Ancient Art of Embellishing With Zari Embroidery

Zari Embroidery is an ancient art of embellishing with fine glittery thread of gold or silver. The word ‘zari’ literary means ‘gold’ in Persian. It refers to ‘kalabatun,’ the fine threads which are made from silver coated with real gold. In ancient times, zari threads and embroidery were used for decorating the clothes of deities and kings and maharajas. Today, Zari embroidery is used in apparels and dresses for weddings and parties, in home furnishings like wall hangings, table clothes, curtains, cushion covers, in fashion accessories like jewelries, purses, handbags, belts, shoes, shawls and other fashion wears. The original gold thread is replaced by synthetic fibers coated with gold coloration. Zari embroidery works are representations of the dexterity and skill of the Indian artisans , displaying extremely fine stitches , with the embroidery starting from the center and proceeding to the outer edges in a circular fashion.

Zari Embroidery has a range of styles which are as follows:
Kataoki Bel: There is a border pattern that is built of stiff canvas and the entire cloth is replete with sequin edging.

Kamdani: This is a lighter needle work and more often seen on veils, scarves and caps. Ordinary thread is used but gives a satin-stitch effect. The resultant effect is stunning . In local terms it is known as hazara butti (thousand lights).

Mina Work: Similar to enamel work and the embroidery is made in gold.

Makaish: Done with badla or silver and one of the oldest techniques where the wire itself is used as the needle , piercing the fabric to complete the stitches. A wide range of designs are made in this fashion.

Tilla or Marori Work: Here the gold thread gets stitched on the surface of the material with the help of a needle.

Kinari work: In this process, embellishments are done using zari threads at the borders in the form of tassels.

Gota Work: Here the gold border that’s woven is cut into different shapes and this technique brings forth a wide variety of texture in the designs.

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