The traditional art form of Chikankari embroidery has been alive in every corner of the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow for more than 400 years now. Over the years this art form found its place in the world and has adapted its presence globally.
Traditionally, this embroidery was only done on specific cloth like muslin or silk in white color and only using white thread. The modern times have brought in a change and now it’s done on other fabrics as well and on different color fabrics as well.
The Making of This Art
The technique used for this embroidery can be divided into two parts. The first part comprises of pre-production and the second, post-production.
Before the artisans begin weaving there are a few essential things they need to take care of. At first they pick the design that has to be done on the fabric and after knowing what design they have to go with, the artisans engrave the same on wooden stamps. They use these stamps with dyes for block printing on the fabric and then the fabric is cut and given the shape of the end garment it has been made for.
After taking the necessary decisions, the artisans begin weaving and this is where their skill is required the most. The cloth is taken in small portions, put in a frame and the needlework is done on each part neatly following ink stains and as per the required of the fabric. The final garment is checked for neatness and perfection, and then washed to made ready for sales.
- Each stitch of the Lucknowi chikankari is unique. It is done precisely to make it look neat and perfect. For the fabric to look neat and perfect, the artisans invest a lot of time and patiently work on every stitch on the fabric. This precision and hard work makes the fabric look rich.
- Depending on the size of the fabric and the design to be done, it can take artisans 10 to 20 days to weave a fabric. The hard work and skill they put in cannot be ignored as the final result is nothing but aesthetic.
- While this art form is all about neatness and perfection, one surely cannot adapt in a few months. To weave this art form, artisans are trained for up to 20 years.