Aari Embroidery

  • A pen like needle which resembles the shape of a crochet needle, gives rise to an intrinsic form of artwork called the ‘Aari work’.
  • In this artwork beads and ‘muthia’, a sharp edged needle is put to work, which creatively gives rise to chain stitch kind of imprints.
  • This work is popular for its delicate and finest threadwork which enhances the essence of hand embroidery.

Origin and History

  • Aari work traces out its emergence way back in the 12th century, which marked the rule of the Mughal emperors. Floral motifs, traditional designs and fascinated the Mughal royals during that period. This popularized and brought Aari work into the limelight. With time, places like Kutch, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Delhi  started recognizing the specialty of Aari embroidery, which marked the gradual popularity of Aari embroidery.

Present Day Scenario

  • Aari work has always been considered one of the most tedious  forms of needle work.  Today, with the help of advanced stitching procedures, and the role of more artisans, it takes lesser time to complete the embroidery work on an outfit.

Sources of Inspiration

  • Aari work began with a simple procedure of using a lead pencil to sketch the design on the fabric, after which a needle was put to use which pierced holes along the lines of the design. Then the threaded needle was inserted into the fabric, and when it came up, it emerged with a loop. Through this procedure, the fine stitched pattens led to the evolution of Aari work as an individual art form.


  • The fabric is first stretched over a frame to remove uneven, loose folds in the fabric texture. The frame comprises four wooden spars resting on wooden posts. Next, using thick cotton thread, the fabric is sewn on to the wooden frame. More often than not, Zari, Cotton or Silk threads are used in embroidery. One of the main features of Aari work is the fine embroidered patterns on the fabric. At times, artisans embellish the outfit or cloth with sequins, stone etc in between the embroidered patterns.

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