The Banarasi sari tradition survived 500 years — but now fake imitations are posing a threat

Banarasi silk saris flourished in the city of Varanasi in India in the 16th century. Weavers like Mohammad Afzal Ansari learned the craft from older generations. Saris are made by weaving silk on handlooms and adding intricate motifs made with real gold and silver zari threads. However, cheaper, machine-made saris being sold as authentic Banarasi saris have threatened the craft. We visited Varanasi to see how this centuries-old tradition is still standing.