Most cherished and sought-after form of embroidery in India - Chikankari, is an art that has a great visual appeal and speaks a deeper language of symbolism. Chikan embroideries are renowned for their exquisite patterns and stylish designs, making them a beloved Indian embroidery style. Originating from the Mughal era of India, this delicate and intricate embroidery technique has been skillfully handed down through generations for centuries and continues to be in vogue today. Additionally, the popularity of chikan embroideries is a testament to its timeless beauty and artistry.
This blog explores the origins and development of Chikankari, a beautiful embroidery technique. Additionally, we provide useful tips to preserve this intricate embroidery in your daily wardrobe. Without further ado, let's delve into the fascinating world of Chikankari!
History and Origins of Chikankari Embroidery
The Chikan embroidery tradition in India has been around for about 400 years and is believed to have originated from Persian craft. The craft was introduced to India by Noorjahan, the queen of Jahangeer, the Mughal Emperor. It was earlier practised by the wives of Mughal Emperors but furthermore the intricate Chikankari hand work flourished under the the rulers of Awadh.
When the capital of Awadh shifted to Lucknow from Faizabad in 1722, craft knowledge came along and the Mughals found Hand Block Printing skills in Lucknow, which made it easier for them to practice this embroidery. The tracing of the design was quite difficult earlier but the availability of an easier process of drawing a base design encouraged them to teach this fine embroidery work to others. Gradually, this embroidery became a part-time earning source for many women in rural areas as this chikankari craft is quite unique and that uniqueness makes it an important part of life not only in Lucknow but now in every other state too.
Techniques and Materials Used in Chikankari Embroidery
Chikankari embroidery is a time taking and intricate craft that needs special skill and patience too. Furthermore, the chikan embroidery is done by hand using a variety of stitches, including the satin stitch, chain stitch, and stem stitch. The fabric used for Chikankari embroidery is usually fine cotton or silk, which is lightweight and easy to work with. In contemporary times, it is common to witness modern women donning chikankari cotton kurtis, georgette kurtis, and kurtis crafted from cosy fabrics. Women increasingly prefer chikan kurtis not just for celebratory events but also as a part of their office attire and everyday wear, owing to their exceptional comfortability due to the use of such fabrics.
The threads used for Chikankari embroidery are also of high quality. The most commonly used thread is the white cotton thread, which is known for its sheen and durability. Other threads used in Chikankari embroidery include silk thread, metallic thread, and zari thread, which is made of gold or silver.
Chic Styles and Designs for Chikankari Embroidery
Chikankari Long Kurtis
When thinking of ethnic wear options for women, the long chikankari kurti is often considered one of the top choices due to its exquisite and sophisticated design. Nowadays, chikankari kurtis have moved beyond the typical traditional pattern. Paramount Chikan has reimagined the long chikan kurti for women in recent times, presenting them in a range of trendy and fashionable designs. Therefore, why not venture away from the dull routine and incorporate new colours and patterns into your closet?
Chikan Embroidered Anarkali
The Chikankari Anarkali kurti is a stunning and traditional ethnic ensemble that is a beautiful and luxurious umbrella kurti that has the power to attract attention to your stunning elegance on any occasion, whether it's a wedding reception or a fun-filled family night. You can effortlessly flaunt a floor-length Anarkali Chikan kurti for a Haldi function or choose dark shades for other wedding festivities to look perfectly graceful.
Straight Chikankari Embroidery Kurtis
A chikankari straight kurta is a classic that can enhance your traditional look in no time. Modern women love this designer kurti because of its mix-and-match combination. It brings together the vibrant classical elegance and subtle modern fit and flair seamlessly. To make a grand entrance and impress your audience, you can pair your straight Chikankari kurti with dhoti bottoms, a statement necklace, light makeup, and peep-toes.
Challenges and Preservation of Chikankari Embroidery
Chikankari embroidery, a traditional art form, is encountering numerous obstacles, but one critical hurdle is the shortage of skilled artisans. Unfortunately, younger generations do not seem to have an interest in pursuing crafts like Chikankari embroidery, resulting in the depletion of skilled artisans.
As a consequence, preserving this art form and ensuring its continuation for future generations has become increasingly challenging. To confront this challenge, several organizations and initiatives have emerged to foster Chikankari embroidery and provide training to young people in the craft. The main objective of these initiatives is to safeguard the tradition and guarantee the thriving of Chikankari embroidery art.
But Paramount Chikan is elevating the art of chikankari embroidery to new levels, departing from the traditional long kurta ensembles with white chikan work on plain, pastel fabrics such as muslin, chiffon, mul mul, and organza. Instead, they are venturing into printed poly silk fabric and exploring bolder colour palettes. With a continuous effort to modernize Indian fashion, they have created a stunning range of stylish short kurtas, long kurtis with chikankari embroidery, straight chikan kurtis, trendy kaftan dresses, and even anarkali-style chikankari kurtis.
Today, Chikankari embroidery has become a wardrobe essential for making a chic statement wherever one goes. Paramount Chikan is committed to making this exquisite fashion more accessible to people. They offer a vast array of ensembles that are not only suitable for festivals but also perfect for wearing to the office or even daily use. Visit their website now and browse their modern styles and designs featuring this beautiful tradition and exquisite embroidery to make your statement.