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Indian Embroideries

Chikan Embroidery:

Chikan (Hindi: चिकन) is a traditional embroidery style from Lucknow, India. Literally translated, the word means embroidery. Believed to have been introduced by Nur Jehan, Mughal emperor Jahangir‘s wife,[1] it is one of Lucknow’s most famous textile decoration styles.

Chikan began as a type of white-on-white (or whitework) embroidery. Traditionally, white threads were used on semi-transparent muslin cloth.[2] However, with the advent of newer fabric types, and changing demands and fashions, chikankari is now also being done on a variety of fabrics including synthetic ones. Chikankari is also available now in various colours. Sequin work is also done on the fabrics along with chikankari to give it an exquisite and glittering look. The fact that chikan embroidery has returned to fashion has resulted in the production of exquisite pieces, but also in products of very dubious taste.[3]

Creation of a chikan work (chikankari) piece begins with the use of one or more pattern blocks that are used to block-print a pattern on the ground fabric. The embroiderer then stitches the pattern, and the finished piece is carefully washed to remove all traces of the printed pattern.[2]

The patterns and effects created depend on the types of stitches and the thicknesses of the threads used in the embroidery. Some of the varieties of stitches used include back-stitch, chain stitch and hemstitch. The result is an open work pattern, jali (lace) or shadow-work. Often the embroiderer creates mesh-like sections in the design by using a needle to separate threads in the ground fabric, and then working around the spaces.[2]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chikan_%28embroidery%29


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