The fascinating heritage of Zardozi Embroidery
Even though Zardozi is believed to have its origin in Persia (Zar in Persian means gold and Dozi is embroidery), the use of gold and silver thread work goes back to ancient India, its mention being made in Vedic literature, the Mahabharta and the Ramayana; the Ajanta figures being their visual manifestations. But it was only under the royal patronage of the Mughal king ‘Akbar the great’, that Zardozi and Arri embroidery reached its zenith and was extensively used to adorn the costumes of the court, wall hanging, palanquins, scabbards, regal sidewalls of tents and the rich trappings of elephants and horses. A closer look into the miniature paintings of the royal court from the Mughal era reveal the elaborate and highly refined floral motifs in gold embroidered on the princely attire.
|HH Sri Chamarajendra Wadiyar X Splendidly attired in black velvet with zardozi embroidery, HH Sri Chamarajendra Wadiyar X in his youthful glory and grandeur. oil painting by Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906)
The embroidery is completely done manually by the craftsmen without the use of any machinery whatsoever. The work is so intricate and strenuous to the eye that it takes almost 2-3 days to complete a six meter sari with 5-6 craftsmen continuously working on it. During the peak business season that coincides with Dushera, Diwali and Eid, the workshops are cramped with over 12-14 craftsmen working on a sari for over 18 hours at a stretch.
Once the embroidery is complete, the thread is flattened out with a light-weight wooden hammer and the fabric is ready to be dispatched to the reseller. While a handful of craftsmen have small outlets in Uluberia itself, the bulk of the work happens mainly on contract basis from cloth merchants all over the world who buy the embroidered fabric and transform it into finished products like saris, kurtas, lehenga-choli, salwar-kameez or other home décor paraphernalia that keep reminding us of our rich cultural past.
Checkout our hand embroidered
Zardosi Clutches. Each bag is hand made with love and care and has its own personality. Which one will you choose?
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