Everything You Need To Know About Lucknowi Chikankari


Lucknowi chikankari is a type of embroidery that originated in the city of Lucknow, India. The embroidery is done on a variety of fabrics, such as cotton, silk, and organdy. It is characterized by its delicate white stitches on a contrasting background fabric.

The history of chikankari

Chikankari has a long and fascinating history in India. The craft originated in the city of Lucknow, during the reign of Nawab Asaf-ud-daula in the 18th century. The rise of chikankari as a popular form of embroidery reached its peak in the 19th century, when it was worn as a symbol of wealth and prestige.
During the reign of Wajid Ali Shah, the royal court of Awadh featured heavily embroidered pieces of clothing and bedding. The intricate patterns and delicate white stitches of the embroidery proclaimed both the wealth and status of the Nawab. It was not until the early 20th century that the popularity of chikankari declined, due to the rise of mass-produced machine-made embroidery.
Today, Lucknowi chikankari has managed to stay alive due to the dedication of generations of artisans. It is still practiced by skilled artisans, who continue to pass on the craft to younger generations. The intricate work is still regarded as a symbol of elegance and beauty, and the embroidery is now used to create modern clothing pieces, such as tunic, dress, tops, skirts etc.

The different types of chikankari stitch 

Lucknowi Chikankari traditionally features six types of embroidery techniques : 

1.Shadow work (Gitti Ka Kaam): This type of embroidery involves overlapping stitches, creating the effect of a shadow on a plain background. 

2.Chain stitch (Kauri ka Kaam): This technique is characterized by the use of loops to form interlocking patterns. It is the most commonly used among all the chikankari styles. 

3.Placement Stitch (Labad Ka Kaam): This gives is also known as ‘daintha’ stitch and involves a series of tiny diagonal stitches which form a grid-like pattern. 

4.Satin stitch (Sheesh Ka Kaam): This is popularly used for making the outlines of a pattern and uses short straight stitches to give a raised texture. 

5.Block Print (Mangayi Ka Kaam): This involves the use of wooden blocks to create patterns which are then block printed with ink or dye on the fabric. 

6.Outline stitch (Karan Ka Kaam): This involves the use of thread to make the outline of a pattern. It is mainly used to create embroidery motifs that are embossed on the fabric.

The process of chikankari 

The entire process of making chikankari usually consists of the following steps: 

1.Designing – The first step involves creating a design and drawing it on paper. 

2.Transferring the design onto the fabric – The next step involves transferring the design onto the desired fabric, usually with the use of carbon paper. 

3.Cutting the pattern – After the design is transferred, it is then cut out of the fabric, using scissors to create a clear outline of the pattern. 

4.Embroidering the pattern – The fabric is then embroidered by hand with any of the six types of chikankari techniques described above. 

5.Finishing – The final step involves finishing the fabric, either by hand or by machine. This includes washing, drying, pressing, and trimming the fabric.


The benefits of chikankari 

Chikankari is a ethical, sustainable and eco friendly fashion.

1.Durability – Since chikankari embroidery is done completely by hand and is made with high-quality fabrics, it is one of the most durable and resilient styling options available today. 

2.Versatility – Chikankari can be done with a variety of fabrics and colors, allowing it to be easily customized to fit an individual's preference. 

3.Cost – While chikankari may not have a low starting cost, its long-term durability makes it a cost-effective choice that will last for many years with proper care. 

4.Comfort – The light and fine stitching of chikankarai makes it ideal for everyday wear and tear. 

5.Elegance – The intricate and delicate designs of chikankari make it perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any outfit.

Lucknowi chikankari is an exquisite art that has sustained through generations, extending its charm and grace to each piece of clothing. It is a must-have for any fashionista and is highly appreciated for its intricate embroidery work. 

This timeless traditional art has been given a modern twist, with a mix of contemporary designs and use of vibrant colours. Taking the traditional white and cream-coloured hues to another level, the modern-day pieces of chikankari have become a popular choice for special occasions like weddings and receptions. Taking care of this art form is essential and with appropriate care, your chikankari will last and preserve its quality. 

Lucknowi chikankari will continue to remain a timeless art, captivating hearts and minds for generations to come.


  • Eesha

    Wonderful article! Very informative

  • Yogs

    Amazing Information and excellent collection of Dress. Very unique with competitive prices. Sure would recommend

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