Bringing to life the street vibe and culture of Lucknow, is the historically-rich art of Chikankari. Famed for its intricacy and delicacy, It is the distinctive technique of making patterns with fine stitches on solid colored fabrics, typically Chanderi, cotton, or georgette. Traditionally, Chikankari was crafted using stitches of white thread but in recent times, it is also being done with colored cotton and silk threads. Chikan sarees are designed using light fabrics, decorated with floral or geometric patterns, with variations of butis and decorative aanchals. The art of Chikankari requires a fair amount of skill and involves about 70 to 90 types of stitches including keel kangan, murri, tepchi, jaali-work, shadow-work, back stitch, chain stitch, etc.
The art of involves craftsmen using one or more pattern blocks, which are used to block print the desired patterns of the base fabric. Then, the embroiderers use the pattern as a guideline to stitch over the patterns. The finished piece of a Lucknow Chikankari Saree is then carefully washed to remove any traces of the original printed pattern. To summarise, the entire process of Chikankari involves the following steps:
- Block printing
- Washing and finishing
This many-step process results in the creation of one of the most astoundingly-beautiful and elegant sarees. One can find several videos depicting the process of making lucknow chikan sarees online.Chikankari sarees are perfect for summer wear and look elegant in any occasion. It is a favourite amongst saree wearers in India.
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