Zardosi Unraveled

What is Zardosi? My sister believes it could be adequately described as the following, "it's when someone is sewing and they add fancy stuff", but she is uncertain. And her uncertainty has led to an unhealthy obsession with this word. She says it. Often. Especially when there is beadwork present somewhere in the room. Knowing how maddening it can be to have a foreign word stuck in your head (gewichteheben: three weeks) I set out to compile a dossier on Zardosi. Here's what I found:


What: An intricate hand embroidery using gold, silver or multi-colored wire on a variety of fabrics. The name originates from the Persian word zarkas which means gold embroidery. Back in the day, the folks who attached seed pearls and precious stones to fabric were called zardos.
Where: Traditional garment work from India.
When: Dates back to ancient India.
Who: Worn by royalty back in the day. This craft still flourishes today. Used most frequently for weddings, movies and special occasions.
Why: Cuz it's perdy! Does there need to be another reason?
How: One fully-decked out sari or gown could take 300 hours of work. Originally real gold wire was used to fasten on the jewels. Now, of course, other metals are used. Sometimes also wrapped in cloth to give them a burnished look.


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Blogger k_sra said...

Sadly my sari is not zardosi. It's just plain old resham work.

15/7/05 12:21  
Blogger Worldgineer said...

Your blog is filled with Zardosi.

15/7/05 12:58  
Blogger El Fid said...

Do you have that choli? If so, wowser!

15/7/05 14:25  
Blogger k_sra said...

Thanks, World. I try. It's the rest of you what add the fancy stuff.

el fid, I'll find out when I tear open the package with my greedy, shaking, sari-craving hands this evening. I specifically ordered a "princess" neckline to mimic the choli in the image as closely as possible.

15/7/05 14:29  
Blogger El Fid said...

I doubt "princess" will get you close.

Somebody tell princess KoolAid to check the toes on the first zardosi girl. That's what I have in mind for the ethnic makeover.

15/7/05 14:46  
Blogger k_sra said...

KoolAid doesn't live here no mo. *sniff* Tell her to get her baby-having self back into the bloglight.

15/7/05 14:55  
Blogger El Fid said...

She says she lurks by night or day.

15/7/05 15:01  

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