Deciphering Zari Types in Sarees: Your Essential Buying Guide
by Kunal Maurya on Jan 29, 2024
Unraveling the Golden Threads: The Art of Zari in Varanasi
Varanasi, a city woven with cultural and historical richness, is also the home of the exquisite Zari textile craft. Zari is a traditional form of weaving that uses fine threads, often made from precious metals, to create intricate patterns on fabric. Shyam Sunder Jaiswal, a connoisseur of Zari from Jhingan Sahu Zari Manufacturers, reveals the types of Zari prevalent in Varanasi’s fabric lexicon.
The Varied Faces of Zari
Real Zari: The epitome of luxury, Real Zari consists of threads made from 98% silver, which is then plated with 24-karat gold, denoted chemically as Au. The base yarn, which can be either silk or cotton, affects the price of the Real Zari. Silk, being a protein fiber with a chemical composition of fibroin, adds to the Zari’s value, while cotton, composed of cellulose, provides a more economical base.
Semi-Real Zari: A clever blend of tradition and economics, Semi-Real Zari uses threads made from 96% copper (Cu) and 4% silver. The threads are subsequently electroplated with real gold, mimicking the luster of Real Zari at a more affordable cost.
Tested Zari (Powder Zari): Powder Zari is a more cost-effective alternative, made from 98% copper and a mere 2% silver. The golden hue comes not from gold but from a solvent-based lacquer, giving the threads their characteristic shine without the use of precious metals.
Zari Types and Saree Pricing: A Comparative Overview
|Type of Zari
|Base Metal Composition
|Core Yarn Material
|Starting Price Range of Saree
|Silk or Cotton
|96% Copper, 4% Silver
|Silk or Cotton
|Tested Zari (Powder Zari)
|98% Copper, 2% Silver
|Lacquer for Golden Hue
The Kasauti Test
A fascinating aspect of Zari is its authenticity, which can be verified using a Kasauti Stone, a touchstone used to test the purity of gold. When rubbed against the stone, Real Zari will leave a gold streak, confirming its quality and composition, while Powder Zari will not.
This section of the blog post has been tailored to reflect the precise content shared by Shyam Sunder Jaiswal, offering a deeper look into the materials and methods of Zari making in Varanasi. The distinctions between the various types of Zari highlight the blend of craftsmanship and science that goes into creating these magnificent threads.
To witness the fascinating journey of Zari making in Varanasi and hear the insights from a master craftsman, watch the full video here.
Video 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8aeMP7H-fQ
Video 2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpxR9tc-aus