metal thread work


I like working Indian ethnic embroidery on traditional Indian designs. The motifs are ideal for working zardosi work, chikan work, kantha work, Kashmiri work. I worked zardosi embroidery on this tunic. The pattern-

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic-pattern

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic-pattern

Cotton skeins were used to work the embroidery. Stitches worked were, stem, chain and french knots.

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic- embroidery

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic- embroidery

After attaching the zardosi beads and stones-

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic- zardosi work

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic- zardosi work

Yoke detail on tunic-

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic

I wear a salwar on deep violet [same as the yoke fabric] with this tunic. A synthetic crepe dupatta in violet completes the outfit.
The fabric and print did not require any embroidery. when I was in a mood for some zardosi work, this tunic got hit!

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic

cream violet crepe zardosi tunic

This is the first time I tried working zardosi embroidery.
This embroidery is quite prevalent in north India and Pakistan. The embroidery is very old. I do not know whether it came during mughal period or before that. In this embroidery , metallic tubes[ I think, Lupions] are used to fill various shapes- flowers, leaves, paisleys etc,.
Sometimes these shapes are outlined with threads , other times they are left as it is. This embroidery is worked on wedding and other festive clothing.Men’s wear also are embellished with zardosi.
The embroidery patterns are generally, florals, geometric shapes.
The embroidery is done in aari work, the metallic tubes are stitched by hand. the work is quite time consuming. So they are costly also.
These days , there are lots of commercially done pieces , which are easily available. The embroidery done on them are not of good quality, especially the work done on sarees and lehengas.the fabric used is also very cheap.
When I wanted to do this embroidery, the lupions were not easy to buy, I got these from Hyderabad, near Charminar.
With the materials in hand I started with a medium sized paisley motif with neck design.
The tunic fabric was mercerized cotton in green colour.
The embroidery was done in light green for leaves and very light green for stem. The flowers I worked in zardosi embroidery. I did not outline the flowers[ at that time I did not know that could be done].
The tunic-

green zardosi

In the close up it is clearly seen that Iam yet to acquire the technique if this art-

green zardosi-closeup

After looking at lots of zardosi embroidery pieces , now I have understood other aspects of this embroidery. Still, Iam in the learning process. And this tunic is also one of my favourites.

I am listing some of the handicraft pieces from other countries that are sold in Muscat festival.
The following pieces are made with metallic thread ,similar to the ones we use for embroidery.
First the pattern to be worked is drawn on black felt cloth,
Then the artist, with the help of delicate forseps[looks like tweezers]places the thread in the shape he wants, the laying, the twisting are made with the help of forceps and scissors,he must have glued the surface he was working ,.before he started laying the thread.
These are only my deductions because of two reasons-
the artist was quiet busy with his work,
and we did not speak the same language. Communicating could have interfered with his work.

Metallic thread work-1

Metal thread work-2

Metal thread work-3


The name of the artist’s country is not very clear to me,maybe because it was written in Arabic.

More handicrafts in the next post