Techniques & Patterns
Kadwa (also Kadhua):The elaborate and laborious Kadwa technique is used to incorporate motifs. In Kadwa weaving, each motif is woven separately as opposed to other Banarasi handloom sarees (also known as "phekwa" or cutwork sarees). In Kadwa sarees, there are no loose threads at the back of the fabric and hence, no cutting is required. Using this technique, many different motifs of different sizes, colours and textures can be woven on the same sari, which is quite difficult to do otherwise. While this takes longer on the handloom, it makes a more robust pattern, which stands out on the fabric.
The Kadiyal technique helps achieve a border in a sharply contrasting colour to the rest of the body of the garment, a feat in itself in handloom weaving. This requires careful dyeing and setting of the warp in different colours and multiple changes in the weft shuttle while weaving.
Meenakari involves the painstaking addition of supplementary coloured resham threads during the hand-weaving process. This adds different colors to the pattern apart from the zari. Meenakari can be done both in the kadhua or the cutwork style.
Tanchoi:Tanchoi is a weaving technique that involves a single or double warp and multiple (usually two to five) coloured wefts, often of the same or very close shades. It produces a self-design, which covers the fabric and ensures that there is no float on the back. It is famed for the intricate and small weaving patterns all over the fabric.
One of the oldest weaving techniques practiced in Banaras. All over jaals, flowers and creepers cover the body of the fabric to create a rich and dense design. Only when an allover jaal has been woven in a full kadhua weave is the pattern referred to as a Jangla.
A technique that traces its roots to the region of Dhaka in Bangladesh, Jamdani is known for its extremely fine quality and ethereal appeal. In Jamdani weaving, the patterns are made using heavier threads on a lighter, translucent backdrop of fabric. This technique is done on traditional pit looms.
Over centuries of its existence, Banarasi weaving has incorporated many classic patterns and design traditions from India's vast and varied regions.
Named after a small town in Maharashtra renowned for this pattern, Paithani sarees were first donned by the region’s royal families. Paithanis are characterized by their rich borders and pallus. Zari is used in the warp to form a golden base on which intricate inlays are made using supplementary colored threads.
Traditionally handwoven by the resist dyeing process in a town called Patan in Gujarat, Patolas are double ikat sarees. Banarasi weavers, forever seeking inspiration, have adopted many distinctive Patola patterns and incorporated them in their weaving designs to make Banarasi Patolas.
The intricate paisley motifs and designs on a Jamawar fabric give it a distinctive appearance. The design in a Jamavar is completely woven into the fabric with no loose threads on the back.