This is one of my old posts but as I started a piece of work with beads a while ago, I relived the experience.The embroidery done on silk, satin or chiffon with zari threads and beads is known as Zardosi. Zardosi work is done by laying the gold threads over the material and embroidered with a hook needle The stitch is like chain stitch. A taught thread is held from under and Zardosi threads or the beads are layered on top of the fabrics and the under thread is pulled on top using the hook which forms it into a knot.
Zardosi artisans sit on the floor behind the wooden equipment. The piece of cloths held taut with two long pieces of wood and thread to enable him to work easily. This frame is used to keep the cloth in place so that the material is stiff while doing the embroidery .Zardosi work requires lot of patience and skill that is the reason it is costlier than any other garments. Every needle is numbered on basis of fineness.
Zardosi design is charged as per the design and the material used for handwork or embroidery. They use variety of material zari, sequence, coree beeds, or the shiny stones. The material is also varies from quality to quality.
The design is being transferred on the fabrics by various methods. kerosene is rubbed on the design which is copied on a butter paper by needle punching and smeared with Zinc powder, burnt paper soot or colored powder. All these will easily wash off the cloth when the garment is ready.
While holidaying in India in Mangalore a year ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with these artisans. They belong to the northern part of the country but move around and settle in different cities seeking job.