Zardozi embroidery

zardozi embroidery 1
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The kings and the royal have zardozi embroidery ornamentations in their attire. Elaborately, tent walls, scabbards, wall hanging, and pieces of stuff of elephants and horses zardozi can be seen. Gold and silver threads were used at that time to realize the work addition is the pearls and stones.

History of Zardozi Embroidery

The zardozi consists of two Persian terms, zar meaning gold and dozi meaning embroidery. Under the Mughal emperor, Akbar zardozi embroidery took its zenith. Although zardozi knew now connected to the Persian seeds, especially in the Mughal era, the reality is that this style of embroidery is done in India well before that.

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There is a mention of the sacred cloth of gold or hiranya in Reg Veda. There are varied instances of mentions of embroidery as an embellishment on the attire of Gods.

The heavy embroidery on scarves, veils, shawls, and leather items has evidence in written as well as sculpture during the period of Kushan in the 1st century. The painting of Ajanta signifies gold and silver work on garments.

The other source from Jain literature ‘Acaranga surta’ in the 6th century has mention of embroidery. From time to time many people have described the elegant embroidery in their work from King Harshavardhana to the famous traveler Marco Polo.

Hubs of the Zardozi Embroidery

The main centers of zardozi present in existing in Lucknow, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Delhi, Agra, Kashmir, Mumbai, Ajme ,and Chennai.


The process of zardozi embroidery began with the commodities required are add the wooden framework their tools, including the curved hooks, needles, salmua piece (gold wires) , Sitara, sequences, glass and plastic beads, dabkaa (thread) and kasab. The design is traced on the fabric and stretched over the wooden frame and then begin the actual work. Pulling out the needle work and this process continues till the design is completely created.

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Identify real zari

There are a few differences between imitation and pure zari. Pure zari is softer than imitationzari which tends a bit rough and stiff. The weight of the pure zari is heavy than the imitation one. And most important pure zari is costlier than imitation zari.


Exclusively embroidery of the royal clients has now been listed as the main trade. Many innovations took place over time and the key role is the availability of various raw materials.

Thus the ancient court and temple embroidery has reached the common man with the efforts of fashion designers the livelihood of the karigars stands its mark and the embroidery relives.

Photo credit Vogue 

By Purva Buch

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