Chikankari is an ancient form of white floral embroidery, intricately worked with needle and raw thread on a variety of fabrics like cotton, muslin, silk, organza etc. First, the fabric is cut by a tailor into the required garment shape, after which the basic pre-embroidery stitching is done so that the correct shape is available to the block-printer to plan the placement of the design. The design (pattern to be embroidered) is printed on the semi-stitched garment with a mix of ‘neel’ powder and gond (gum). Color containing trays are covered with a bamboo frame. On top of this a felt piece is kept to avoid excessive sticking of color. Through this the color is picked up in appropriate amount by the portion of the block that is to be printed. The color dries off very quickly, making the garment ready for its next stage - embroidery! Some of the block patterns are called chadi, patti, golbooti, gutka, kairi (paisley) in their local language.
For more details: http://www.dsource.in/resource/chikankari-embroidery-lucknow