The process of zari embroidery starts by manually positioning the tracing the design by the eye, but for a more precise placing, the center of the tracing paper is determined by folding the paper and then marking this folded line with a scale and a pencil. This perpendicular line at the center acts as a base for as symmetrical design, which has to be mirrored on either side of this line. Basically a dressmaker’s carbon locally known as butter paper is used to trace the design using a pencil or a pen .After tracing the design, the paper is placed on a soft surface like foam or a felt to prick holes close to each other along the marked lines or design. Then this perforated butter paper is placed on a fabric for further tracing. After which a small pouncing pad or a small cloth dipped in a solution of kerosene and white powder( made from the dressmakers chalk) is rubbed through the holes of the perforated tracing paper .The rubbing is done with uniform circular movements so that the solution seeps through the holes to trace the design on the fabric.
Once these dotted lines are marked, the fabric is then sent to the embroidery workers for framing. The fabric is then stretched and knitted temporarily to a wooden frame (or tapestry frame) which consists of four wooden legs resting on wooden posts. This wooden frame keeps the fabric clean and gives the cloth a uniform tension, making the stiches even. It can also be made to fit any size of the fabric. The artisan then sits on the floor behind the wooden frame with all his tolls and raw materials to start the process of weaving.
In the process of zari embroidery the craftsmen uses different types of needles to pull out each zardosi element .It is then integrated into basic design by pushing the needle into the fabric. Zari embroidery includes wide range of weaving techniques using varieties of thread. While gijai (thin thread) is used for making intricate patterns, a thicker kalabattu thread is used for making the borders. Another kind of spirally twisted gold thread known as tikora is preferred for complicated designs. Floral designs which are made using sequins are called sitara.
Depending upon the design a smaller metal frame can also be used instead of wooden frame to concentrate at a particular area of the fabric. Though this needle and thread method brings out the uniqueness of this craft but it is also very time consuming as the most exclusive one can take months of hard work.