Chikankari, Chikan, Embroidery,Origin of Chikankari

Chikankari is a traditional embroidery style that originated in the city of Lucknow, India. Lucknow has been the hub of manufacturing exquisite and extraordinary Chikan craftmanship for over 200 years. There are many stories related to the origin of Chikankari and some are found to be as early as third century.

A traveller passing through a hamlet in Lucknow claimed to have asked water from  a poor farmer. Delighted with farmer's kindness ,the traveller taught him the skill of Chikankari, ensuring his livelihood in the future.

Some stories claim that this artistic technique of hand embroidery was brought to Lucknow by Nur Jehan, the wife of Mughal emperor Jehangir.

Original Art Form: At the beginning ,Chikankari was primarily done on white muslin fabric using fine white thread .It is now practiced on different fabrics like cotton ,silk, georgette, modal, rayon, viscose, mulmul etc. Motifs inspired by nature in the shape of animals, flowers, leaves and birds(peacock, butterfly etc) are also popular. Petals are commonly practiced motif on chikankari. Petals are created with flowers to enhance the beauty.

Royal Patronage to Masses; During the Mughal era Chikankari was termed as "Queen of Embroideries". This artistic style of embroidery was used to create exquiste and extraordinary garments for the royal family ,but over the years it has become popular among the masses too. Today's time we can buy variety of garments made with Chikankari embroidery like kurtas, sarees,short tops ,kaftans, co-ord sets,plazzos,gararas, lehangas and gowns etc.

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