The festive season is the perfect time for a little opulence. And what could be more opulent than gold and silver? Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this is also the perfect time for ornate, glittering, rich zardozi, gota patti, and zari embellished garments. Each of these styles is an art form in its own right, passed on from generation to generation, and honed to perfection by master craftsmen.
Zari, jari or brocade work involves creating intricate patterns by weaving gold or silver threads into the fabric of a garment. It’s often seen adorning sarees, lehengas, salwar suits for special occasions; and turbans, kurtas, sherwanis, and dhotis in case of men’s clothing. Gota patti or lappe ka kaam, on the other hand, involves placing woven gold or silver cloth onto other fabrics to create interesting textures and patterns. It is an intricate form of embroidery or embellishment akin to applique work; and is much lighter than zari. It can be used on lighter fabrics such chiffon or georgette, unlike zari or zardozi work, which are typically seen on silk. Zardozi, the more elaborate cousin of zari, involves working sequins and beads, along with gota patti work and zari, into the fabric of a garment. Each of these has multiple variants, based on the kinds of motifs used, the types of sequins employed, and the fabrics that play canvas to the embroidery.
While traditional zari or gota patti work involved real gold and silver thread, today, there are less expensive variants made from base metal or synthetic threads coated with gold or gilded yarn. With a wide variety of zari borders and gota patti available in spools, it’s also becoming increasingly popular to buy zari or gota patti borders and have them sewn onto plain sarees or salwar kameez suits. These forms of embellishment are also employed on accessories such as mojris, sandals, clutches and stoles, giving you a great way to make an otherwise simple outfit look dressy. You could try pairing a plain chiffon saree with a brocade clutch and sandals, or pairing a zardozi dupatta with a plain raw silk salwar suit, to attain a look that is a perfect balance between modern minimalism and traditional opulence.
Ready to don some glitter of your own? Explore the festive wear selection or discover the different forms of traditional embroidery and applique work from different regions in India in the sarees and salwar suits sections on Junglee.