Sehyr Saigol Fashion

Zardozi Robe

This is a Yorkshire World Collections object, one of 100 chosen by young people aged 16-24, as part of the London Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World.

Zardozi Robe designed by Pakistan fashion designer Sehyr Saigol.

The word Zardozi is made up of two Persian words, Zar meaning gold and Dozi meaning embroidery. A Persian embroidery form, Zardosi attained its summit in the 17th Century, under the patronage of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Under the later rule of Aurangzeb, this patronage stopped and led to a decline of the craft. Since the cost was high and raw materials quite rare, craftsmen could not carry on with the embroidery on their own.

Modern Zardozi embroidery uses gold and silver thread, and sometimes pearls and precious stones. Cheaper modern versions of Zardozi use synthetic metallic thread and imitation stones, such as fake pearls and crystals.

Embroider the world is a My Learning resource that could be used in conjunction with this.

Discussion Ideas:

  • How have different cultures influenced different embroidery techniques and their application?
  • On what occasions do you think Zardozi robes would be worn?
  • Do you think there is a European equivalent garment to the Zardozi robe, if so what would that be?
  • If you do not think there is a European equivalent, why do you think that is? 
  • If you were a fashion dsigner in Pakistan would you want or need to be known in European fashion houses?
  • What is it that makes a successful fashion designer?

Document icon Learning article provided by: Cartwright Hall Art Gallery | 
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