Chikan work is usually done on white or pastel shades. Colors of this work inspired me to look at the colors of sea shells . Having done that , I have received a beautiful palette of colors on which I could explore my chikan inspirations .
HOLA FOLKS !!!
Having read so much about this beautiful craft aren’t you feeling something because I surely am . I am having an urge to grab my sketchbook and pencils . Aren’t you ?
You must be wondering what this picture is all about …
Well, this is all what inspires me about chikankari. This is my inspiration board. It exhibits the journey of chikan. From hand to machine work from plain to zari , it has it all. Look at the motifs, aren’t they splendid ? The jali work of chikan is also a feast for the eyes and the creative mind .
Scared to ruin your beautiful piece of chikanwork ? here are some tips for you …
Chikan embroidery should be dry cleaned but this depends upon the fabric. Fabric like silk need to be dry cleaned but cotton can be hand washed .
Utsavpedia.com retrieved from :
REFERENCE :The American Cleaning Institute . Retrieved from : goo.gl/5byoJr
Chikankari is not only limited to salwarkameez and kurta pajama . it is also found in western outfits like funky tops and skirts. Tone on tone embroidery is also in vogue and elements like beads, sequins mokaish and crochet is also used. It is also used in home furnishing like table cloth , bed lenin and cushion covers.
Ref : craftmark.org retrieved from:
http:// www.craftmark.org/sites/defaultfiles/chikankari%20 embroidery.pdf
Picture referencing :
- Retrieved from :goo.gl/JJUcp
- Retrieved from : goo.gl/rtUFCQ
- Paul (july9,2015) .chikankari -a timeless fashion. retrieved from :goo.gl/yEZOQG
The white on white chikan has evolved to become a better piece of craft over the period of time. C’mon lets dig deep and see its evolution .
The Mughal rulers were greatly influenced by the Persian floral patterns. The indian artists used more flowy designs that stiffy formal Persian styles.
After the decline of the Mughal empire, many artists fled to awadh . In Awadh ,the craft flourished under the Nawabi influence. Ealier ,garments were s fragile that they had to be discarded after few washes.
During the British rule, thanks to the low priced milled textile,chikankari suffered. This resulted in exploitation of workers. With the British influence,designs became more formal and other items began to be created.
In earlier days , chikan was done on white mulmul cloth . Due to the shortage of mulmul and changing market trends, this work is done on –cotton, wool, chiffon, crepe and silk using contrast color threads.
The lifestyle of artists has also improved as rates of fabric has increased due to the hike in demand.
During industrialization, commercial copycats and imitations emerged. Fabric blends and machine embroidery was introduced to cut production cost . Small and big designer houses began to add crystals, zardozi and mukaish elements.
REF: utsavpedia.com retrieved from :
Picture Referencing :
- News18.com(2015,novemeber8) Retrieved from: http://img01.ibnlive.in/ibnlive/uploads/5015/11/deepika11.jpg
- Rujuta Vaidya (2016,feb26). Retrieved from :goo.gl/5GrjF2
- Sewa-lucknow (2005,may21). Retrieved from :goo.gl/iH7kV5
Ever wondered what might be the source of inspiration of this beautiful intricate embroidery ?
Source of most motifs in chikan is Mughal . Noor Jahan’s desire to replicate Turkish architecture led to jaali in embroidery . The bel or creeper is the most commonly used motif. Animals and flowers are also made including – fish,elephant,mango,coriander leaf,ghas patti and murri.
Ref: Self Employed Women’s Association (n.d.) retrieved from
Picture referencing :
1.Pietra Dura,parchinkari,jali and the Taj Mahal (2102,july7) .retrieved from :
2. Retrieved from :http://soulquest-lifestyle.com/
3. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts .Retrieved from :goo.gl/0Uixr4
Having all the ingredients in place , let us start with the process.
There are different karigars for different processes which are as follows :-
First,the tailor cuts the garment and stitches before planning the placement of the design . A bamboo frame is used for pattern making . A mix of neel and gum is used for printing.
Embroidery is then done on the design pattern using needle and thread. There are mainly 3 types of stitches :
About 60,000 garments are washed daily at dhobi ghat in a mix of tezaab and water.
Text Referencing : Eighteen pixels (copywrite 2014). Retrieved from: chikankari.com/the-history-behind-chikankari-and -types-of-stitches/
Picture Referencing :
1.vatsla (2015,march25). retrieved from : goo.gl/7RbSxF
2.vatsla (2015,march25).retrieved from :https://vatsla92.wordpress.com/2015/03/img-2520.jpg
3. Kalra.Jaspal.Essence of an heritage endurance. retrieved from :goo.gl/wUqU7d
4. Sarkar,biswarup(2015,june 25)retrieved from :https://www.flickr.com/photos/56819064@NO5/28037989083
Want to do chikan ? Here is what you need to create your very own chikan piece .
Fabrics – cotton,silk,chiffon,crepe,georgette,wool,chiffon.
Threads – cotton threads ,golden zari ,silver zari
Circular frame –for holding the cloth as it obtains tautness.
Wooden blocks- to print design on cloth
Wooden table – for support during printing process
Containers- for washing the garment
Ref :eighteen pixels (copywrite 2014).retieved from
Chikankari.com/the-history-behind-chikankari-and- types-of-stitches /
Picture Referencing :
- Prof.baral.bidhudutta.chikankar:tools and raw materials. retrieved from: goo.gl/xMOxHU
- Prof.baral bidhumata. chikankai embroidery of luckow II. Retrieved from goo.gl/o2BhWM
History is such a boring topic to start with . However, origin of chikan is still a mystery . Lets see if you can unravel it …..
Some say that chikan is a Persian carft brought in the court of Jahangir by Noor Jahan. According to some historians , there is floral muslin in paintings of Ajanta cave (9th century A.D.) . Kamla Devi Chattopadhaya states that chikan can be dated back to the time of king Harsha . Megasthenes in the 3rd Century B.C. has written the use of ‘flowered muslin’ in the court of Chandragupta Maurya. Dr. Rahul Shukla in his book talks about chikan as being an offshoot of Taj .
Ref : gambhir sakshi (august22,2015)retrieved from :
Picture Sources :
Picture Noor Jahan – https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinnng.com/originals/of39/9d/of399dd7.jpg
Picture of Taj -Koolanisha (2013,march 21), the jail of ta mahal. retrieved from :
Picture of Ashoka –goo.gl/RtHlBY