LUCKNOW, UTTAR PRADESH
Lucknowi Chikankari defines Lucknow’s identity and its celebrated magnificent past. The craft of Chikan work is the embroidery work done on fine white cotton material with white thread. Also called shadow work, the craft incorporates approximately 36 different stitching techniques that in modern times are often combined with embellishments of pearls, mirror, and mukaish; another form of embellishment. Though traditionally it was done on Muslin cloth, today it can be seen on various fabrics and colours, popularly pastels.
It is interesting to note that the stitches involved in Chikankari are unique. The use of flat stitches, which are delicate and subtle, and lie close to the surface of the fabric, give it a distinctive textural appearance. The source of most design motifs in Chikankari is Mughal, which draws its inspiration from Persian designs. Mughal traditional attributes reveal their affection for nature and landscapes, be it the rich plum weaving or the thick embellishments. The motifs include flowers, petals and leaves that resemble the designs used on Mughal architecture.