The Traditional Art Of Lucknowi Chikankari

One of the most asked for is the work of embroidery is in the country of India is Chikankari. It’s beautiful and exquisite patterns not only soothes the soul , but also in the scorching heat it gives a cooling effect very much required in the summer season. The varied designs are made using the untwisted white cotton or silk(or rayon) threads on the outside of the material on which embroidery is to be done. Since its beginning or to be more precise since its birth it has been a hot favorite among the people with class, people for whom style is a statement. The Lucknowi work has various types attached to it some of them are Taipchi, Bakhia, Phunda, Murri, Jaali, Hathkati, Pechni, Ghas Patti, Chana Patti etc.. Chikankari is a very subtle form and a time consuming art. Near about 10-15 days are required in making a garment. The delicacy and intricacy of the designs, the not ruining of the prototype that is very traditional and still followed, after centuries having passed since the creation of the art. The art of Chikankari is definitely much more expensive than machine embroidery, for the people with taste it is definitely an ultimate choice.



The art of Chikan is so old that different people have different people having assumptions regarding the unproved starting point. One good notion that is right to one’s belief is that Noorjahan, the beautiful queen of Emperor Jahangir introduced this form of embroidery in India. It is said that she was skilled at making embroidery patterns and Turkish embroidery inspired her. According to Megathenes , who was a Greek traveler , the art of Chikankari has its origins in West Bengal. He has also talked about that Chikan , which is mentioned as floral prints on fine muslin clothes. Whereas, the craftsman of the field are of the notion that its origin was there in the period of the Prophet. According to a folktale, the Prophet was passing by a village, he asked a man for water, who gave him water to quench his thirst. Being pleased by this act of the villager, he granted him the art of Chikankari, the villager used this art to earn his living and never was hungry throughout his life.

There are various patterns , which are made on the cloth with the art of Chikankari. Making, the chikan apparel absolutely inimitable piece of work. Although and in spite of the various patterns there is a common liking for three type of work in Chikan.

FLAT STICH (it involves subtle stitches that remains close to the fabric)

EMBOSSED STICH (it has a grainy look)

JALL WORK (created by thread tension to give a delicate net effect)

To prepare an outfit, the basic procedure involved is cutting, stitching, printing, embroidery, washing and finishing. The very first step involved is cutting where 20-50 pieces of garments is cut at a time, to avoid any kind of wastage of fabric. The next step is stitching which might be done for making exports or completing export orders, which is for expensive orders in comparison to the commercial orders, which are for cheaper items. The next step after this is printing which is done with the help of wooden blocks which is dipped in dyes like neel and safeda, this is washed of once the embroidery patterns are done on the cloth.

And then finally the cloth is embroidered by skillful hands and the craftsman so very skilled to put on cloth the traditional art of Chikankari. For the intricate patterns the very expert artisans with artistic finish  are relied . After all, the miraculous work is given a finishing touch which includes treatment, stiffening and ironing. So, all set to be sold. Wasn’t it an interesting tale about Chikankari. Did you know that.

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