The intricate art of zardozi in Agra done on velvet is said to have been introduced by the Portuguese. Zardozi, which is a persian word- zar meaning gold and work is dozi– is a craft where wire purls, beads, sequins and spangles are couched on to the fabric with a needle. It is an immensely glittering and heavily encrusted embroidery. Zari ka kaam on the other hand is a chain stitch done at a fast pace using zari and silk with a fine hooked needle called ari. It is also known as haathari, ari kaam and fancy kaam. Traditinal items such as purses, handbags, jewellery boxes, caps, jackets, slippers as well as contemporary pieces such as lehenga-choli/gathered skirt and blouse and sari are crafted by the artisans.
Tools such as a rectangular wooden frame called karchob, butter paper stencil/khakha, hooked needle/ari and hammer to flatten the wire embroidery are needed for the process.