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Cluster Brief

Agra Zari Zardozi Cluster, Uttar Pradesh

Zari zardosi is an art of metal embroidery which was usually done with gold and silver threads to decorate the attire of the kings and royals in ancient India. Though its existence

Agra Zari Zardozi Cluster, Uttar Pradesh

Zari zardosi is an art of metal embroidery which was usually done with gold and silver threads to decorate the attire of the kings and royals in ancient India. Though its existence can be dated back to the Vedic period, but it was only during the medieval era when this embroidery craft played a significant role in embellishing the attire of various Mughal rulers. This imperial style of metal thread embroidery was revived freshly in north India after independence in 1947. Zari zardosi is one of the most important elements of Persian culture which derives its name from two Persian terms, of “Zar” meaning gold and “Dozi” meaning embroidery. It is one of the most famous and elaborated techniques in metal embroidery which involves making intricate designs using gold and silver threads. The process of zari zardosi begins with the craftsmen drawing the basic layout of the design on a butter paper, which is later perforated using a needle. He then marks the designs on the fabric which is stretched on a wooden frame called ‘adda’. The craftsmen then use different types of needles depending on the design to make intricate patterns with zari. This zari embroidery got segregated into three different types, depending upon the use of raw materials to make the embroidery products. They are “Real zari” second is “imitation zari” and “metallic zari”. India has always been known for its zari embroidery, because of the traditional skill of Indian craftsmen who have for centuries practiced the craft by inheriting its qualities from father to son. This art form is still being practiced in almost every household in and across Agra where it is not just considered as a business practice but also practiced retaining their long-lived rich identity. There are approximately 3000 artisans in the cluster who are involved either full time or part time practice of this art. These techniques are passed on from generations to generations whose preside in the areas of Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, and Surat. The chief products of zari zardosi are tablecloth, cushion covers, bags, purses, bed sheets, plain clothes etc.

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