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Khari Work – Adorning Fabrics Through Powdered Shine

By Expert Author: menaka poonam

Khari work is one of the newer forms of adornment for silk and cotton fabrics and considered to be fashionable. Chamki work was once upon a time meant to adorn only special occasion apparel like wedding sarees, Odhnis (head scarves) and turbans. Today it is also one of the adorning features for fabrics especially sarees and considered fashionable.
Earlier gold and silver dust was used. Today crushed mica and metallic powders are used.
Metal powders with gold and silver as base are good for chamki work. Khadi work nowadays adorns all sorts of fabrics - plain cotton, silks, art silks and blends. Sarees are enhanced tremendously by chamki work on patch work and brocades, as also within designs on the fabric body.
Chamki work is done with a Sancha, a brass outer container of any shape round, square, rectangular or oblong into which a wooden mallet fits in snugly at the four corners. The design is perforated at the base of the brass outer.
Rogan paste is heated and poured in molten form into the brass container and the wooden mallet pressed to fit in correctly. The pressed molten paste comes out through the perforated design at the bottom. The Sancha is deftly pressed and removed so that the molten paste moves through the perforations onto the fabric and the design adheres to the fabric.
Immediately that it is removed the metallic shiny powder is sprinkled on the moist paste portion of the fabric. This causes it to adhere fast and is permanent. The excess powder is also removed carefully.
Motifs that are generally sought are phul, mogra, chandni, butti, mango, peacock, khaja (wheat flour sweet)
The market has lapped up sarees with chamki work eagerly owing to the novelty and appeal as a new kind of adornment. Some of the offerings are given below.

The charming pure crepe silk crimson half half saree has crimson floral self colour weave with mango buttis all over and black floral design on green setting, with exquisite khadi work patch border all round. The crimson half portion also incorporates the pallu. A striking combination that will mesmerize, it is a suitable choice for weddings and grand parties.
The nature fresh Kesar Milk Cream colour Chanderi cotton saree has leaves brilliantly adorning the fabric body. The zari coloured border all along enhances the look tremendously. The matching light brown coloured floral block design on the pallu completes the allure. A fresh breeze creation, this saree would work well for almost any occasion.

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