Chikankari – All You Need To Know About This Masterpiece Fabric
Originated from the city Nawabs (Lucknow) and introduced by Noor Jahan (the wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir), Chikankari is still the most demanded piece of work for its intricate and shadow-work type embroidery. The word Chikankari was derived from the Persian word Chakin, which refers to delicate designs on fabric. This delicate embroidery used to be done on colorless muslin cloths during the Mughal era, but now it can be seen on different colors and kinds of fabric such as Georgette, Chiffon, Malmal, Muslin, Cambric and Cotton. It is also known as ‘Shadow Work’ due to the delicate embroidery done by needlework at the back of the fabric that forms a shadow at the front.
The Chikankari work involves several steps that is cutting, designing, engraving, printing, embroidery, washing and finishing.
1. Block printing - When the fabric gets cut and the design gets finalized, it undergoes block printing by expert block makers who carve blocks according to the design, then it is dipped in the dye and printed on the fabric.
2. Embroidery - Then, the embroidery is done in these printed designs, which is the most effort- taking step.
3. Washing - And when the embroidery is done, the fabric is washed to remove any ink mark or dye left on the fabric and final finishing takes place.
It is a long process of hard work of many people involved in creating the art of Chikankari, which takes months. The embroidery process itself takes ten days to be completed on a piece of fabric. It is time-consuming and highly skilled work and requires ten years to learn this skill and be an expert.
It can be worn as both casual and formal wear as it looks elegant in both. The simple yet delicate embroidery on a Chikankari Kurta never goes wrong for a casual hangout or event with simple bottoms, and the same Kurta with Chikankari Dupatta can be perfect for formal wedding events. In simple words, Chikankari can never go wrong as it is always in fashion and looks elegant.
Chikankari is not about making stitches in the fabric. Even the stitches are also different types used to make different designs and patterns. Some of them are:
Tepchi: Tepchi is a long-running and simplest form of stitching and is usually used to form the outline of the motifs.
Murri: they are like rice-shaped stitches.
Jaali: jaali is an intricate art that needs expertise as the buttonhole stitches are formed, and the thread does not pass through the fabric.
Zanzeera: these are the delicate stitches formed to highlight the borders of the design.
Hool: this is the detached eyelet stitch and is used to make the heart of the flower, as, in this, the hole gets punched, and the thread gets separated.
Embossed stitches: it requires a lot of hard work due to the intricate design made by highlighting the fabric.
Rahet: it is also called Dohra Bakhiya and forms double lining and outline stitches.
As the Chikankari is Persian-oriented, it usually has designs and motifs of florals and leaves. Back in the days, there used to be only Chikankari clothes such as Saris, Lehengas, Shirts, Dupattas, but now it is seen on bed sheets, sofa covers, cushions, curtains, etc.
Chikankari may be an old form of art, but it still has the charm and legacy that depicts the hard work of the artisans involved in every stitch on the fabric.
We at Tahiliya have employed the most deep-rooted craftsmen of Lucknow, who have decades of experience of producing these highly intricate masterpieces of Chikankari clothing. And as always, since we keep our customers as our top priority, our quality is never compromised in anything that we make, all the while keeping our prices extremely reasonable.
So what are you waiting for? Shop from our latest Chikankari collection now!