Fiber to Fabric - Weaving Banarasi Georgettes

Weaving Georgette on Handloom

The general presumption is that textiles in chiffons and georgettes are machine woven fabrics but that's not really the right picture. Here is putting together some information on handloom or Khaddi georgette sarees and dupatta from Banaras.

In Banaras Chiffon and Georgette are interchangeably used and more often than not the weaver community calls it chiffon. 

Georgette as we all know is a high twist yarn with a crinkly surface. This texture comes due to the S and Z twist in both warp and weft. Chiffon is a closer cousin of georgette where the S and Z twist is in the alternate yarn. This also gives it more stretch compared to georgettes. Georgette, Chiffon and Chignon are all made from pure silk yarn though we do find synthetic versions made from Nylon and rayon in the market.

Handloom Georgette Sarees from Banaras

Handloom Weaving

Pitloom is the apparatus/ equipment on which the weaving happens and the end output is the textile in form of saree, dupatta, lehenga or fabric. Colloquially the saree is called a handloom georgette or handloom tusser or handloom silk.

The yarn that is normally used is a 3 ply georgette yarn in the weft and we use katan in the warp. The resultant fabric is a 90 grams georgette fabric that is good for a saree. If we use georgette in both warp and weft we get 70 grammage fabric that is very light for a saree. The katan warp and georgette weft saree is what we normally see with good stores in the market. Most would have kadhwa weaving. 70 grammage is mostly seen in dupatta and cutwork sarees that are much lighter in weight as well and grandeur.

When georgette is warped or wound it’s a very crinkly yarn that looks almost like organza or kora and has a very stiff texture. It is used unprocessed to help the weaving process as once its processed it becomes very soft and difficult to process on the loom. The sarees are woven in white and mauve yarn and then these are first processed in boiling water to remove the gumming and make them softer and then they are dyed and polished.

Handloom Georgette Sarees from Banaras


A saree uses a complete bale of yarn and each bale has 5700 unique strands. While warping the yarn is twisted to 3 ply and is used for handloom weaving. A Mauve and a White yarn are twisted and both are used together as weaving in only the white shade is not possible due to the strain it causes to the eye and even errors or breakage cannot be identified.

The sarees are woven in white and then the saree is boiled in water with some special ingredients to make it softer. This process is called Kharai. This process had no impact on the fabric or zari quality and the resultant saree/fabric is much softer. After this process the saree is ready to be dyed in any color of your choice.