Embroidery that uses pure gold and silver wire and zari is known as Zardozi. This work is also known as karchobi. Zardozi involves the use of gold threads, spangles, beads, seed pearls, wire, gota and kinari. The original embroidery of Zardozi was done with pure silver wires coated with real gold, and was known as Kalabatun.
Techniques of Zardozi Work
there are two broad techniques of Zardozi work. These are karchobi and kamdani. Karchobi is done for heavy fabrics and furnishings eg. tent, hangings, cover, spreads, trappings, umbrella, parasols etc. The fabric is generally velvet or heavy satin with lining support underneath. The Kamdani technique on the other hand is more magnificently practiced on finer fabrics such as muslin, silk etc. which were more suitable for costumes and related accessories such as caps, veils, scarves, caps, bonnets, shoes, belts, purses, fans, jewellery etc.
Difference of Zardozi than other stitches
Zardozi differs from other traditions of embroidery like Kantha, Phulkari, Kasuti etc. where the movement of threaded needle is guided by variety of stitches. In other embroideries silk, cotton or woollen thread are used, which are binding medium, whereas in zardozi, the body of the design is completed by laying varieties of metallic threads in several shapes and forms along with beads, stones , beetle wings, etc. The whole process is more indicative of appliqué, then embroidery. Thus it may be called metal appliqué. One can understand this from the fact that zardoz always get payments for amount of wire stitched on the cloth by weight. They never use the word kadai, the hindi word for embroidery, instead refer to it as salme sitare ka kaam ka takna which means laying salma, sitara on the body of the fabric.
Zardozi and Aari are two classifications with a slight difference in needle holding. Zardozi is embroidered with simple hand needle thus involving more effort, while for the aari the needle is fixed in a stick, which makes the hole in the fabric and thread, can be pulled both ways.
Zaminduzi and Gulduzi
When the embroidery completely covered the fabric the work is known as Zaminduzi or if single motifs were scattered across it was known is gulduzi.
The stitches used in Zardozi are laid-stitch, couching, stem stitch, running stitch and satin stitch. Raised effect is given in Zardozi by padding in soft thick cotton thread and cardboard or bukram.
Average income of Artisans
Zardozi- 10000 Rs. per month- 10/12 Hours per day- Monthly wage
Process of Zardozi Embroidery
Following are the steps in doing the embroidery:
Firstly the design is traced on to the tracing paper and then the design is perforated with the needle all over on the design. The fabric on which the embroidery is to be done is placed on a flat table and the tracing sheet is placed in position. A solution of kerosene and Robin Blue/zinc oxide is made. A wad of cloth is dipped into this solution and wiped against the tracing so that the ink seeps through the
holes to trace the design onto the fabric.
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