Chikankari Dresses - a Traditional Art Form

Chikankari Dresses - a Traditional Art Form

The chikankari dresses work resembles that of chikankari, a white embroidery work that uses herringbone stitches on the back of the fabric to create the design, resulting in a nice shade on the face of the fabric.


What is the difference between shadow work and chikankari?

Where herringbone sticks are mostly used in shadow work, cut along with some other sutures, chikan work is a combination of several different embroidery stitches, flat, raised and knot stitches. In chicken work, some designs work from behind the fabric and others from the front.

Where is this technique used?

Delicately worked chikankari designs were engraved on the finest fabrics of cotton mulmul (muslin) during the Mughal period, and had value and value for its aesthetics. At that time it was greatly encouraged to make it one of the most popular embroidery techniques in India and which remains to this day. This embroidery technique is popularly used for beautiful kurtas and sarees and even home decoration items.

What stitches are used in chikankari dresses?

Chikankari has flourished because of its stitches and its diversity in design. There are 10 main stitches made of raw skeleton of thread and employed. There are another 26 or more, making 36 different stitches that decorate with chikankari.

.Herringbone sewing
.Fishbone stitch
.Chain stitching is used to outline the leaves and petals, especially when they are attached within their patterns.
.Running stitch, the most common stitch that is worked to the right of the fabric
.Couching running stitch
.A combination of buttonhole stitch and satin stitch
.Stem stitch
.Separate chain stitch
.Satin stitch
.Double back stitch
.Thread work
.Romanian tailoring
.Shadow Stitch - Here the thread work is done on the backside so that its outline and color tints can be seen on the front of the fabric.
.Various knot stitches used to make vines of flowers and grapes
.Separated eyelet stitch - used to design the heart of a flower


What clothes or dresses are suitable for chikankari work on them?

Chikankari creates an astonishing effect on the sheer fabric for the effect it gives it. But chikankari is not prohibited. You can do chicken work on any type of fabric, but most of the sheer fabric is preferred for the shadow effect they give. They are mostly made on muslin cotton, cambric, muslin, voil, organa, silk, crepe, organi chiffon and tasar. When this work is done on the net it gives a look as if it is absolutely stunning.

How does one become skilled in the art of chikankari work and how long does it take to acquire the appropriate skills?

A chikanakar or one, who is skilled in chikankari, undergoes training for about 10 years to learn complex art and after training takes about 15 days to complete his work on the ensemble.

Where did chikankari originate?

It is believed to be more than four centuries old, and has its roots in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Whether or not it originated during the Mughal rule, one can certainly find its encouragement and flourish during that period, which embellishes all the nature of clothing. The clothes during the Mughal period were usually soft muslin and muslin cotton and chikankari was used with exquisite floral designs. Special mention is made by historians that Nur Jahan, wife of Emperor Jahangir, played an important role in creating an atmosphere for the spread of this art during the reign of the emperor.

In which part of India can we get chikankari dresses today?

Chikankari has its base in Lucknow and hence they practiced there. However, it has spread to places like Delhi, Jaipur, West Bengal and Hyderabad as an art of decorating clothes all over India.

Is chikankari limited to muslin and fine muslin cotton cloth and only done in white?

Chikankari was of course initially used only in white thread on fabrics such as muslin, silk, etc. As time went on, colored threads were also introduced and other fabrics such as chiffon, georgette and art silks were also worked on.

What is the special topic on chikankari clothing?

There is hardly any garment with Lucknow Chikan work that does not have floral patterns or motifs. This is a strong influence of Persian aesthetics on this craft, due to which floral embellishments on clothes.

How is chikankari done?

Lucknow chikankari technique is easily broken into 2 parts; Pre and post preparation stages. Sewing is done at the stage of embroidery.


Chikankari Trivia

  1. Lucknow Chikan embroidery is a highly time consuming and efficient task for which the artisans can be trained for 20 years.
  2. Depending on the intensity and size of the pattern of the piece, the embroidery process may take only 10 days to complete.
  3. Ustad Fayyaz Khanand Hasan Mirza Saheb is two of the most famous chicken artisans in Lucknow and has mentioned many students under him.
  4. In December 2008, the Geographical Indication Registry gave Lucknow chicken GI status.
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