Chikankari, a traditional embroidery style from Lucknow, has gained immense popularity over the years. While most of us are familiar with its exquisite needlework and delicate designs, there's more to Chikankari than meets the eye. From its rich history to the intricate techniques involved, there are several lesser-known facts about Chikankari that make it all the more fascinating. In this blog post, we'll delve into some of these lesser-known facts and explore the beauty and complexity of Chikankari embroidery.
Chikankari is more than 400 years old
Chikankari has a rich history that dates back more than 400 years. It is believed that Chikankari was introduced in India by the Mughal emperors, who brought with them Persian and Turkish embroidery techniques. Over time, Chikankari evolved and became a distinctive embroidery style of its own, with its own unique designs and patterns.
Chikankari is a labour-intensive process
Chikankari is a labour-intensive process that involves several stages of embroidery. The fabric is first washed and stretched, and then the design is traced onto the fabric. The embroidery is done using a needle and thread, and each stitch is carefully crafted by hand. Depending on the complexity of the design, it can take anywhere from a few days to several months to complete a single Chikankari outfit.
Chikankari has several regional variations
While Chikankari originated in Lucknow, it has several regional variations, each with its own unique designs and patterns. For example, the Chikankari of West Bengal is known for its floral designs, while the Chikankari of Gujarat is known for its geometric patterns. Each region has its own distinct style, and the designs are often influenced by the local culture and traditions.
Chikankari was once a dying art form
Despite its rich history and exquisite craftsmanship, Chikankari was once a dying art form. With the rise of machine-made embroidery and the decline of traditional crafts, Chikankari was in danger of disappearing altogether. However, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Chikankari, and efforts are being made to preserve and promote this beautiful embroidery style.
Indian government has recognised Chikankari
Chikankari is not only a traditional art form but also a thriving industry with a bright future ahead. The Indian government has recognised Chikankari as a Geographical Indication (GI), which protects the uniqueness and authenticity of the craft. This has given a boost to the industry, and more and more artisans are now taking up Chikankari as a means of livelihood. By supporting the Chikankari industry, we not only preserve a beautiful art form but also help in sustaining the livelihoods of thousands of artisans and their families.
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