Once you hear the term “Chikankari”, it’s obvious to think about beautiful patterns being embroidered on colorful fabrics. Well, if you have heard about the “Chikan” in clothing, you must know it’s originally from Lucknow.
The rich heritage and culture of the city of Nawabs have made its chikankari a popular term throughout the world. Not only Indians but famous celebs from across the globe are familiar with the beautiful designs of chikankari clothing.
What’s so unique about Chikankari?
The work of chikankari design is eye-catching as it’s very different from any other type of fabric work. Originally, it was introduced by the wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, named Noor Jahan, in the 16th Century.
As you look at the design of Chikankari, you’ll notice how clean and beautiful patterns are assembled in a way to form lovely work. The designs are primarily leaves, flowers and other motifs that look elegantly beautiful in their complete form.
Apart from clothing, you can also come across furnishing and other objects that have been encrypted with beautiful chikankari designs. After all, it’s a mesmerizing pattern that attracts people with its elegance and its tough history and culture.
Read Also: White Chikankari: The Traditional Approach
Steps of Making Chikankari Designs
The making process of Chikankari designs on kurtas and suits includes a lot of work. It’s obvious that every step is unique in its way as it brings in India’s rich culture and heritage. In addition, the artisans involved in the incredible work of Chikankari have been doing this for several years.
Here are the steps of making Chikankari designing –
- Choosing the Fabric: The first step of designing a Chikankari kurta, dress or saree is choosing the fabric. Majorly, the work of Chikankari looks elegant on georgette, cotton, silk, cotton blend, rayon and similar fabrics.
- Styling & Cutting Material: Once the fabric has been selected, it’s time to cut and style it accordingly. It’s always reliable to cut the garment and then go for design to help with the stitching part.
- Patterns & Design with Wooden Blocks: The best thing about Chikankari work is the block printing that gives an outline on which the stitches would be embroidered. Technically, the wooden blocks that give the design are floral, leaves, borders, and small bootis.
- Use of Needle Craft and Stitches: After you get an imprint of the design that needs to be created on the fabric, the real works begin. The artisans use their skilful technique to apply the needlecraft work in creating beautiful designs. The local artisans use the terms such as – bakhiya, phanda, and pechni to identify the design of different chikan embroidery.
- Getting Off the Residue: Once all the stitches and needlework is feasible, the fabric is further soaked in water to remove the residue of the ink. It is mainly to remove the block printing ink, which is temporary on the fabric. Furthermore, it gives the fabric a newness and later, it’s transferred for finishing and ironing work.
Going for Quality Check
Though it doesn’t come under the making process of Chikankari kurtas or dresses, a quality check is a really important step. It helps us to know if everything falls right in place and if there’s any defect in the fabric or its needlework, we exclude it from the selling part. Moreover, if the final product passes our quality test, then only it’s going for the selling and shipment process.
Check Also: Handcraft Vs. Machine Embroidery
How is Chikankari influencing cultures?
Traditionally, the art of Chikan embroidery was beautiful with white thread on white cotton fabric. Later, with years, it blended with colours and gave a more modern approach per the demand of time. Currently, with western culture influencing the youth, you can also come across a fusion between Western and Indian styles of clothing.
While some choose to keep it simple, others mix it with a different piece of clothing. Needless to say, fashion is evolving, and so is the current trend of wearing apparel. That’s also remarkable to say that cultures are blending in so smoothly with the modern approach to technology and innovation. Thus, Lucknow Chikankari is the best one that you can get in the market.