Lucknow- the state capital of Uttar Pradesh is world renowned for its traditional ChikankariEmbroidery. Chikankari is the embroidery work done with the white cotton thread on fine white cotton material. Chikankari is also called as shadow work. The word 'Chikan' is basically derived from Persian word 'Chikeen'. The origin of Chikankari is initiated by the influence of intricate carving patterns of Mughal architecture during their period. The Chikan work in Lucknow is older than 200 years and later it is patronized by Nawabs. Highly elaborated work is done using simple tools to embellish beautiful motifs/ designs on plain cloth. Traditionally, the Chikan work has been done only on white cotton cloth. Later, it has been done using various types of clothes to meet the market trend. Types of fabrics like cotton, silk, chiffon, crepe, georgette, wool, orange chiffon are used to do the embroidery work. Cotton thread is traditionally used to create the design patterns over the cloth. Golden zari, silver zari, wool are the types of threads also used to do the Chikankari embroidery. Indigo colour is used in printing process. Cloths are washed by using river water to clear the printing marks. Starch is used to obtain the stiffness for cotton clothes. Tools like Sui- needle is the important tool which plays a major role in Chikankari work. A circular shaped frame is used to hold the cloth as it obtains tautness. These frames are made with cloth as well as wood as per the need. Wooden blocks are used to print the design on plain cloth. A rectangular wooden table used as support during printing process. Containers are used while washing the cloth after completion of stitching work.
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