Heavy Embroidery On Sarees

Heavy Embroidery On Sarees

Embroidered sarees are mainly made in the western region and display a rich embroidery (bharat) tradition. Much of these renowned embroideries are created by ethnic groups like the Rabari and Sodha Rajputs.

The artisans are adept in making sarees with metallic-thread embroidery and these types of sarees are commonly found in the west. However, most of this embroidery work is created throughout northern India as well.

Originally associated with wealthy  often aristocratic  Muslim communities, metallic embroidered sarees are frequently worn by Rajputs, Lohana  Sindi traders , Marwaris  Rajasthani traders  and others.

Apart from them, urban women also prefer to wear embroidered sarees for weddings and special occasions. The historical evidences specify that when the Mughal court collapsed in the late eighteenth century, court embroiderers emigrated to the Rajput kingdoms.

Under the patronage of the Rajputs, the artisans continued their work and their creativity flourished in the other parts of India too. The history also includes that the tradition of embroidery work was in existence prior to the Mughal Empire.

The embroidered sarees are distinguished for their designs due to the threads that are used in the embroidery work.

Indian artisans use three types of metallic-thread embroidery two of which use gold-wrapped threads called either `kalabattun` which was used by the artisans of earlier times or `zari`.

One style, muka, requires thick zari to be coiled on the surface and couched with silk, and is usually worked on heavier silks and satin fabrics.

Another style of embroidery work, called `kamdani` and sometimes `kalabattun,` has metallic threads embroidered directly into the fabric with both the zari and ground cloth.

This embroidery work is done with finer and lighter metallic threads than in muka work. These embroidery works are created on chiffon and georgette that have gained popularity in the local as well as in the national market scenario.

This type of embroidery work is called zardozi or zardoshi work. The third type of metallic embroidery is easier to distinguish because it uses flattened gold or silver wire  badla that is pulled through the fabric.

In this embroidery work small raised metallic `dots` or `knots` are distributed over the cloth to form floral and foliate patterns.

Patna had a strong commercial zardozi embroidery tradition for many years, serving local aristocrats and other wealthy patrons during the nineteenth century.

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