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What is Zardozi Work?

Zardozi is a form of an embroidery that came to India from Persia. It is said that has been in existence in India from the time of the Rig Veda. Zardozi is a Persian word that means sewing with gold string. Zar meaning gold and Dozi meaning embroidery. Zardozi also known as Zardosi and Zardouzi, is a form of fabric embroidery which was popularized in India by Mughal emperors. During Mughal era it gained more popularity and brought richness when used on Indian textiles and fabrics. The Ari work or Zardosi work a type of hand embroidery popular in Iran, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Zardozi embroidery is beautiful metal embroidery, which once used to embellish the attire of the Kings and the royals in India.

The earliest of the mentions of this style of embroidery (not typically Zardozi) can be seen in Vedic literature. Then it was known as “Kalabatun” which used silk threads wrapped in real gold and silver wires to decorate satin and velvet fabrics. Today, it is popular in the Indian cities of Lucknow, Farrukhabad, Chennai and Bhopal. Lucknow became a central hub for this embroidery technique during Aurangzeb’s reign in the 12th Century, when this imperial art form was encouraged under ruling Mughal beneficiaries.