Zardozi is an ancient Persian art (Zar in Persian means gold and Dozi is embroidery) which has been passed down for many generations. It dates back before the Mughal empire, reaching its zenith under the patronage of Emperor Akbar in the 17th century. Zardozi adorned the costumes of the court, wall hanging, scabbards, regal side walls of tents and the rich trappings of elephants and horses. Intricate patterns traced in gold and silver, studded with seed pearls and precious stones enhanced the shimmering beauty of silk, velvet and brocade.
Zardozi is fashioned with a needle that resembles a very small crochet hook which is used to run up and down through the cloth, much like a sewing machine, while the cloth is pulled tightly over a large wooden frame. Zardozi has remained as an appliqué method of embroidery. With one hand the craftsman holds a retaining thread below the fabric. In the other he holds a hook or a needle with which he picks up the appliqué materials. Then he passes the needle or hook through the fabric. After days of painstaking labor, the result is an exquisite gold-veined work of art.
Zardozi Christmas tree decorations: