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What is Chikankari?

When you hear the term “chikankari,” you may automatically think of the ancient Indian textile. This intricate embroidery process involves weaving a design into the fabric using white thread. The designs and patterns are often made of intricate stitches that use a combination of satin and buttonhole stitches. Traditionally, a peasant was paid to wash his garments, and this peasant was taught the art of chikankari and eventually became a famous artist. The history of chikankari embroidery goes back four centuries to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. The craft flourished during the Mughal era, and these fabrics were made of soft cotton and embellished with intricate floral designs. The wife of Emperor Jahangir, Noorjehan, was responsible for creating the environment for the art and spreading it throughout the country. Today, chikankari can be found on everything from curtains to furniture and textiles. The technique of chikankari embroidery has evolved with the region and materials available. Some of the most popular chikankari works are the zardozi, Kundan work, and K hussab. The different parts of India have their own versions of this traditional embroidery, and some of these are adapted from them. There are several other types of chikankari, too.