Korial Benarasi – Weaves of West Bengal

    [seyv thuh weev]

    Korial comes from the Bengali word “kora” that means plain, white or simply, spotless. Typically, a Korial sari has two categories, the Garad-Korial and the Korial-Benarasi sari. The Garad-Korial is an opulent version of the Garad sari where the white silk-base is plush and glossy while the red border is far more intricate and elaborate.

    The Korial Benarasi is a Korial sari embellished with heavy gold and silver motifs inspired by the Benarasi brocade technique.

    Though the name holds the word “Benaras” in it, it is still made in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, India. Benarasi, the all-over zari technique used on the sari is actually a specialty of Benarasi silk saris and is used in combination with the classic Korial style of an elaborate red border and pallu.

    West Bengal is one of India’s most important weaving destinations. With its wide variety of weaves like the Tant, Baluchari, Dhakai, Jamdani, Garad and so on, it has a rich weaving culture and heritage unlike any other Indian state. Benaras is world renowned for its incredible brocades that are said to have existed since the Rig Vedic period. The Korial-Benarasi is the perfect juxtaposition of two completely different but historically substantial styles that create the perfect classic-meets-opulent vibe, justifying their expensive price.

    Standing as a symbol of purity, the Korial saris are made of white or off-white undyed silk yarns that are in their untouched, raw form. The border is woven with red silk threads and the pallu has red stripes that bear intricate patterns on them, somewhat similar to the Bangalar Tant. Throughout the length of the fabric you will see gold or silver ”butas” or motifs made with the authentic Benarasi zari thread. Korial saris make for the perfect wedding wear, especially for the women who accompany the bride. What defines the Korial’s exclusivity is the use of pure Mulberry silk or Tussar silk yarn that are closely-woven in a particular method that imparts strength and a paper-like texture to the final fabric. Though woven with starched yarn, upon completion, the sari is soft and easily drapeable.

    With the intervention of modern trends and in order to appeal to a younger, more demanding market, besides the classic Korial-Benarasi with a red border, there is now the availability of other beautiful shades such as turquoise, green, yellow, orange, mint which perfectly off-set the unbleached, pure silk fabric.

    When human hands and heart work in tandem, that is grace in the making. Handwoven cloth has beauty and grace that is significant.
    – Sadhguru

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