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Banarasi Sarees- Kadiyal, Katan, Kadhuan, Brocade, Tanchoi...

When someone searches for the Banarasi Sarees or goes to buy the sarees, various types of terms are used to describe the sarees. Let me try to explain a few of the terms. I have dealt these terms elsewhere also in this blog.

1. Katan

Katan is the name of the silk yarn used to produce sarees. Simply speaking katan is degummed- very slightly twisted pure silk yarn. It is softer in feel.

2. Kadhuan or Jamdani. 

This is one of the most used (and misused) terms in Banarasi sarees. Kadhuan involves producing designs using extra weft technique, without producing any surfeit yarn floats at the back of the fabric. It is epitome of weaving. It is manual, painstaking and mimics the tapestry weaving technique at much micro level. In India this is also called Jamdani in producing Kotas, Chanderis and Uppadas.

 3. Brocade

It is a fabric where design dominates. Thus it can be a Resham brocade ( where the extra warp figuring is done with viscose or silk yarn) or Zari Brocade ( where the figuring is done with gold or silver yarn). When 60% of the fabric is covered by zari it is called Kimkhab.

4. Jamavar

Basically this paisley design in found in shawls. However in Banaras, they combine it beautifully in the pallu and hence are called Jamavar Brocades.

5. Cutwork

Unlike Kadhua, in cutwork, there are yarn floats at the back of the fabric which are cut after the fabric is woven, thereby creating an embossed effect on the fabric. Cutwork fabrics are cheaper as they can be made on machine Jacquards.

6. Raw Silk

Raw silk is the filament silk obtained from mulberry cocoons, from which it is not possible to obtain. These are non degummed and hence have their characteristic slubby appearance.

7. Summer Silk

Summer silk sarees have non degummed in the warp and twisted yarn in the weft.

8. Kora Silk

Kora silk is both organza in the warp and weft. It is non degummed.

9. Dupion Silk

It is produced by fine threads in the warp and uneven weft reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft. It produces very deep colors.

10. Tanchoi

Tanchoi is the self design produced on the surface of the fabric with the help of resham or silk thread. There is no float either at the back or at the front of the fabric.

11. Tissue

In tissue fabric one or more warp or weft is of zari yarn. Thus it can be a silver tissue or can be a gold tissue.

12. Kadiyal

Kadiyal or Korvai is an ancient three shuttle technique of weaving sarees. Three shuttles are used for creating two border and the body. The borders are joined with the body in an interlocking way. Hence it is called Kaiyal technique. Apart from Banaras it is used in many handloom clusters of India.

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This post first appeared on My Textile Notes, please read the originial post: here

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Banarasi Sarees- Kadiyal, Katan, Kadhuan, Brocade, Tanchoi...


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