An exquisite hand-woven Banarasi silk saree with gold and silver threads, which took weavers three months to complete, will be presented to American First Lady Michelle Obama during her three-day visit to the country.
The cream-coloured 'Kadhua' silk saree, an exclusive product of this region, was hand-woven using gold and silver threads by three classic weavers, weighs around 400 grams and costs about Rs 1.5 lakh.
"The traditional Indian dress was prepared by three classic weavers and dispatched for New Delhi yesterday from here," said local businessman Abdul Matin, whose family has been in handloom weaving business for last three generations.
Michelle is accompanying her husband and US President Barack Obama, who is in New Delhi to be a part of Republic Day function as the Chief Guest.
Keeping in mind Michelle's fascination for Banarasi silk, Matin said the order for this saree was placed with him by Debbie Driesman, the wife of Indian-American Frank Islam, a trusted man of the US President.
Azamgarh-born Frank was recently conferred with Martin Luther King Junior award in the US. He is also part of the high-level US delegation which arrived today in New Delhi.
The 'Kadhua' silk saree is rare, purely hand-woven and takes from three to four months to prepare, Matin said.
"The main objective of presenting 'Kadhua' saree to Michelle is to draw the attention of international community to the mastery of handloom weavers in producing such intricate and colourful designs on the loom," he said.
The Varanasi-based silk traders body, 'Varanasi Vastra Udyog Sangh' has also sent 100 sarees to New Delhi and requested Union textiles Minister Santosh Gangwar to gift them to Michelle.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Varanasi constituency.