Aari work – trivia

- The difference between Aari and Zardozi work is in the method of embroidery and the material used. Zardozi uses dabka (a spring type of thread), katori, tikena, and sitara. Both methods are used to create fascinating designs.

- Today Aari techniques are used in a wide range of bedcovers, cushion covers, purses and handbags, wall hangings, and also in garments.

- Earlier men’s clothing also had embroidery on it. Today it is only for women’s clothing.

- Over a period of time Aari work embroidery has lost a little of its original sheen and the work can sometimes involve coarse outcomes also.

- Aari embroidery is also known as khatia work. This is because the embroidery is done on a frame that is constructed on the principles of the local khatia or cot. Aari embroidery is said to have originated in Barabanki.

- Another style of Aari work is that practiced by the Rabari tribe of the Kutch region of Gujarat. This embroidery too, is done with a small crochet-hook-like instrument called the aari, and gives a chain stitch look. The aari is like a hooked awl, earlier used by the Mochi embroiderers of Kutch.

- Today Aari artisans work mostly for traders in Calcutta who order work for resale. Over the years, the fineness of the craft declined, because people wanted more work for less money. The only way to achieve this was to do coarser work.

- The designs too were completely governed by the market and the old court memories began to recede. Also men stopped wearing these finely worked garments and today, these craftsmen embroider almost totally for women.