Benaras - Weaving
This is a traditional art of weaving with its emphasis on Naksha or Jala making which is seven hundred years old.
It is an ancient art of creating a model of a 'repeat' of motifs or designs with the help of a bamboo needle over threads tied to a bamboo stick. This craft was brought to India by a saint called Khwaja Bahauddin Bukhari from Bukhara in Russia. One type of Benaras Saree is the fine see-through gauze fabric ornamented with gold and silver borders, butties and pallav. The other is the thicker fabric, the 'kinkhab' originally designed by weavers in Gujarat and predominantly woven in coloured silks. Weavers weave the most exquisite brocades in silk and gold on simple pit looms. The designs are created by 'Naksha Bandhas' which are frames tied to the loom. At times more than six shuttles are used to get multiple colours in the 'butas' or ornamentation used on the body of the cloth.