The city of Nawabs, present-day Lucknow, has been the thriving place of various art forms and cuisines. The art of Chikankari is the best example.
Famous for chicken biryani and kebabs, Lucknow offers one of the best lip-smacking chicken dishes in India. While you can get chicken in other parts of India, there is ‘chikan’ exclusive to Lucknow.
Recognized as an exclusive hub of Chikankari, Lucknow offers arguably the world’s best hand-embroidered fabrics and garments. The word ‘chikan’ comes from the Turkish word ‘Chikh’ meaning perforation. Chikankari is the art of creating a mesh, through which light and air can pass. Thus chikan dresses remain a favourite choice for summers. Chikankari is an intricate needlework embroidery on fabric with different types of stitches.
Origin of Chikankari
There are several interesting stories related to the origin of Chikankari. It is said that Noor Jahan, Queen of King Jahangir introduced this Persian art in the 17th century.
Another story says that a traveller while passing by a village in Lucknow, asked a poor peasant for water. In return for the hospitality and love he received, he taught him the art of Chikankari, so that he would never remain hungry in life and could earn a living.
Flat stitches, jali work and various other stitches are used in the Chikankari work of Lucknow. Indian Chikan’s work basically consists of a series of processes. A motif is designed. A block is made and intricate designs are carved. The designs are then stamped on fabric, over which embroidery is done. Afterwards, the fabric is stitched, washed and finished to be used.
The centuries-old art of Chikan’s work has been a sensation even among the actors in the Indian film industry. From a style of embroidery that was generally done for garments, Chikankari embroidery has now spread to table cloths, pillows and cushion covers.
I hope, you find this piece of article informative.
Happy eating, happy wearing!