Lucknow has achieved the feat of being a city that scores well on four pertinent C’s: Culture, Cuisine, Craft and Creativity. Lucknow has garnered attention for being a city that has been either the hometown or thriving ground for a number of factors, be it the sophisticated culture, the craft of Chikankari and Zardozi, the delicious Kebabs from the awadhi cuisine, or the several talented celebrities from the city in the world of arts and creativity.
One such widely recognized craftsmanship of the city is the beautiful Zardozi work that has been a part of the creative Lucknow since ages. The art has brought laurels to the city and has been a major source of livelihood for a large number of craftsmen engaged in Zardozi for innumerable generations.
Zardozi is not just a metallic embellishment done on textile; it represents an art form that involves a great deal of expertise, hard work, skill and takes a lot of time to complete. Zardozi is an old craft that has stayed alive even in the present times of fast changing fashion and trends. When survival in the market is difficult owing to stiff competition and changing tastes and preferences of buyers, Zardozi still continues to allure people who are looking for classic and striking embellishment for their clothes. The designs and works not only add to the appearance of the fabric but takes it to another level by making a simple piece of cloth look exclusive and exquisite. To know more about Zardozi and its close connect with the city of Nawabs, continue reading this vivid description on Zardozi.
History of Zardozi
The origination of Zardozi dates back to the 12th century when the Turko-Afghan sultans introduced the craft. The art form received Mughal support and it flourished to reach the pinnacle in the 17th century during the reign of the Mughal ruler Akbar. Zardozi became the preferred art form of the Mughals and the ruling class of the society.
The exquisite art form faced decline in the early 18th century owing to the loss of royal backing and the advent of industrialization. But, Zardozi regained its lost status post-Independence, when the Governments and various voluntary groups undertook efforts to revive the craft, especially in Lucknow.
Zardozi and the Lucknow connect
Lucknow is a city that still enjoys the royal charm that the Mughals and the Nawabs left behind. It would not be difficult to comprehend the Zardozi connect with the city that always took pride in creating and appreciating beauty in clothing designed for its royal lineages. Zardozi involved embroidery on the fabrics with gold, silver, crystals, gems and all the expensive materials, which were worn by the Kings, Nawabs and the members of the royal families. The craft found a strong foothold in the city of Nawabs due to the patronising by the royal classes. The people of Lucknow tend to be hugely influenced with the classy and royal taste of the Nawabs when it comes to fashion. The trend continues till today with big Bollywood personalities and fashion designers embellishing their attires with the exquisite Zardozi work.
The craft garners a lot of attention during the wedding season in the city when the bridal lehangas, sarees and Shalwar suits are adorned with the beautiful Zardozi work. Zardozi, when done with Dabka – another form of handicraft work, is said to be native to the Lucknow city. It enhances the beauty of the attire and makes it look exclusive and exquisite.
The connect gets more profound
The connect between the city of Nawabs and Zardozi got cemented with the Lucknow Zardozi acquiring Geographical Indication registration under the Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) in 2013. Now the Zardozi of Lucknow and other six neighbouring districts have achieved the feat of becoming a Brand. The Zardozi work can now carry the logo to validate the authenticity of being the original Zardozi work of Lucknow and the surrounding region. The move has come as a big stimulus to the morale of the artisans who now see better recognition of their skill with improved monetary benefits. The GI status has made Zardozi a part of the identity of Lucknow city.
Lucknow city has been recognized as a place where creativity is a culture that has been thriving since centuries. Zardozi art is also a part of the very same creative facet of Lucknow. The craft, which is replete with beauty and royalty, has added to the classic charm of the city of Nawabs. Zardozi, being exquisite embroidery for textile, has also acted as an embellishment for the pride of the Lucknow city.