After weaving a full length saree, it is further decorated with various sorts of embroidery. Resham work is one such embroidery done with colored silk thread. They are intricate designs embroidered on the saree giving it a grand look. Zardozi is another kind of heavy embroidery using gold and silver threads. Sometimes pearls and precious stones are used in this kind of embroidery. This makes the saree very heavy and expensive. There is a cheaper alternative of the same, where synthetic metallic thread and imitation stones such as fake pearls and local crystals are used.
In this machine age, sarees are increasingly woven on mechanical looms and made of artificial fibers, such as polyester, nylon or rayon. These sarees do not require starching or ironing. They are maintenance free sarees matching the jet age. These sarees are printed by machine, or woven in simple patterns made with floats across the back of the saree. One can create an elaborate appearance on the front, while the back of the saree looks uneven and ugly. The punchra work is imitated with inexpensive machine-made tassel trim and is a cheap imitation.
Hand decorated sarees compliment hand woven sarees and naturally is much more expensive than the machine made imitations. While the over-all market for hand weaving has plummeted, leading to much distress among Indian hand weavers, hand woven sarees are still popular for weddings and other grand social occasions. All Indian brides love to have a hand woven and decorated saree in her trousseau.