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Nur Jahan’s own style… Lucknow Chikan Saris

Nur Jahan is believed to have introduced this style of embroidery to craftsmen from Lucknow. Although it began as white-on-white embroidery on sheer cotton fabrics, Chikan saris come in a variety of fabrics and colours today!



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Chikan Work

As legend has it, the chikan style of embroidery was first introduced by Nur Jahan, wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, famous as the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built. Famed for the intricacies of its art, chikaneri weavers are acclaimed worldwide for their skill. To perfect this style, blocks of wood are first engraved with the preferred design, which is then imprinted on the base fabric using a special dye. Weavers then embroider over this print, making certain to carefully wash the fabric afterwards. There exist up to thirty six different types of stitches to the art of chikaneri, for instance, bukhia (the shadow stitch), jali (mesh), gitti (the wheel stitch), and dhum patti (the leaf stitch). The most skilled of weavers are able to achieve even higher levels of depth in these already fragile patterns, the cloth is often parted using the needle, to allow for threads to weave in and out of the tiny gaps in the fabric.

 


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