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Zari embroidery uses a special kind of metal wire which are made from metal ingots. These blocks of steel or ingots are melted and pressed through perforated steel sheets to form wires, which are subsequently hammered to get varied thickness. These flattened threads are even twisted around the silk threads to form the spring like zardosi known as “dabka”. As these threads come in long curled strips they are manually cut using a scissor depending on the design. The plain wires are called “badla” while the round ones are called “kasab”.The glittering effect of these threads were a result of silver. Beside these threads a variety of materials are also used for the embroidery like zari, sequins, beads, small crystals and stones, metallic wires, purl thread, round sequin and even a sequin lace.
The process of zardosi embroidery requires the following tools and raw materials for it production:
To draw/trace the design on the paper.
To mark a perpendicular line for symmetrical designs using a pen or pencil. This line acts as the base for the designs which are to be mirrored on either side of this central line.
This is a transparent paper used for transferring deigns onto the fabric.
Solution of Kerosene and Chalk Powder:
It is used to trace the design on the fabric. This solution is rubbed on the perforated tracing paper so that it seeps through the holes to trace the design on the fabric.
They are used to prick holes on the butter paper along the marked lines of the design.
Various types of needles also used for weaving and embroidery purpose depending upon the design and the thread.
Frame or Tapestry (adda):
Wooden frame is used to stretch the fabric so that it does not move while the craftsman is working on it. It also helps to keep the fabric clean and gives the cloth a uniform tension, making the stiches even.
It is used to cut the threads in accordance to the design.
The surface on which the zari embroidery is to be done. Usually a closely woven fabric is chosen to take the weight of the threads. Various types of fabrics like silk and velvet are used depending upon the demand.
Metallic and Embroidery Threads:
They are used for knitting the designs on the fabric. The most commonly used metallic thread is Purl. It is a flexible hollow tube like thread which are made by spinning fine wire tightly around a needle used to define outlines and fine lines of a design.
Sequins, Beads and Crystal Stones:
They are used for embellishing the embroidery giving it an antique look.