Z = Zari

Zari is thread that is traditionally made of fine gold or silver and woven into fabrics, particularly made of silk to create intricate and elaborate patterns. Zari has been an art associated with the aristocratic and royal persona in India. Today, in most fabrics, zari is not made of real gold and silver, but has cotton or polyester yarn at its core, wrapped by golden/silver metallic yarn.

It is believed that the word zari originated in a village by the same name in ancient Persia (Iran of today) where the art is known as Zardozi. The art was brought to India by Persian migrants between 1700-1100 BC – the period of Rig Veda. However the art really flourished during the Mughal era under the patronage of Emperor Akbar.

Because of the expense, saris, kurtas and salwars with zari are essentially worn during very special occasions such as weddings, and festivals.

A Banarasi sari is made in Banaras or modern day Varanasi. The sari are among the finest in the country and are famous for intricate and heavy gold and silver zari work on fine silk because of these engravings, are relatively heavy. Their special characteristics are Mughal inspired designs such as intricate intertwining floral and foliate motifs, kalga and bel, a string of upright leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border is a characteristic of these saris. Other features are gold work, compact weaving, figures with small details, metallic visual effects, pallus, jal (a net like pattern), and mina work.

A Banarasi silk sari is a must have for the bridal trousseau. In fact, the bride, especially in West Bengal, often wears a banarasi sari for the main event on the day of her wedding. If you wish to feast your eyes on some of the most gorgeous saris, click here.

And that brings us to the end of this A to Z blogging challenge – my very first. I had a blast, came across some very lovely people, read some very awesome interesting blogs (but missed many many more) and already drafted the next one 😉

A big thank you to all you dropped in without whom it wouldn’t have been any fun at all.

Have a great weekend and see you all on Monday, hopefully with something new.

 Quote of the day: “The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.”
Criss Jami

For all the A to Z challenge posts, please click here