National Handlooms Day, an initiative begun by the Government of India, comes as a much-needed step to celebrate our own apparel art that had dwindled under the commercially available produces. This step is gaining momentum every year and women and men alike are opting for home grown brands and weavers and artisans have begun to smile again. In the world of social media, especially Instagram, we see so many women bringing out their finer loom-produced attires and flaunt them in their very natural ways on 7th August, the National Handlooms Day. Yet, a new marathon done by 750 women on the Trafalgar Square, London, has just stolen hearts without much ado.
Marathon celebrating Indian Handlooms on Global Stage
These women, all Indian-origin British citizens, hugged their culture and wore sarees from different Indian states, depicting the cultural variety our country and handlooms have to offer to the world. An initiative called ‘British Women in Saree’ brought colors and cultures alive on the street as the marathon saw empowered Indian faces, draped in yards of beauty, exuberating confidence. This move is likely to see a huge boom in the Indian handlooms gaining a spectacular space of its own on the global stage. As a brand that has for more than a century, upheld the cause of Banarasi heritage weaves. Even at such times when looms were being shut and artisans were losing their livelihood JDS Banaras remained committed to the authentic weaves and served only the best. This commitment stands true even in the online store Sacred Weaves, where we aim to celebrate our feminine divinities in handloom sarees and fabrics from the banarasi heritage.
Banarasi Sarees: An art in revival
There was a time when banarasi saree was really a dying art and traditional weave. The heavy industrialization and machine made fake banarasi sarees and zardosi fabrics were ruling the market. The things are improving, yet we would applaud Rashmi Mishra, founder of Indian Women in the UK as she said in her interview with India Today, “We aim to enhance the lives of our country's artisans, with each woman contributing in her own way.” Whatever is being done still needs a greater boost and while British Women in Saree has initiated a brilliant plan and stood out as an example for Indian women settled around the world to re-embrace their ethnic identity with a more authentic angle.
The event showcased even women wearing Banarasi sarees and at JDS and Sacred Weaves, we see them as those who have represented multiple art forms from across the country and Asia. Why did we say so? For that you have to read our blog on the History of Banarasi saree as a weave and art form. Until then we will tell you why Banarasi and the other handlooms still need support.
Handlooms for the Sustainable Living
Handloom sarees and handloom fabrics are born from the nature and with more and more farming turning back inwards and returning to the organic roots, we are likely to see purer fabrics. These fabrics if dyed naturally use less chemicals and thus, as opposed to the factory produced sarees, these sarees are helpful to the nature. Born out of nature, these fabrics when turned into sarees, adorn the women. Yet, when these sarees wear out, one can turn these into multiple fabric based products for household use. These sarees would organically decompose and not enter the landfills.
The other angle for sustainable lifestyle through a saree is also in the versatility of the 6 yards wonder. Easy to repurpose into various styles without even cutting the fabric, the fashion forward men can also utilize the handloom sarees into stylish dhotis for traditional occasions. For the women the options are many and let us dwell on it for a minute.
You can go check for unusual colors like an onion pink or a grey katan or tissue handloom banarasi silk saree and pair it with a corset blouse for a modern look. This is a head turner look where some jewels, or even just a statement watch with fresh face makeup is enough to make you look wonderful.
Onion Pink Meenakari Katan Silk Tissue Handloom Banarasi Saree From our Glam Tissue collection
Grey Katan Silk Tissue Handloom Banarasi Saree From our Glam Tissue collection
The sustainability is also in wearing a banarasi saree as a draped saree attire for that prom look you are looking for, maybe you can pick a saree from our sunehri collection or a striking combination piece from our vibrant verve segment for the youthful you.
Inky Blue Stripe Katan Silk Handloom Banarasi Saree From Sunahari Collection
Red Magenta Stripe Satin Silk Handloom Banarasi Saree from our Vibrant Verve collection
Drape it may be inspired from the Devsena look with a sleeker pleated pallu, or opt for a pant-saree drape and sway the night away. There are many looks we can suggest, but before that you can check our website for the handloom sarees that inspire you!
Reviving Indian Handlooms
While the 750 Indian origin women sang Jana Gana Mana and Vande Mataram, and dipped into the popular old tunes and songs, this women-led initiative also opens our eyes to the gasping realities. The Banarasi sarees, like other Indian ethnic sarees are time taking. They involve a process where a weaver becomes an artisan and pour his or her heart out into each meter and yard of the sarees to enhance the wearer’s beauty. Thus, we suggest buying these sarees from the artisans directly, or from brands, especially the home grown Indian brands who collaborate directly with the artisans or houses them in their brand names. This way the resources reach the creators of 6-yard joys and infuses them with enthusiasm to create more beautiful pieces, just like JDS Banaras created opportunities for many authentic silk weaving artisans and now Sacred Weaves is also helping with the promotion of this cause.
Indian handlooms is a stage for fashion scene with such a huge and deeply symbolic and analogical cultural root of its own that an entire branch of fashion can deep dive into its waters. What lacks is an awareness and the need to re-embrace our own national handlooms and support the weavers. This is like a relay race where one inspired aficionado can inspire the other and make it ripples and waves. We are inspired by British Women in India and though our fashion influencers are looking towards handlooms to some extent, we need more than just a few. We need a nationwide marathon.
About JDS Banaras and Sacred Weaves
When Banarasi artisan legends were giving up hope and seeing their livelihoods slip away, JDS Banaras held steady to its promise for delivering handmade handloom banarasi sarees to the saree lovers. Keeping to their promise for more than a century from the Varanasi store, they nurtured Sacred Weaves to promote the cause of authentic handloom silk sarees for online shoppers worldwide. Committed to reviving the art and reinvigorate the heritage weave, the brand has served seekers with beautiful and certified quality of banarasi silk sarees. To shop visit JDS Banaras store at Rathyatra in Varanasi you are in the city or visit our website to shop pure Banarasi sarees online.