As in the History of the India, Banaras is known since rigveda about 1500 year to 2000 year BC and also a period of Ramayana and Mahabharata come to know identical reference about the fame of Banarasi Saris and Fabrics as known Hiranya Vastra (Putamber Vastra).
In the ancient time Banaras was famous for the weaving of cotton saree and dress materials, but slowly switched over to silk weaving, during the Mughal period around 14th century weaving of brocades with intricate designs using gold & Silver threads was the specialty of Banaras. Brocade refer to those textiles where in patterns are created in weaving by transfixing or thrusting the pattern-thread between the warp. In regular weaving the weft thread passes over and under the warp thread regularly. But when brocade designs in gold, silver, silk or cotton threads are to be woven, special threads are transfixed in between by skipping the passage of the regular weft over a certain number of warp threads (depending upon the pattern) and by regularizing the skipping by means of pre-arranged heddles for each type of patterning.
Most of the brocade usually have strong mughal design influences, such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel.
There are different types of brocades and Kinkhabs is a unique type of brocade textile.
Kinkhabs- heavy glittering brocade with considerably more zari visible than underlying silk and gives a raised ornamentation. They are commonly worn as wedding saris. According to Sir George Watt, When the gold and silver threads were used so densely that the ground was hardly visible, the material was kinkhab proper and was too heavy for clothing, it was therefore used for trappings, hangings and furnishing. Only that material in which the Zari patterns were scattered was true brocade. This was used for clothing.
The literal meaning of Kinkhab is ‘less dream’. Owing to the high content of silver and gold threads, the texture becomes abrasive to the skin which makes one almost is sleepless and hence few or less dreams.