Anciently, the precious metals such as gold and silvers were cheap and easily available, then only real zari threads were produced. The word Zari is 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. Zari (or Jari) is an even thread traditionally made of fine gold or silver used in traditional Indian, and Pakistani garments, especially as brocade in sarees, dupattas etc. During the Vedic ages, the gold embroidery was associated with the regal attire of gods, kings, and literary guru figures. But it reached its popularity during the Mughal times and was used by the rich. However, in today's era, zari is not made of real gold and silver but has cotton or polyester yarn at its core, wrapped by golden/ silver metallic yarn.
Zari is produced by twisting a flattened metallic strip made from pure gold, silver or a metallic polyester filmed 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 is the main decorative material in most silk sarees and ghagra. It is also used in other garments made of silk, like lehengas (skirts), cholis (blouses), kurtas and dhotis. True or real zari enjoys the unique characteristics of being created with only pure gold and pure silver made with 98.5 per cent silver and plated with 24-carat gold. The real zari is more detailed and vibrant than imitation zari. it is heavier and can last for a long time, and can even be passed down from mother to daughter and so on.
Real Zari This is also known as Pure zari as it is made from fine silver or gold thread is drawn from silver or gold alloys, which is flattened by passing it under through equal pressure rotating rollers. The flattened silver threads are wound on the base yarn that is usually made of silk. These reels of silk are further flattened for electroplating. The threads are then plated with gold by the process of electroplating. The lustre of the gold-covered threads is further increased by passing them through a brightener.
Imitation zari This is also known as Tested zari. It is made when copper wires are drawn from copper alloys. It then undergoes a similar pressure process, except in this case, they are electroplated with silver and then wound around the base yarn, and reeled. This type of zari is less expensive than pure zari, as silver electroplated copper is more economical.
Metallic zari It is the modernized version of zari and it replaces traditional metals like gold, silver and copper. It is resistant, durable and light in weight. It is non-tarnishing and maintains its lustre for a considerable period of time
Weaveinindia showcases the elegance that lies in the intricate patterns of Zari work. It exhibits vibrant Banarasi, Paithani, classic Kanjivaram sarees and dupattas in pure silver and gold zari with aesthetic embellishments. So, get your own weaving tale of tradition for the contemporary women at Weaveinindia.