advances, the weavers use age-old techniques; therefore, it takes them anywhere between two weeks and six months to create one six-yard-long silk sari. Over time, the production of handwoven silk has reduced in India after the textile industries got established that use the modern techniques and machines, which made it tough for thousands of silk weavers who make their ends meet through this one profession. For them, it is not merely a job but a way of living. The Kashi yatra may take you to the popular weavers’ village of Varanasi, where the famous Banarasi silk sarees are produced by the talented local weaving community. One of these villages is Sarai Mohana Village. The Sarai Mohana is well known for its silk weaving as most of the locals here are coddled in silk weaving. In the village, you will get to know with the artistry of the weavers with their discrete design. The people of Sarai Mohana are working well-founded on designing these sarees to keep its rareness. And to get a result, a saree can take from 15 days to one month and sometimes up to six months to complete.
Silk is one of the examples of unique and a wide range collection of art and culture of India, bringing unity in diversity. So when you plan a trip to Kashi, make sure you visit the land of prestigious art.
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