Pure Silk Banarasi Saree: Expert Tips to Identify Banarasi Silk Sarees

Posted by Ratanshi Staff on

The pride of Varanasi and the country’s handloom craftsmanship, pure silk Banarasi sarees are a symbol of timeless elegance around the world. Their intricate designs, luxurious texture, and rich heritage make them highly coveted and a grand symbol of generational royalty. However, what’s renowned can also be replicated with inauthenticity. To ensure you invest in an authentic piece of Banarasi artistry, it's absolutely imperative to understand what exactly sets them apart.

What Makes Banarasi Silk Sarees Unique?

Pure silk Banarasi sarees are handwoven with high-quality silk threads and flaunt designs inspired by Mughal motifs, floral patterns, and intricate zari work. The hallmark of these sarees lies in their intricate craftsmanship, with local Banarasi skilled artisans dedicating weeks, sometimes months, to create a single masterpiece. This is exactly what makes these pure silk Banarasi sarees a symbol of luxury, heritage, and unparalleled appeal—the intricate weave, rich texture, and opulent borders.

Identifying Genuine Banarasi Silk Sarees

While it is easier to confuse a faux Banarasi saree as an authentic Banarasi silk saree, it definitely lacks that unique touch of royalty and zari. In other words, it lacks the charisma that makes these legacy masterpieces a class apart. Here are some ways to recognize authentic Banarasi sarees when shopping.

1. Look for Silk Mark Certification: Authentic Banarasi silk sarees bear the Silk Mark certification, ensuring they meet the highest standards of purity and quality. This certification guarantees that the drape is made from 100% pure silk and adheres to traditional weaving techniques.

2. Examine the Weave: Pure silk Banarasi sarees feature a fine and tightly woven fabric, with distinct motifs and designs visible on both sides. Inspect the saree closely for intricate patterns, such as floral motifs, paisleys, or geometric shapes, which are unique to Banarasi craftsmanship.

3. Check the Zari Work: Zari, or metallic thread work, is an integral part of pure silk Banarasi sarees. Genuine Banarasi silk sarees use pure gold or silver zari, which lends a lustrous sheen to the fabric. Run your fingers gently over the zari work to feel its smoothness and authenticity.

4. Assess the Weight and Texture: Banarasi silk sarees are known for their luxurious texture and substantial weight. Authentic pieces will feel heavy and substantial in hand, indicative of the quality of silk used in their making. The texture should be soft and smooth, with a characteristic rustle when draped.

5. Examine the Pallu and Borders: The pallu or loose end of the saree, and borders are where the craftsmanship of Banarasi silk sarees truly shines. Look for intricate designs and elaborate motifs adorning these areas, often punctuated with metallic zari work. Pure silk Banarasi sarees feature densely woven borders and a grand pallu, showing off the artisans' skills.

6. Verify the Seller's Reputation: Purchase Banarasi silk sarees from reputed dealers or stores with a longstanding history of dealing in authentic handloom products. Avoid purchasing from unknown or unreliable sources, as counterfeit sarees may lack the quality and craftsmanship of genuine Banarasi pieces.

Caring for Your Banarasi Silk Saree: Tips for Longevity and Maintenance

Tips for Longevity and Maintenance Recognizing and purchasing authentic Banarasi silk sarees isn’t enough. These masterpieces must be attended to with love and care. So when passed on to the next generation as heirlooms, they stay just as radiant as when you buy them. To preserve the beauty and integrity of your Banarasi silk saree, follow these care tips:

  • Dry clean your saree to avoid damage to the delicate fabric and intricate zari work.
  • Store your saree in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, to prevent fading and discoloration.
  • Avoid spraying perfumes or deodorants directly on the saree, as they may contain chemicals that can harm the fabric.
  • Fold the saree neatly along the creases to prevent wrinkles and creases, and avoid hanging it for extended periods to prevent stretching.

Embracing Tradition: Styling Tips for Banarasi Silk Sarees

Banarasi silk sarees exude timeless elegance and can be styled for various occasions, from weddings and festive celebrations to formal events. Here are some styling tips to make a statement with your Banarasi saree:

  • Pair your saree with traditional jewellery, such as jhumkas, kadas, and statement necklaces, to complete the look.
  • Opt for classic hairstyles like a neat bun or a side-swept braid to accentuate the beauty of the saree.
  • Experiment with different draping styles, such as the Bengali or Gujarati drape, to add a contemporary twist to your ensemble.
  • Choose footwear that complements the richness of the saree, such as embellished juttis or elegant heels, to complete your look.

Embracing Heritage and Elegance with Banarasi Silk Sarees

Banarasi silk sarees are more than just garments; they are a celebration of India's rich cultural heritage and artisanal craftsmanship. By understanding the features of authentic Banarasi silk sarees, you can ensure that your purchase is not only a symbol of elegance but also a testament to the legacy of skilled artisans. Embrace the magic of our pure silk Banarasi sarees and make a statement of tradition and sophistication with Ratanshi Kheraj sarees. Shop now.


1. How can we identify pure Banarasi silk?

To identify pure Banarasi silk, look for the hallmark of authenticity – the vendor’s atelier and background, the soft texture that pure silk comes with, intricate designs, and a distinct zari sheen.

2. Which test is the best way to identify silk?

The best test to identify silk is the burn test. When a small piece of fabric is burned, genuine silk will smell like burning hair and leave behind a brittle ash.

3. What are the key characteristics of pure silk Banarasi sarees?

Key characteristics of pure silk Banarasi sarees include intricate zari work, rich colours, a luxurious feel, and authentic craftsmanship.

4. What makes Banarasi sarees unique compared to other silk sarees?

Banarasi sarees are unique due to their rich history dating back centuries, exquisite handwoven designs, and the extensive use of gold and silver zari threads, which lend them a royal and timeless appeal. 

5. What is the difference between pure silk and Banarasi silk?

Pure silk refers to any fabric made from natural silk fibres, while Banarasi silk specifically refers to silk produced in the city of Varanasi (Banaras). The difference lies in the origin and craftsmanship, with Banarasi silk being renowned for its intricate weaving techniques and cultural significance.

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