History Of Chikankari Works










HEADLINES:  
+  Text   -   

CHIKANKARI WORKS

Rose DesignHISTORY OF CHIKANKARI WORKS
Chikankari one of the most traditional embroidery styles from Lucknow is believed to be introduced by Nur Jehan, Mughal emperor Jahangir's wife in India. The very word "Chikankari" means embroidery which is delicate and shadow work type of embroidery. There are mentions about the chikankari work by the famous Greek traveler, Megasthenes as early as 3rd century BC who described about the floral work on muslin clothes used by the Indians. Apart from the story of Nur Jehan there are other stories related to the history of chikankari embroidery work in India. A traveler when passing through a village in Lucknow due to thirsty stopped over and requested a peasant for water to quench his thirst. The traveler was very much impressed by the hospitality shown towards him by the peasant and having nothing to give to the peasant, the traveler taught him the art of Chikankari, which would ensure that he would never remain hungry in life.
Rose DesignCHIKANKARI WORK IS NATIVE TO THE CITY OF LUCKNOW
-Chikankari work is native to the city of Lucknow. Earlier however the chikankari work was done on white yarn or colorless muslin cloth and it is known as tanzeb. But however with years the chikankari embroidery work is now carried on all kinds of fabrics like georgette, chiffon, cotton and other fine cloth material. Though initially the chikankari embroidery work was used as an embellishment only on clothes, soon the art of this particular embroidery was also done on cushion covers, pillow covers, table linen and so on.


Rose DesignEVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHIKANKARI WORK
The evolution and development of chikankari work has lot of version associated to it for according to few the word Chikankari has been derived from a Persian word Chakin or Chakeen, which means creating delicate patterns on a fabric. Few others explain that it is a distorted version of Chikeen or Siquin, a coin valuing Rs 4 for which the work was sold. There are also beliefs which state that the word chikankari actually originated from East Bengal language in which chikan means fine. Chikankari embroidery work basically involves lot of steps like it includes cutting, stitching, printing, embroidery, washing and finishing.
Rose DesignMOSTLY EMBROIDERY IS DONE BY WOMEN
Chikankari Work

-Mostly the embroidery is done by women. Though now the art of chikankari work is practised everywhere the traditional Lucknow embroidery work involves creepers or floral motifs which are used either throughout the garment or in corners, include jasmine, rose, flowering stems, lotus, etc.

There are three main categories of chikankari embroidery work namely the flat stitches, embossed stitches and the jalli stitches. Lucknow takes the pride of being the exclusive hub for chikankari work and has received the Geographical Indication (GI) status for chikankari in December 2008.


Rose DesignUNIQUENESS OF THE ART OF CHIKANKARI EMBROIDERY WORK
Chikankari Cloth
The uniqueness of the art of chikankari embroidery work has been extended far beyond many things which is proved by Madonna, the global starlet who wore a chikankari embroidery work in 2000 stretches. The chikankari embroidery work is exported to different parts of world and one of the leading exporters to international markets and major brands since 1975 is MLK Exports. They supply to Fashion Fuse (United States), Karma Highway (US), Jackpot (Copenhagen), HHG (Spain), Amina (Japan), GAT (Israel), Betina Gers (Argentina), Ghora Tabela (Uruguay) and Coline (French). Apart from MLK there are other exporters namely Radhakrishna Overseas, which supplies to Coin (a retail chain), Spiegel (leading American direct-marketing company), Heine (a German fashion brand) and many others amongst the world.
Rose DesignTWO MOST PROMINENT FASHION DESIGNERS IN THE INDUSTRY OF CHIKANKARI
The two most prominent fashion designers in the industry of chikankari for at least the last 20 years are Sandeep Khosla and Abu Jani whose main aim is to uplift the crafts profile in India and abroad. They got Judi Dench of James Bond series to wear one of their majestic Chikankari creations upfront to receive an Oscar in 2004 Academy awards. The art of chikankari work is being best used by many of the iconic cloth brands in India.The Self Employed Womens Association involving the chikankari artisans are known for their rich and fine chikankari work on both the khadi and the woolen garments for an Italian client namely Comitato.
Rose DesignRETAILERS ARE LOOKING AT CHIKANKARI WORK
Nowadays retailers are looking at chikankari work as an extreme work of embroidery on the appreciated garments of the remunerative brands. Most of the motifs in chikankari have got its source from the Mughal period especially from the queen Nur Jehan who wanted to come out with something exactly like the Turkish architectural open-work designs. There are at least 40 different stitches in chikan work of which nearly 30 are commonly used. They fall under three different categories - flat stitches, raised and embossed stitches, and the open trellis-like jaali work.
Rose DesignTYPES OF CHIKANKARI EMBROIDERY- FLAT STITCHES:
Taipchi- this is the most common, easiest and cheapest stitch. They are usually running stitch which is worked on the right side of the fabric. They are usually worked in parallel rows. Taipchi is also used to fill petals and leaves and in motif and this kind of design is referred as ghaspatti. The Taipchi resembles more of the jamdhani stitch and sometimes it is used to make bel buti all over the fabric. Usually further embellishments are done on taipchi.

