Chikankari, or Chikan work, is one of the best known of embroidery in India. It really is essentially hand embroidery; with patterns of distinct designs that are stitched using untwisted white cotton or silk (or rayon) threads around the surface of many fabric. Since its inception, the embroidery is the recent favorite of the total number of those in love with style and elegance. The most and famous center of Chikan repairs are Lucknow, the spot that the art attained glory and perfection. The various kinds of Chikan work practiced today are Taipchi, Bakhia, Phunda, Murri, Jaali, Hathkati, Pechni, Ghas Patti, Chaana Patti, etc. Chikankari is a very delicate and time intensive craft, which needs about 10 – 15 days in making an outfit. The delicacy and intricacy of many design and patterns helps it to be dearest compared to machine embroidery.
The roots or history of Chikan repairs are not definite and different people have different assumptions and beliefs in connection with it. Among the many strongest and more assertive claims regarding Chikankari is the idea that Noorjahan, the fine looking queen of Emperor Jahangir, introduced this form of embroidery in India. But it is claimed that she was very skilled at embroidery patterns and was quite fascinated from Turkish embroidery. According to Megasthenes, the Greek traveler, the art of Chikankari started in East Bengal in 3rd century. He also mentions Chikan, which is best described as floral prints on fine muslin clothes. Nevertheless, the craftsmen are of a typical view that its origin dates back to the time of the Prophet. While using folklore, while the Prophet was passing via a village, he felt thirsty. He requested a villager for water, who readily offered him some. Being delighted with the courtesy and humility of the villager, he granted him the art of Chikankari, making sure that he experienced skill to create a living and never ever went hungry in his life.
There certainly are ranges of patterns that are practiced on cloth via Chikan work, making the attire an inimitable section of art. There are basically three varieties of design that happen to be often witnessed: Flat Stitch (It involves subtle stitches that remain near to the fabric) Embossed Stitch (They offer a grainy look) Jali Work (Created by thread tension, to give a delicate net effect) To get ready attire, most of the processes involved are cutting, stitching, printing, embroidery, washing, and finishing. The step of cutting is carried out in bulk, on 20-50 garments at a time. This can be done to play down the wastage of materials. This is certainly leading to stitching, which may be ‘civil’, done exclusively for expensive export orders or ‘commercial’, in deep trouble comparatively cheaper items. The next thing is printing, completed with the help of wooden blocks dipped in dyes like neel and safeda. Those are washed out when embroidery is completed. After that, skilled craftsmen embroider material. Chikan work takes an artisan not less than 4 to 5 days to embroider a modern ensemble. For the intricate design work, only artisans with artistic and nimble handiwork are appointed. The last process is washing and finishing, consists of bleaching, acid treatment, stiffening, and ironing.