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Indian Embroidery > Indian Embroidery Styles > Zardozi Embroidery

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Indian Embroidery Zardozi Embroidery

Zardozi Embroidery Zardozi the imperial metal embroidery, adorned the costumes of the royalty, wall hanging, scabbards, walls of the regal tents and the rich trappings of elephants and horses. Intricate patterns in gold and silver, studded with pearls and precious stones enhanced the beauty of rich and glowing silk, velvet and brocade.

Zardozi is an ancient Persian embroidery form (Zar in Persian means gold and Dozi is embroidery) that has been passed down for generations. It reached its peak under the patronage of Mughal Emperor Akbar. It saw a decline during the reign of Aurangzeb as the royal patronage and favor stopped and and the art was too expensive and the precious metals too rare to carry on.

Zari and Zardozi work was revived after independence in Hydrabad and Lucknow. The rarity of precious metal lead to the use of copper with gold or silver polish or the silk thread. Now the embroidery style is back in bloom. It is a must for any Indian wedding trousseau.

Process Stitches and Styles
Zari embroidery is done with a crochet hook using the metallic thread and appears like chain stitch. Zardozi is an extension of the same. Zari elements like coiled wire, dabka, tilla, beads etc are used to create the motifs. Zardozi can alternatively be called metallic applique embroidery.

The most prevalent zardozi elements segments of dabkaa, a tightly wound spiral metal, Kora, a heavier and darker dabkaa a square sided dabkaa that is wiry and erratic in appearance, sitaaras, round sequins, glass and plastic beads and kasab, silver or gold-plated silver thread

The process involves tracing out the design on the cloth preferably rich fabrics like silk, satin velvet etc. The fabric is stretched over the wooden frame and the embroidery work begins. Each zardozi element is picked up by the needle and incorporated appropriately into the pattern by pushing the needle in the fabric.

The process of creating zari threads and zardozi elements was rather complicated earlier. It needed a lot of patience and precision. Today the modern means may have made the task a little easier but still the adeptness and delicate handling remains the same.

Zardozi and zari garments have become very popular and make elegant evening and ceremonial ware. The art is now being used for soft furnishing products also.

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