Pechni- is mostly a kind of chikan work embroidery which is done having taipchi as a base. The taipchi work is shadowed by entwining the thread over it in a regular manner to provide the effect of something like a lever spring. This also like taipchi is done on the right side of the fabric.

Pashni- In this pattern of embroidery a motif is first outlined by taipchi and then overed with minute vertical satin stitches over about two threads and is used for fine finish on the inside of badla.

Bakhia-This is of two types and is more of a shadow work. Ulta Bakhia is usually done on a transparent cloth especially on the reverse side of the fabric and underneath the motif. This looks very elegant and beautiful. Shidhi Bakhia is a satin stitch were separate threads are criss-crossed and this unlike the ulta bhakia lies on the surface of the fabric and gives no shaded effect.

Khatao-is more of a chikanwork along with cutwork.

Gitti-is generally used to make a wheel -like motif with a long satin stitch with the combination of a buttonhole.

Jangira-This is a kind of chain stitch which is usually used to accompany a line of pechni or thick taipchi.
Rose DesignEMBOSSED STITCHES
The Embossed stitches in Chikankari Embroidery are bolder stitches than the flat stitches and they give a grainy appearance.

Murri -This is a very minute satin pear shaped stitch and is done on already existing or outlined taipchi stitches.

Pechni- is mostly a kind of chikan work embroidery which is done having taipchi as a base. The taipchi work is shadowed by entwining the thread over it in a regular manner to provide the effect of something like a lever spring. This also like taipchi is done on the right side of the fabric.

Phanda - This kind of stitch is a shortened version of murri stitch involving spherical shaped knots. This is quite laborious.
Rose DesignJAALIS - THE SPECIALTY OF THE CHIKANKARI WORK IS THAT IT GIVES A DELICATE NET EFFECT:
Jaalis - Jaalis are the specialty of the chikankari work which gives a delicate net effect. The basic manner in which jaalis are created is by pushing aside wrap and weft threads in a fashion that minute openings are made in the cloth. Shape of openings and the stitches used distinguish one jaali from another.
Rose DesignPROCESS OF GETTING A CHIKAN GARMENT
Chikankari Stitching
-The process of getting a chikan garment undergoes various stages. First the fabric or the material is cut according to the desired garment shape by a tailor. This is followed by some basic pre- embroidery work so that the block printer gets the correct shape for further placement of the design. The design is printed on the semi-stitched garment with fugitive colors, and the embroidery of the garment is then begun. Once this work is done it further goes for checking for it is much easier to detect any mistake at this stage. Now washing takes place in a bhatti and dried. Then the garment is starched and ironed. However the entire process takes place for nearly one to six months.
Rose DesignIN ANCIENT DAYS CHIKAN WORK WAS ONLY DONE ON WHITE FABRIC
In ancient days chikan work was only done on white fabric mainly musin with only white thread. But this is not the condition now for a wide use of colored threads is used on different fabrics like silk, crepe, organdie chiffon, and tassar. In the chikan work the needle is supposed to be held on the right hand at the time of inserting into the fabric, whereas the left hand is used to support and control the thread. The cloth which has to be worked is not put into a frame for it is placed over the index finger of the left hand leaving the thumb free. The darn stitches in chikan work is done on the rough cotton fabric which covers the surface of the fabric and the satin stitches are done on the delicate fabrics like silk, muslin, or linen.
Rose DesignEACH STICH IN CHIKAN WORK STOCKS ON TO THE PURPOSE
Each stitch in chikan work stocks on to the purpose for it is meant and they are not replaced by any other stitch. For example, the chain stitch (zanjeera) will only be used for the final outline of a leaf, petal, or stem. The artisans of chikankari embroidery form the biggest artisan cluster in India where they contribute about 2.5 lacs artisans associated with this art. The artisans of chikan kari include from other fields also like cutting, stitching, hand blocking, textile printing, jalli work and washer man. There are more than 5000 artisans in this field who are paid according to the work they are associated to.
Rose DesignDEALERS OF CHIKANKARI PRODUCTSRose Design
1.Polycrafts : Laxman Pahalwan Bhawan, Near Ghore Wali Kothi, 230/22 Begum Ganj, Raja Bazar Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Phone : 91-+9175-05115696, Mobile : 9450646058. www.polycraftsindia.com
2.Onkar Fashions, 8a/6g Wea Karol Bagh, Delhi. Mobile : +91-9871739497
3.Mansi Creation : 329/8-9,BaghtTola, Chowk, Lucknow. Phone : 91-0522-2257162, 2255505 Mobile : 9415014593
4.Dhann Impex : 237 / 10 Amritpuri, B, Ghari, East Of Kailsh, New Delhi. Phone : +91-11-26926349, Mobile : +91-9811050628 / 9311050628
5.Aqsa Chikan Arts, Room No. 18-a, Mohammed Ali Building, Patel Hostel, Opp. Mandvi Post Office, Bhendi Bazar, Mumbai Maharashtra. Phone : +91-22-23438501 Mobile : +91-9820496291