Lucknow Chikankari Heritage – An Art of Hand Embroidery

When we say “Lucknow” what specialty comes to your mind? Nawabs, delicious mouth melting kebabs or the attractive Chikan Embroidery. We are sure all of these promptly and being from the City of Nawabs (Lucknow).

lucknowi chikankari

Let us tell you, if you are reading this article you need to visit the place once. To explore the Tehzeb (culture and monuments) of the city.  Try mouth-watering Mughlai food particularly kebabs and biryani and therefore, don’t miss to shop for some astonishing Chikan Embroidery Dresses (the most significantly ) for your loved ones as a token of affection and memory from the city of Nawabs.

History of Lucknow Chikankari

Chikankari is the oldest home based Art practiced in Lucknow. The heritage of passing thread skills from the current Artists to their youngsters and so on. Lucknowi Chikan Embroidery is a leading popular fashion into the national market and worldwide.

Going back in history reveals several stories regarding the origin of Chikan work. We choose the mostly heard according to which Chikankari was initially practiced in Dhaka and was referred as a ‘Chikan’. It was brought to Lucknow by the Nawab of Awadh, Jahangir for his beloved wife Noor Jahan. She was a great fan of Chikan embroidery and use to practice it on her own.

Jahangir and Noorjahan Lucknow Chikankari

Lucknow Chikankari Artwork

Lucknowi chikankari work is worldwide popular technique of creating beautiful design and patterns using multi-coloured threads on several fabrics such as silk, muslin, georgette, chiffon, cotton, crepe and various light fabrics.

British Actress Judi Dench in Chikankari dress

British Actress Judi Dench in Chikankari dress

Chikankari is a fine artwork done by expert artisans in which the 5 essential steps are as follows:

  • Design
  • Engraving
  • Block printing
  • Embroidery
  • Washing and finishing

Moving on to the next step let me tell you there is total 36 type of stitches used in Lucknow Chikankari products. It is the most important part where all the hard work and dedication needed so that we can get the exclusive handcrafted dress by the artist. The shapes and design you get to see on your dress are depending upon the thickness of thread.

Bakhya Stiching Lucknow Chikankari

Following are the name of few stitches used to intensify the beauty of the fabric.

  • Flat stitches
  • Jali stitches
  • Embossed stitches
  • Bakhya the stitch having two types ulti and sidhi stitching (shadow stitches) done from the wrong side.
  • Zanzeera is a chain like stitching done to make an outline of leaves and petals.
  • Murri the oldest stitch. It is used to make the centre of the flower.

Murri Stiching Lucknow Chikankari

The other ones are Rahet, Banarsi, Khatau, Turpai, Pechani, Bijli, Makra, Hathkadi, Karan, Janjeera. There are certain rules of stitching to be followed by the chikan artist. The stitching style is preferred according to the pattern of embroidery.

Earlier the “Karigars” have to do all the work from his hand from holding the cloth to stitching. Today the frames are available making the work simpler for the artist. The fabric is checked and cross-checked after stitching to make sure it’s perfectly done. Washed and later it is taken to starch and iron. It takes around 6-7 weeks to complete the procedure and get the product.


Condition of Lucknow Chikan Artisans

Chikankari is practiced in India (Lucknow) from centuries.  There are millions of people working in the craft sectors. Everything is modified except the condition of the creative person operating day and night to meet our want of fashion in step with the age.

Lucknow Chikankari

However, they’re several still troubled for his or her keep, finance, technology up gradation and promoting of the art. Several NGO’s are coming forward to assist and promote the traditional heritage of our country and most significantly the Chikan Embroidery Artisans. Due this many measures are passed for the welfare of the Chikankari Artisans from the Central and state authorities. is a portal which is supporting & helping local Chikankari workers to sell their products online & hence increasing their reach.


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