Noor jahan, the queen of Emperor Jahangir, introduced the Chikankari embroidery work in India. The Persian word Chakin or Chakeen, which means creating delicate patterns on a fabric. Chikankari is just that the designs are created with love and affection. There are several theories about the origin of chikan. The process of chikan was basically invented in Lucknow and it developed quickly during the period when mughals ruled and consisted of styles inspired by foreigners and has grown into an international market, for its renowned chikan work.
Chikan began as a type of white-on-white (or whitework) embroidery. Chikan is a delicate and artfully done hand embroidery on a variety of textile fabric like muslin, silk, chiffon or organza, net. White thread is embroidered on cool, pastel shades of light muslin and cotton garments. Nowadays chikan embroidery is also done with coloured and silk threads in colours to meet the fashion trends and keep chikankari up-to-date. Lucknow is the heart of the chikankari industry today and the variety is known as Lucknavi chikan.
Chikan work in the recent times has adapted additional embellishments like Mukaish, Kamdani, Badla, Kamdani, sequin, bead and mirror work, which gives it a rich look. Chikan embroidery is mostly done on fabrics like cotton, semi-Georgette, pure Georgette, crepe, chiffon, silk and any other fabric which is light and which highlights the embroidery.
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