An authentic Banarasi silk saree is an asset for the modern Indian woman; a prized possession of unparalleled quality and timeless appeal that will serve her well for years. Woven from the finest silk yarn with precise attention to detail by talented artisan weavers, pure Banarasi sarees are one-of-a-kind.
Unfortunately, cheap imitations of Banarasi sarees are also available in the market. These inferior-quality sarees can trick a gullible customer into believing it is the real thing.
Nonetheless, you need not to be an expert to recognize whether a Banarasi saree is original or fake. You can check the authenticity by merely looking at the reverse side of the saree. Banarasi Sarees made on a loom will always have floats within the warp and weft grids, while machine woven sarees will have a smooth finish.
While this technique can only be used when you buy a Banarasi saree in-person, there are practical ways to check for the authenticity of a saree when you shop online.
Follow this expert checklist from Sacred Weaves to make sure that you spend your money only on bonafide, heirloom-quality Banarasi sarees.
Concerning the cost
Pure Banarasi sarees are made from high-quality pure silk and zari threads derived from alloys of gold and silver, that are very expensive. The weaving process is also laborious and consumes weeks or even months. Due to these factors, original Banarasi sarees tend to be costly.
So, if you come across a cheap Banarasi saree, it is most likely fake. Remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
Presence of Persian Motifs
Intricate details on the saree will suggest whether it is a genuine Banarasi saree or not. Banarasi sarees are characterized by Mughal-inspired motifs like the domak, amru and ambi. It may also feature beautiful floral and foliage motifs like kalga and bel in zari. You will not find these fine motifs on duplicate sarees.
A patch of plain silk on the pallu
You will have to rely on images of the saree when making an online purchase. In the close-up view, look for a long patch of six to eight inches of plain silk on the pallu. This part passes over the shoulder and should be easy to spot.
Customer reviews and feedback
Before you buy an expensive Banarasi saree, establish the authenticity of the seller by their online reviews and feedback. Check their social media pages and online reviews to ensure that the seller has a solid reputation and that they deal in original Banarasi sarees.
Information available about the saree
Specialist Banarasi saree sellers like Sacred Weaves will provide detailed and correct information about the products they carry. They can advise you about the fabric and workmanship of each piece they sell. You will also find a diverse variety in authentic collections like Sacred Weaves, while other sources will only have a very limited number of Banarasi sarees.