Powder Zari

May 27, 2017

Powder zari


If you have been to the shop in search of a silk saree lately, you may have had an attendant talk to you about the type of zari that a saree is made from. Technically, there are different varieties of zari, with the main ones being real zari, imitation zari, and powder zari.  Zari work is a process that involves weaving gold or silver threads into different intricate designs and patterns.  The threads that create the patterns are woven into fabrics and are made primarily out of silk.  The embroidery process that forms the zari is also known as kalabattu.

Powder zari is produced in the same way as tested zari, whereby, instead of gold gliding, powder gliding is done. For that reason, instead of weaving the actual gold silk threads into the fabric, artificial gold glitter powder is superimposed on the fabric. When powder zari is brand new, it has the same appearance, luster, and brilliance of real zari. However, after continued use, the powder begins to fade after the fabric endures a few cycles of washing. Powder zari is a great alternative when one cannot afford the more expensive varieties of real zari because it is quite inexpensive and is mostly applied on rayon fabrics.

Taking care of zari

Since powder zari is prone to damage with regular usage, it helps to go the extra mile when handling sarees that are made out of powder zari.  Here are some tips to help you take care of powder zari:

  1. If you can, try not to wash your saree after every use.  Since the garment is delicate, you can take some small steps in your daily routine to ensure that the fabric lasts as long as possible. For instance, always check that your sitting area is free of any sharp or metallic objects. Additionally, always wipe down your sitting area to prevent your saree from getting dirty.
  2. When ironing sarees that are made out of powder zari, it is advisable to keep the iron box settings on low heat.  When ironing, you should keep a soft cloth over the fabric to maintain the glitter and the shimmer of the fabric.
  3. If you have a special saree made out of powder zari that you store away for special occasions, take it out of storage every four to six months and let it rest out in mild sunlight before returning it to storage. This will maintain the glitter and shine of the fabric.