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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beauty of Zari

Zari work is the latest trend in Indian fashion horizon. It is basically a tinsel thread meant for weaving and embroidery. It is manufactured by winding or wrapping a flattened metallic strip made from pure gold, silver or slitted metallised polyester film, on a core yarn, usually of pure silk, art silk, viscose, cotton, nylon, polyester, wire etc.

Nowadays, it can broadly be divided into three types. ‘Real Zari’ made of pure gold & silver, ‘Imitation Zari’ made of silver electroplated (thinly) copper wire, and Metallic Zari made of slitted polyester metallised film. In ancient times, when precious metals were cheaply and easily available, only Real Zari threads were produced. Due to industrial revolution and invention of electroplating process, Imitation Zari came into existence to cut the cost of precious metals.

As Copper is the most malleable and ductile metal after Gold and Silver, silver electroplated copper wire replaced pure silver. Various modern colours and chemicals are used to create/impart a golden hue instead of pure Gold. The precious metals & copper too became dearer due to huge demand in various modern industries. Thus, a cheap & durable alternative was invented with non-tarnishing properties. Mettalic Zari came into vogue replacing traditional metals like Gold, Silver & Copper. This Zari is light in weight & more durable than earlier editions. Also, it had the most sought after properties of non-tarnishing & knot-free / knot-less.

‘Surat’ in the state of Gujarat on the west coast of India is the world’s largest producer of all types of Zari & Zari Made-Ups namely Threads, Cantile, Laces, Ribbons, Borders, Trims, Fringes, Edges, cordonettes, Cords, etc.

The art of Zari making has been inherited from father to son since many centuries. It is recognised as one of the ancient handicrafts by the government of India. Women from different communities & artisans produce Zari & made-ups for weaving, embroidery, crocheting, braiding etc.

Zari is a type of thread made of fine gold or silver wire used in traditional Indian and Pakistani garments. This thread is woven into fabrics, primarily made of silk to create intricate patterns. It is believed this tradition started during the Mughal era. Today, in most fabrics, Zari is not made of real gold and silver, but has cotton or polyester yarn at its core, wrapped by golden/silver metallic yarn.

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