Textiles woven with warp yarns in silk and the weft in zari, are commonly referred to as Tissue in the Indian handloom vocabulary. Such fabrics are diaphanous and light weight, with a rich reflective quality, lending themselves to sinuous drapes despite an often use of heavy brocading on them. Like many other well known traditions of Banaras, the origin of Tissue here is obscure; the word stands for textiles in French, and it is possible that its emergence was a part of the broad influence of European fabrics on Indian handlooms in the late 19th to early 20th century.
Aab-e-Zar literally means liquid gold in Urdu, and Swati & Sunaina Gold’s version of the Tissue with heavy, brocaded borders inspired by the art of Hashiya —decorative hand painted borders on Persian and Mughal miniature paintings — was one of the brand’s most challenging collections. Several years of sampling led to the desired scale and precision of motifs envisioned by the designers. Rendered in pure zari, the quality of tissue matches those of historical samples.