Hindi Krafts

Everything you need to know about the delicate art of

Chikankari Embroidery

What is Chikankari?

Chikankari is a customary weaving style from Lucknow, India.
On translation, the word implies weaving, and it is one of Lucknow’s most popular material enhancement styles.
The market for regional Chikan is predominantly in Chowk, Lucknow.

Chikankari is fundamentally similar to Shadow work, a white weaving work that utilizes herringbone lines on the rear of the texture to fill structures, bringing about a fine shadow on the essence of the texture.

Is it the same as shadow work?

Where shadow work utilizes generally herringbone stitch with some different stitches, Chikan work is a blend of various weaving lines, level, raised and tie lines.
In Chikan work, a portion of the structures is worked from the rear of the texture and others from the front. 

The Origin

There are references to weaving like Chikan work in India as right on time as third century BC by Megasthenes, who referenced utilization of bloomed muslins by Indians.

In any case, these weaved designs come up short on any shading, ornamentation or anything awesome to decorate it.

Chikankari started from the white-on-white embroidery of Shiraz came to India as an element of the religion of Persian aristocrats at the Mughal court.

There is additionally a story that refers to how an explorer instructed Chikan to a worker consequently of water to drink.

The most mainstream source story credits Noor Jahan, Mughal sovereign and spouse of Jahangir, with acquainting Chikankari with India. Chikan started as a sort of white-on-white (or whitework) weaving.

The Technique Used

The procedure of production of a Chikan work is known as Chikankari.

Chikan is a fragile and smartly done hand weaving on an assortment of material texture like muslin, silk, chiffon, organza, net, and so forth.

White thread is used on cool and pastel colours of light muslin and cotton clothing.

These days Chikan weaving is likewise finished with hued and silk threads in hues to meet the style patterns and stay up with the latest.

Lucknow is the core of the Chikankari business today and the assortment is known as Lucknawi Chikan. 

Chikan work has constantly been modified with additional embellishments which gives it a rich look.

Chikan embroidery is mostly performed on light fabrics such as cotton, pure georgette semi-Georgette, crepe, chiffon, silk and many more.

The requirement of light fabric is because the weaving needle does not tend to penetrate in hard fabrics. 


The work starts with one to three blocks.

These are utilized to block print an illustration on the ground texture.

The embroiderer stitches the design, and the completed portion is deliberately washed to expel all hints of the printed design.

The procedure of Chikankari incorporates block printing, embroidery and washing.

The Process

Block Printing – The underlying stage where the layout is settled on the fabric of decision.

The fabric is cut as per the garment.

It will generate as well as utilize numerous wooden block stamps so that patterns can be stamped in blue ink on to the texture. 


Embroidery – This texture is firmly fixed inside ‘Adda’ which is a little casting performed section by section.

The needlework is done on the layout of the illustrations.

The talented specialist picks his fasten dependent on the district, the sort and size of themes. 



Washing – Once the weaving has been finished, the texture absorbs the water to dismiss the sample plots.

Post this, the correct solidness is accomplished relying upon the texture.

Featured in Bollywood

The 1986 Indian movie Anjuman featuring Shabana Azmi and Farooque Shaikh is set in Lucknow and talks about the issues of Chikan labourers.

Farooque Shaikh was so enchanted by this texture and style that he wore Chikan for his entire life and came to be distinguished as a brand envoy of kinds of Lakhnavi Chikankari.

The Specifications

Fabric specifications 

Chikankari produces staggering consequences for sheer textures for the shadowy impact that it gives.

In any case, Chikankari isn’t limited.

You can accomplish Chikan take a shot at any sort of texture however for the most part sheer texture is favoured for the shadow impact they give.

Malmal cotton, muslin, organza, silk, crepe, and organdy chiffon, are the most utilized fabrics.

At the point when this work is done on the net, it gives a ribbon-like look which is dazzling. 

Cloth specifications 

Chikankari was certainly polished on textures like muslin, silk and so on at first just in white thread.

As time passed by, shaded threads were likewise presented and done on different textures like chiffon, georgette and craftsmanship silks too. 

Who is known as a Chikankari expert?

A Chikankar or one who gets expert in Chikankari trains for around 10 years to get familiar with the mind-boggling workmanship and in the wake of preparing takes around 15 days to complete his work on an outfit. 

The Chikankari Hub

Chikankari has its base in Lucknow and thus rehearsed there.

Expansion took place in Delhi, Jaipur, West Bengal as well as Hyderabad in the form of workmanship. 

Although Lucknow was and still remains the main hub. 

The Theme

There is not even a single article of clothing with Lucknow Chikan work that does not have flower illustrations or themes.

It is a solid impact of Persian style on this speciality that has prompted botanical enhancement on textures.

How can it be maintained?

Lucknow Chikan weaving ought to preferably be laundered, however, this relies more upon the texture than the work.

A few fabrics, for example, silk, are sent to laundry yet others, for example, cotton, can easily be hand washed. 

The Gist

  • Lucknow Chikan has been prepared for at least 20 years.
  • The embroidery involves a lot of time and expertise.
  • Contingent upon the complication of the pattern multifaceted nature as well as the  dimensions of the piece, the weaving procedure can itself take at least 10 days to get completed. 
  • Ustad Faiyaaz Khan and Hasan Mirza Saheb are among the most famous Chikan craftsmen who have also coached numerous learners under them.
  • In December 2008 the GI status was provided to Chikandari. This led to Lucknow being recognized as the independent centre of Chikankari.

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