Ever wonder how the designer of your favorite saree or salwar managed to get that fine, metallic embroidery work to look so effortlessly ornate? Those shimmery chic motifs are handcrafted using a technique that’s been hot on the fashion scene for generations: Zardosi embroidery (also known as Zari work). The word Zardosi has Persian origins and literally means sewing with gold string.
To achieve the Zardosi style’s signature intricate designs, a garment is decorated with Zari threads, which are lightweight pieces of yarn hand-wrapped in fine strands of gold or silver. Once sewn onto silk or other fabrics, the Zari thread acts as ultra-thin, metallic tinsel that transforms a more simple saree or salwar into a glittering vision. Though heavy beading and sequins may make a louder statement, we love how the clean lines of Zari work add dimension, not weight, to a saree or salwar.
This Net Anarkali with Silver Zari embodies Zardosi embroidery’s modern edge. With its bold neckline, sheer sleeves and large zari motifs framing the neck and hem, this little black dress can effortlessly go from day to night. All you need are killer silver sandals and Luxemi’s Kundan Hanging Earrings to complete this stunning Zardosi look.
Satya Paul’s take on Zari showcases the softer side of metallic patterning. The Georgette Saree with Gold Zari, available from Luxemi, features a series of leaf motifs that are delicate, subtle and gleaming all over. Weave that onto vibrant orange Georgette, and you already have us dreaming of spring.
If you want to make a modern statement that is steeped in tradition, a saree or salwar with Zardosi work is a versatile choice that will carry you through the seasons.