Zari is available in two types, copper zari which is a cotton thread twirled with copper wire and wrapped in gold foil, and silver zari, which is a silver wire with cotton thread coated with gold foil. The copper zari is cheaper and easier to weave and hence preferred over the silver zari. The market rate of zari varies everyday with copper zari costing around Rs. 2000 to Rs. 4000 per kilo based on the percentage of gold used, and silver zari costing Rs. 5000 to Rs. 6000 per kilo; each saree requires arounf 100 to 250 grams of zari.
Silver zari was traditionally used twirled with saffron or yellow cotton thread. The silver used was often mixed with zinc to impart strength and then coated with gold. Historically, embroidery of the kath-padar is done by a combination of gold and silver zari.
The proportion of gold and silver is approximately one is to five to achieve the required strength of the zari. The ratio of silver to gold in the zari varies and the names of the saree evolved from these variations.
As gold is measured in masa the names of the saree are described as chouda masi, bara masi and athara masi or eksheri, pavsheri or tinsheri, etc., denoting the amount of gold used. A shera is roughly hundred grams of zari.