Zari or commonly known as the Zari Work, is a beautiful and intricate craft of weaving threads made of fine Gold or Silver and are later entwined in various types of fabric (pre dominantly into Silk) to make fine patterns of saree. Apart from the monetary worth, the fabric attains a rich and grand look.
The craft of Zari has been long associated with the aristocracy and royalty in India and considered to be one of the most detailed embroidery techniques in existence. The art is also known as Zardozi in Persian.
The origin of the Zari embroidery is traced back to a village by the same name in modern day Iran which was then brought to India by Persians during the Rig Veda period which is dated to be between 1700 and 1100 BC. The Zari craft truly got recognised during the patronage of the famous Mughal emperor Akbar.
The exclusivity of the Zari embroidery grew during modern times when it got confined to certain pockets in the country like Lucknow and Chennai where Zari is not even made out of real Gold and Silver thread like the ancient art. It has polyester or cotton yarn at its core, wrapped in Silver/Gold metallic yarn. The Zari craft has also been recognised by the Government of India as one of the most ancient forms of handicraft.
The southern part of India has claimed the highest consumption of the ancient handicraft. Also, Surat happens to be the world’s largest producer of all types of Zari work like threads, ribbons, borders, etc.
The Zari work is the true embodiment of elegance. The main inspiration for the art can be traced back to the medieval times when Gold/Silver threads were used on silk fabric with patterns that depicted age old beliefs and rituals, which may vary from place to place.
The intricate art of Zari has been passed down from generation to generation and is truly treasured by only a few. Zari work is the true reflection of skilled needlework and cherished tradition. The Kinari work done by men & women of the Muslim community also formed the original faces behind this art, redefining the essence of traditional artistry.