Friday, October 30, 2020

Zari Sari

Zari Sari
Zari or Zari Work as it is known, is an intricate art of weaving threads made of fine gold or silver. These threads are further woven into fabrics, primarily made of silk to create intricate patterns. The designs are so exquisite that apart from the monetary value attached to these threads, the fabric also gets an overall rich & a beautiful look.

Origin and History of Zari Work 

It is believed that the word Zari originated in  a village by the same name in ancient Persia (Iran of today) where artisans used the skill of weaving thin threads of gold and silver onto fine fabrics of silk. The art was brought to India by Persian migrants between 1700-1100 BC – the period of Rig Veda. However, zari work flourished during the Mughal era under the patronage of Emperor Akbar.

 The Making 

Zari is produced by twisting a flattened metallic strip made from pure gold, silver or a metallic polyester film around a yarn made of silk, cotton, polyester etc.These zari threads are processed to increase the brightness of gold plating, giving it an aesthetic  look.


Zari, which once enjoyed a lot of royal patronage, has slid down due to high costs of precious metals such as gold and silver. In keeping with the times and in a bid to appeal to various income groups, Zari has gone through some changes and extensions.

Zari is categorized into 3 types:

1. Real Zari: It is made of pure gold & silver. Due to the high cost of pure gold and silver, Real Zari is sought after by the very rich and discerning.

2. Imitation Zari: It is made of silver electroplated (thinly) copper wire. Imitation Zari was used as a replacement for silver. However with increasing prices of copper too, even Imitation Zari is produced in a rather limited way.

3. Metallic Zari: It is made of slitted polyester metallized film. Metallic Zari is the work which is in vogue as it weighs quite lightly compared to pure gold and silver or for that matter copper. It is also affordable and more durable compared to Real Zari and Imitation Zari.

Clothes with Zari are generally made-to-order in case of Real Zari or Imitation Zari, whereas Metallic Zari can be bought off the shelf.

The price range varies anywhere between Rs. 20000/- to Rs. 150000/- depending on the work needed for Real and Imitation Zari. For Metallic Zari, the price range is between Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 12000/-.

Wearing Zari Work Attire

Sarees, kurtas and salwars with zari are essentially worn during very special occasions such as weddings, and festivals.  Fabrics with Zari lend a regal look to the person wearing it.


Zari contains the weaves of gold and silver. The metal, specially the silver weaves react to the atmospheric air and looks dull & old. To maintain its shine, the best thing is to wrap them in soft cotton or a muslin dhoti. This prevents them from any reaction.

Dry cleaning is the best for Zari embroidered dresses. If there is a need to wash these dresses, it should be done in mild soap water, then dry these in shade. It is also advisable to avoid spraying perfumes or deodorants directly on these dresses.

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