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Traditional craft of thread work, exquisite practiced art today

A short background of the craft

Aari embroidery once patronized by Mughal Royals for the elaborate and highly refined floral motifs is today a much practiced skill for fashionable fabrics. Regions known for Aari embroidery are Hyderabad, Lucknow, Delhi, Kutch, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh. Practised today by the cobbler community in some regions, it still remains a fine art, the designs followed still primarily those prevailing in Mughal times, with newer additions and the work is still refined and flawless.

The Process of Aari embroidery

The main tool used in this style of embroidery is the aari, a hooked needle, from which the style gets its name. By using subtle gradations of color the figures and motifs in the designs can be highly representational. Aari embroidery is done by tightening the cloth to be embroidered upon on a khatla (cot) or adda frame and then doing the thread work on portions on the stretched cloth with an aari or crochet-hook like instrument. The stitch that forms resembles a chain stitch.

The actual embroidery involves pushing the needle through the fabric. From behind, thread is pushed into the hook. When the needle is pulled up again, it comes up with a loop. The next time, the needle goes through the loop and comes up with another loop through the previous loop. The same process is repeated. The stitches are very fine and small.

The main advantage of Aari is that it is very small and so intricate embroidery is possible. Beads, sequins or small spirals of gold or silver wire may also be used in between to add sparkle to the work. The whole process is done very fast, while maintaining perfect tension of the thread. Several artisans may work on a single piece together. This relieves the tedium of a big piece of work, which may take a month to finish. It also allows slightly less experienced artisans to learn by working on the borders and less intricate motifs.

After the embroidery, the thread is beaten down or flattened using a wooden mallet from the top, with a hand held wooden anvil placed under the fabric. This settles the thread and gives the work a fuller and finished look. This process is only for zari work.

Other adornments

Aari work also involves the use of beads and a special needle known as muthia, which is similar to a crochet needle. Muthia is used for zardozi work, in which kallavattu, sitara (sequins), moti (pearl), salma are trapped. Some main varieties of this work are Dabka, Salma, Nakshi, Aara and Gota.

The work of the Aari craftsman ends here. The process of converting this piece of work into a finished product is done by other units. For making a garment, the fabric is sent to a tailoring unit or in the case of a sari or scarf it may need edging or surface finishing.

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.

Buy Aari work sarees online

There is a whole new line of lush soft Bhagalpuri Tussar silks in pastel colors with light booti prints (mainly mango) on the field of the saree. Contrast color borders with designs and bootis in aari work look splendid, while the pallu is designer magic with a variety of prints interspersed with aari embroidered motifs in a plethora of colors.

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Unnati silks, largest ethnic Indian shop online provides for you to buy online Aari work saris with matching blouse for sale. Online shopping store with the widest range of ethnic Indian Sarees online and Salwar Kameez online. At Unnati Silks, you can buy Aari work sari online from the exclusive range of saris - a unique, fancy, exclusive collection of Traditional, Wedding, bridal attire, stylish, party, trendy fashion, formal, corporate, office, daily casual saris in pure silk sarees, pure cotton sarees, sico sarees, art silk georgette sarees, designer chiffon sarees, dupion silk sarees, wedding tussar silk sarees, organza sarees, designer crepe silk sarees, gicha sarees, jute sarees and other fabric varieties at attractive prices.

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