In this segment of Weavers of Bangladesh, we explored into the history and method of how Benarasi and Katan fabric is made.
|Red Benarasi Sari|
Benarasi Sari has an ancient history beginning from the Mughal empire in the 16th century. It is known that it originated from Benaras, a northern city of India. Benarasi Sari found its way to Bangladesh, when the Muslims migrated from Benaras into Bangladesh. It was these migrants that started the practice of making Benarasi Sari at Mohammadpur and Mirpur in Dhaka.
|Texture of Benarasi Sari|
The texture of a Benarasi fabric can be either light or heavy. The silk is first put into rollers that twist a single silk thread with another to thicken its texture. This is then heated and put into a Tana where it is made into a bundle. The threads are then dyed elsewhere. The threads are stretched out in a single room made of rusted tin and worn out bamboo with barely any ventilation or lighting. In another similar room, a weaver weaves the designs on a sari. A single Benarasi Sari that is 21 feet in length and 3.5 feet in breadth can take a week or longer to be completed.
|Varities of Benarasi Saris|
Fulkoali Katan, Dulhan Katan, Mirpuri Reshmi Katan, Mellenium Katan, Benarasi Cosmos, Orgamndi, Katan, Brakett Katan and Chunri Katan are some of the different types of sarees that are woven in Mirpur Banarasi Palli. The Palli is located in 2, 3 and 5 wards of 10, 11, 12 and 13 sections of Mirpur, where more than 300 outlets display the elegant saris. Recently, craftsmen of Banarasi village have started marketing 50 items of silk saris. Three-piece and two-piece with various designs made from by jute net and jute silk.
The most popular Banarasi Saris are jute net, jute silk, jute katan, muslin, tissue sari, cosmos silk, katan, georgette saris, banarasi, boti katan, lehenga, and wedding sarees. Prices for most of the sarees are between Tk 3,000 - 15,000.
Benarasi Sari is a fabric made out of silk and zari which is worn by women in the subcontinent especially women of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Benarasi sarees are used mainly by affluent society during special occasions, especially on weddings.
|Weaver are making Katan Sari|
Katan silk, which originated from Persia, came to India during the rise of the Mughal Empire. Women who belonged to the royal families indulged in silk purchased from China, Persia and even parts of India, such as Benares, in order to weave stylish and elegant garments. As recorded by Inayat Khan in Shah Jahanama, the royal women were known for wearing elaborately designed clothes in fabrics like Katan silk, Satin, Tasser, Ambary and Kimkhab. Furthermore, they were known for wearing at least 2-3 different outfits in a day and clothes, once worn, were handed to the servants for their use. Through this practice, fabrics such as Katan silk were filtered down all the way to the subjects of the empire and were popularized due to their sturdy nature.Women like NurJahan Begum were also known for designing and popularizing new fashions and designs, which made these fabrics all the more desirable amongst the subjects of the empire.
Katan silk is a type of silk that is created by twisting together filaments to create a sturdier and more durable fabric. Due to the nature of its creation, it also makes an interesting textured background for any work that is to be done on the fabric to make it unique. Katan silk is one of the most easily identified fabrics as it has an extremely unique look that helps it stand out from other forms of silk.
|Varieties of Katan Saris|
The varieties of Katan silk includes: KatanButidar, Katan Butidar Mina , Katan Butidar Paga, Katan Brocade. There are also pure silk Katan : Fulkoali Katan, Dulhan Katan, Mirpuri Reshmi Katan, Mellenium Katan, Benarasi Cosmos, Orgamndi, Katan, Brakett Katan, Reshmi Katan, Prince Katan, Rimjhim Katan, Tussiue Katan, Mirpuri Gini Gold Katan, Georgette Gini Glod Katan and Chunri Katan are some of the different types of saris that are woven in Mirpur Banarasi Palli.
These days, some of the most widely used forms of katan silk such as KatanJal Set, Katan Buti Zari Resham, Katan Butidar, has now envolved to create Katan Buti Zari Resham, which is the same fabric with a few style innovations to give it a more modern look. These innovations are mostly aesthetic and can vary from garment to garment. Other popular variants used these days are Katan stripes and checks, which have been seen recently on the runway.