Zardozi embroidered mojari shoes is form of embroidery that came to India from Persia. Its literal translation, “zar” meaning gold and “dozi” meaning embroidery, refers to the process of using metallic-bound threads to sew embellishment on to various fabrics. This heavy and intricate style of design is said to have been brought to India with the Mughal conquerors.
It found a base with thousands of artisans who have passed on this trade among their families and local communities. While the Indian city of Lucknow became a major center for this art form, its exact origin is unknown. However, there are many romanticized stories that surround its origin. Till date there are numerous micro enterprises that specialize in Lucknow zardozi. It is particularly popular in countries like Iran, Pakistan and India.
Zardozi (embroidered mojari shoes) is a style of embroidery that has its earliest mentions in Vedic literatures, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. The original process, known as “Kalabatun”, used silk threads wrapped in real gold and silver wires to decorate satin and velvet fabrics. Along with the threads, other opulent embellishments such as sequins, beads, precious and semi-precious stones and pearls were also sewn on. At its peak, as well as on accessories for elephants and horses.
Lucknow became a central hub for this embroidery technique during Aurangzeb’s reign in the 12th Century, when this imperial art form was encouraged under ruling Mughal beneficiaries. However, Lucknow remained the main center of production due to the high demand from the city of Nawabs. However, over time, with the rise of gold and silver prices, the use of such expensive materials became difficult and artisans resolved to use synthetic threads or copper wires polished in gold and silver. In doing so, Zardozi was commercialized as a technique, though some of the glory of the traditional heritage of this craft was lost.
Why people Choose Zardozi?
Zardozi is a type of heavy and elaborate metal embroidery on a silk, satin, or velvet fabric base. Designs are often created using gold and silver threads and can incorporate pearls, beads, and precious stones.
The metallic wires form the design and needle and thread are employed merely to sew the elements on to the fabric. Laid-stitch, back stitch, couching chain stitch, running stitch and satin stitch are also employed in these exquisite embroideries. Zardozi usually features geometric shapes along with floral designs.