Aari zardozi is purely a hand embroidery that involves the decoration of fabric with needle, colourful yarn, pearls, beads, quills and sequins etc. The passion of hand embroidery led to great experimentation with numerous styles and designs. The actual zardozi embroidery was done with pure thin gold and silver wires. In ancient times artisans were using real gold thread for embroidering the fabric. There are three types of zari such as real zari which is made of real gold and silver, imitation zari made of silver coated copper wire and metallic zari that is made of polyester metallised film. Now these gold and silver wires are replaced with silk threads but the art remains the same. Aari Zardozi work involves the application of an aplenty of beads using needle which is shaped like a hook at the tip.
The tools consist of Aari hooks, round wooden frame, silk threads, sequin beads and basic cloth. Initially the plain fabric that has to be embroidered is framed tightly to the round wooden frame. Most of the artisans prefers silk or locally made satin (gajji) and cotton velvet for Aari Zardozi according to the requirement and the purpose. Once this has been done, the required patterns or designs are created directly on the fabric with the tailor’s chalk. At the beginning artisan starts with the usual Aari chain stitch. Aari zardozi stitches are done by holding the thread with a finger at the reverse of the framed fabric and Aari hook, a sharp pointed awl-like needle, is held on the top. Artisan starts embroidering the outline of the design and then Aari hook is pierced through the cloth to pull up the thread from the backside of the framed cloth to tighten the previous stitch. Different varieties of hooks are used to embroider the fabric according to the design and thickness of the cloth. These stitches are much similar to the cobbler’s stitch and the process of embroidering is repeated until the required design is formed on the surface of the fabric. Finally sequin beads are stitched by picking the beads using aari hook and then stitched to enrich the artwork.